Title: Bone Rider
Author: J. Fally
Cover Artist: Daniela Barisone
Publisher & Buy Link: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon: Buy Link Bone Rider
Genre: M/M Romance,S/F, Action/Adventure
Length: 310 pages
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Outrageously ambitious plot concerning, “cowboys, aliens, hit men and now a canyon full of survivalists…” with added complications courtesy of the US army creates a spectacular cinematic read.
Blurb: Riley Cooper is on the run. Misha Tokarev, the love of his life, turned out to be an assassin for the Russian mob, and when it comes to character flaws, Riley draws the line at premeditated murder. Alien armor system McClane is also on the run, for reasons that include accidentally crashing a space ship into Earth and evading U.S. military custody. A failed prototype, McClane was scheduled for destruction. Sabotaging the ship put an end to that, but McClane is dubbed a bone rider for good reason—he can’t live without a host body. That’s why he first stows away in Riley’s truck and then in Riley himself. Their reluctant partnership soon evolves into something much more powerful—and personal—than either of them could have imagined.
Together, they embark on a road trip from hell, made all the more exciting by the government troops and mob enforcers hot on their trail. Misha is determined to win Riley back and willing to do whatever it takes to keep him safe. When hitman and alien join forces, they discover their impressive combined potential for death and destruction. It will take everything Riley has to steer them through the mess they create.
This book, as the character’s acknowledge themselves, could have been a script for a seriously bad action movie. Possibly a knock off from the 2011 summer season’s mediocre, ‘ Cowboy’s and Aliens.’ You could be forgiven for thinking that this mix of cinema stock characters had been dragged out to play nicely together by a writer trying too hard to be quirkily original. Luckily for us this is nothing of that sort.
instead what is playing is a very fast moving crazily exciting adventure full of great characters who are individuals rather than stereotypes. Riley might be a laid back cowboy but he is also perfect inside and out, according to the fastidious alien armour system with A.I. consciousness currently hitching a ride on his bones.
The writing style, in keeping with the overall premise is effectively visual, giving us some wonderful cinematic shots; wide lens panorama and tender close ups. The beautifully detailed Texas setting of long dusty roads, greasy diners and motels added a wonderful level of realism to the, stretch of the imagination, goings on.
There are some gorgeous tips of the hat to some outstanding movies thrown into the mix with a cheeky flourish – ignoring ‘ Runaway Bride’ here – obviously ‘Alien’ with it’s body cavity invasion but ‘Die Hard’ in a baptism of kick ass heroism gives System Six his new name McClane, while best buddy movie of them all ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’, adds some foreshadowing of its own. The Russian mafia film genre is included with some hard edged patriarchal menace. I would have liked to have had much more time with Misha and his frequently fabulous associates and less time with the representatives of the US army.
Indeed my only criticism of this book was that I felt the internal military sequences were – while adding another level of technical realism and successfully creating tension – too long. An excess of cameo roles. I thought the whole Lieutenant Dr Leandra Butler subplot although adding a strong female character aside from that of Misha’s ambitious sister, could easily have ended on a cutting room floor.
The emotional side of the book was beautifully played, I loved the relationship between Riley and McClane, the internal dialogue was a treat. The unexpectedly subtle addition of contract killer Misha as a full blooded romantic lead was a pleasure.The, call the world lost for love, strength of their relationships was revealed amidst some unforgettable break neck speed action sequences in a survivalist set. The finale was perfect fun.
Don’t miss this season’s blockbuster……… and my Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor goes to McClane.