Sky Rider by Nancy Springer
First published in 1999. Re-released in 2014 by Open Road Integrated Media Inc.
I received a copy to read and review through Net Galley, so thank you the Author and Publisher for allowing me this opportunity.
Everything changes when a handsome stranger rides off into the night on Dusty’s horse
There’s no way around it: Dusty’s horse Tazz needs to be put down. Once a champion jumper, Tazz can barely walk now due to hoof pain. And that’s not the only thing that’s wrong in Dusty’s life. Since her mother’s death, Dusty’s dad hasn’t stopped drinking—even after his drunk driving put Dusty in the hospital with a now-chronic back injury. Why don’t they just put me down too? she wonders.
While Dusty is giving Tazz one last grooming, his ears suddenly prick up as a stranger approaches: a young boy with an otherworldly beauty. He offers to take Tazz with him, and the two race off into the distance as though Tazz were in perfect health, with the boy perched on his back. Who could this person be? And what is he doing here?
It’s only when Dusty returns to school the next day that she hears about the boy who was killed. When she sees his photo in the newspaper, she knows that he’s the mysterious guy who rode off on Tazz. What she doesn’t know is that he will soon return.
This was a short and sweet story with a beautiful horse and a happy ending (well as happy as a story with a 16 year old that’s killed by an unjustifiable and inexcusable crime can be).
So we have two young characters that have both suffered grave injustices – 16 year old Skye Rider and 14 year old Destiny “Dusty” Grove – you can tell pretty early on that Skye and Dusty need each other, that they need to heal each other. The story is written in multiple points of view; log reports from an Angel supervising Skye’s transition, diary entries from Dusty and a narrator that I couldn’t quite figure out.
This is a fast paced story about love, justice and finding peace. There was a bit of insta love, but I just ignored that. I liked Dusty; she’s only fourteen and she’s already lost her mother to the grave and her father to alcohol. Even after the car accident that results in her being in constraint pain she doesn’t give up and doesn’t complain.
I liked this book; sure I wasn’t tearing through the pages or staying up all night to find out what was going to happen next and yes the ending was predictable, but still satisfying. It was nice.
This is the second ‘horsey’ book I’ve read and I’ve got a few more on my TBR list. I think I’m finally starting to understand why so many little girls want a Pony (I wanted a T-Rex). I think I’m finally understanding that Horse and Human bond (I still want a T-Rex – but horses I must admit are awesome). I found it interesting that in this book the Horses can see spirits, is that a thing? I know horses are supposed to be brilliant at interpreting people and “reading their souls” (I heard that on some documentary where they use horses in therapy) and I was wondering is this something people believe? – anyway back to the book – So I didn’t fall in love with it, but it was short and sweet and well worth the read. I will definitely be looking into Some of Nancy’s other works.
Website – http://www.nancyspringer.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/NancySpringer