Hellrider: J.G. Faherty
Reviewed By Steve Stred
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Flame Tree Press (8 Aug. 2019)
I snagged Hellrider through Netgalley when it became available through Flametree Press. The cover art was intriguing and the brief synopsis sounded like a good time.
Hellrider is Eddie Ryder, a former biker-gang member who flipped on the boss to escape jail time. He now is trying to get his life in order, supporting his chronically ill mother and his younger brother, while running his dad’s repair shop. His dad took off some time ago and now Eddie is trying to make a go of it.
Then his former gang kills Eddie. But he doesn’t die. His soul or ghost of him remains and now he’s off for revenge.
Faherty did a great job of setting up for what could have been an outstanding redemption tale. Throw in revenge, ghostly compassion and some guidance for the younger brother and this story could’ve hummed like a well-built engine.
Where I found this tale went off the tracks for me was the frequent repetitive juvenile forays Eddie would take when possessing people. While the revenge scenes did play out well, far too often it felt like an episode of Sons of Anarchy only written by Adam Sandler.
Each time I thought Eddie would do the right thing, make a sound decision, he’d do something that felt unrealistic from what his intended actions for redemption were. And frequently the actions would cause pain or bring suffering on his brother or mom, the two people that we were supposed to believe Eddie cared about most in the world, both while living and dead.
The chronic illness aspect of the story with the mom also became a frustrating element. It was paramount and front at centre at the beginning, but as the action ramps up it gets pushed aside and doesn’t resurface until near the end of the book.
The story itself is a fun read and as I mentioned before, it really did remind me of SOA a bunch of times. Whether that’s a pro or con would be up to the individual.
The book itself was a page-turner and it had so much potential. Due to the repetitiveness, issues with Eddie’s character and the aspects I just found a bit dumbed down, it made for a struggle to thoroughly enjoy the book.
I wished this book would’ve elevated itself into the next level, but overall if you are just looking for a fun biker gang book with hints of Ghost Rider, you won’t go wrong here.
When Eddie Ryder is burned alive by fellow members of the Hell Riders motorcycle gang for ratting on them, he vows revenge with his dying breath. He returns as a ghost, with his custom motorcycle Diablo by his side. After he finds out he can possess people, he launches a campaign of vengeance that leaves plenty of bodies in its wake and the police in a state of confusion. Spouting fire and lightning from his fingers and screaming heavy metal lyrics as he rides the sky above the town of Hell Creek, he brings destruction down on all those who wronged him, his power growing with every death. Only Eddie s younger brother, Carson, and the police chief s daughter, Ellie, understand what s really happening, and now they have to stop him before he destroys the whole town.
You can read the Kendall Reviews Interview with J.G. Faherty here
Steve Stred is an up-and-coming Dark, Bleak Horror author.
Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun and his most recent release was the coming-of-age, urban legend tale The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.
On June 1st, 2019 his second full-length novel, The Stranger will be welcomed to the world.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here
Ahhh… nothing like the annual summer family camping trip, right?
Malcolm, his wife Sam and their two kids have been staying at the same cabin, at the same campground for years now. Heck, Malcolm’s been coming to the campground since he was a kid.
Miles and miles of groomed trails, hiking, kayaking on the pristine lake. What’s not to like?
But this year… well this year’s different. You see, roof repairs have caused them to have to change their plans. Now they’re staying at the cabin at the end of season, in fact they’re the last campers before it closes for the winter.
While happy to be spending time with the family, Malcolm feels a shift.
The caretaker next door makes it known he hates him.
The trees… move and dance, as though calling him, beckoning him.
Then on a seemingly normal kayaking trip, the family makes a discovery.
YOU TAKE FROM ME
I TAKE FROM YOU
Something’s out there, just on the other side of the fence. Malcolm’s positive it’s just the caretaker trying to scare him, teach the family a lesson.
But what if it’s not…
What if there is something out there?
The Stranger is the second novel from Steve Stred and 9th release overall. The Stranger is another offering following in the footsteps of similar books Invisible, YURI and The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. As Steve describes his works; “dark, bleak horror.”
With this release, Steve has decided to look deeper into what makes humans tick. He confronts two key elements of mankind; bigotry and our environmental footprint.
Featuring stunning cover art by Chadwick St. John (www.inkshadows.com), The Stranger will be a story that will leave you feeling uneasy and have you looking at the trees differently.
Maybe it’s not the wind making the branches sway…