Hope Runners of Gridlock

Fiction - Science Fiction
288 Pages
Reviewed on 12/01/2020
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Author Biography

I'm a creator at heart: being a coder, writer, musician, and artist. I primarily come from the blockchain industry, having helped to create novel economic systems.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Hope Runners of Gridlock is a work of fiction in the science fiction, action, and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author Simon de la Rouviere. The work is intended for mature reading audiences and contains explicit language usage throughout, with moderate sexual references and scenes of a violent but non-graphic nature. In this conceptual and atmospheric novel, we find ourselves in a city made of static vehicles, transformed into businesses, homes, and the like. Protagonist Flora Kaigo’s father was a Hope Runner, sent into the anomaly to work out how their world became this way, but that was twenty years ago. And it’s only when one Runner finally returns that Flora’s life truly begins.

Author Simon de la Rouviere has crafted a highly engrossing, slick, and enjoyable science fiction read with a gorgeous balance of classic touches and modern thinking. One of the things which I particularly enjoyed about the work was the immense work put into the worldbuilding and atmosphere, from the relatable but interesting professions and situations of the lively ensemble cast, through to the ways in which the central mystery unfolds with clever exposition and plenty of plot twists. I felt like I was living in Gridlock from start to finish with clarity and a sweeping sense of time and place. I was right on Flora’s shoulder through every tense and triumphant moment. Overall, I would highly recommend Hope Runners of Gridlock as a vivid masterpiece with cinematic storytelling and an accomplished and conceptual plot. An unmissable read.

Lit Amri

In Hope Runners of Gridlock by Simon de la Rouviere, Earth was wracked by deteriorating weather phenomena, forcing people in a city to evacuate their homes. Cars lined up trying to escape, but an invisible sphere encased the metropolis a hundred kilometers in every direction. All contact with the outside world was lost. Decades later, the city is now known as Gridlock, where stationary cars are the main source of the economy; taxes from the Public Car Markets fuel and divide the people. It also supports the Hope Runner quinquennial event where a selected individual bravely ventures into the horizon to find answers about what happened to Earth. Not a single Runner returns from beyond the anomaly for years until one person finally comes home, setting in motion a complex chain of events.

The world-building of Hope Runners of Gridlock is fascinating and paints a realistic picture of how people shape their environment through systemic living based on their situation for the sake of survival and sanity. The well-paced plot complements the short chapters and concise transitions, making each scene feel clear and distinct. Gridlock has its own unique politics and economy that is financially harsh for the non-elites. Underneath the desire for answers and hope of salvation, the people of Gridlock are divided to a degree. Some rather focus on their well-being and prosperity in Gridlock while others refused to dilute their hope of finding answers outside the dome.

Admirably devoted to her mother, the notable protagonist Flora Kaigo yearns to find her missing father who was one of the Hope Runners. Her friend, Palma, son of the elite Emmers, is an example of how kindness is not always reciprocated, while Esper-a genius hacker-is embroiled in a complicated deal that tests his loyalty and morality. Engagingly contemplative about a familial bond, friendship, ethics, and perseverance, Simon de la Rouviere's Hope Runners of Gridlock is an entertaining cyberpunk sci-fi read that deserves a sequel.

Foluso Falaye

To find out about what happened to Earth and why they have been alone for decades, the city of Gridlock crowns a new Hope Runner every five years to boldly venture into the horizon. However, since the Hope Runner Championship started a few decades ago, no runner has returned from beyond the anomaly: an invisible sphere that encases the city, seemingly protecting it from superstorms and other dangers. Flora Kaigo's father is one of the runners that hasn't returned, but she still secretly dreams about becoming a runner herself, against her mother's wishes. When her friend forges a Hope Runner application for her, everything changes for Flora.

In Hope Runners of Gridlock, Simon de la Rouviere merges elements of hacking, economics, and politics into the elaborate sci-fi narrative. I always love novels about a world with a different reality, where the things we are used to are nonexistent or perceived differently. Hope Runners of Gridlock is a brilliant idea brought to life by Simon de la Rouviere. I appreciated the creativity displayed in projecting the concept of an isolated city and adding intricate details about hacking and the economical and political state of the secluded city. Hope Runners of Gridlock is good to while away time with; it had me lost in a world with different possibilities that worked my imagination. The book is perfect for the young, net-savvy crowd as it delves into themes like coding and social media influencing. Prepare for heavy language usage.