Traditional or self-published: Self-published
Rating: Liked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
I used to love dystopian books, but I guess I'm getting burnt out on them. So many of them are the same -- they seem to go down a checklist of all items a dystopian story has to have.
Much like The Hunger Games, Sand Runner is set in the future when the vast majority of people are poor, and they enter a "blood sport" kind of thing to try to earn a better future. But, like Hunger Games and so many other dystopian stories, there's more to the sport than there seems to be -- it's a whole political/economic tactic.
For all this was a way, way too familiar story, I still mostly enjoyed it. While it did go down a checklist of dystopian story plot points, there was just enough of an interesting twist to keep me reading.
In the Sand Runner world, rich people are bored. Bored with being rich. Bored with being beautiful. (Gotta suspend belief a bit there, huh?) So they invent a new thing -- a race, making poor people run to try to win. But since good looking people are boring, they want more than that -- they want people melded with tech. So every poor person who enters the race has their legs cut off and replaced with tech. That's the point where I decided to finish this book, because that's a new (if horrible) idea.
I can't say the plot was anything new or great, but it was interesting enough that once we got to the leg cutting off part (early on), I never thought about not finishing the story. I really really did not like the romance in the book, and unfortunately that was a major part of the plot. Adding up all that, I really shouldn't have liked this book as much as I did, but it was sort of like empty enjoyment? I like dystopian, this was dystopian, thus I liked it even though the individual parts didn't work for me.
Apparently the second book in this series is out already, but it looks like it's continuing to mirror the Hunger Games series, so I'm not going to bother.