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Monday, February 15, 2016

Review: Riders

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
Riders (Riders #1)
by Veronica Rossi
YA Fantasy
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary:

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can't remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen--Conquest, Famine, and Death--are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now--bound, bloodied, and drugged--Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he's fallen for--not to mention all of humankind--he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?


The premise of this book is very exciting.  Four horsemen of the apocalypse, literal possibility of end of the world destruction, and an all important quest.  What makes this book really stand out to me, is the way it is framed.  Essentially the main battle of the story has already occurred, and the reader is thrust into the story as Gideon must find a way to deal with what happened.

The story is told mostly through flashback, and through Gideon's wry, sarcastic viewpoint.  I just loved Gideon as a character, and how he processed things.  He's gone through a lot, and it shows in how he's developed throughout the story.  He's sensitive, flawed, and an honorable, nice guy at heart.  Even though he has anger issues.  I think he's the perfect narrator for this book, and wonderful to get to know.

Another aspect of this book that really appealed to me, was in how, while the reader is learning about everything that led up to the present day with Gideon, Gideon is also processing his surroundings and getting clues about why he's being held by the people interrogating him.  The weaving of past and present is beautifully done in the book, and kept me invested in all the action and drama.

With the four other main characters, I enjoyed seeing how they came to trust each other and find the best way of working together.  The complexity of needing to show how each of these characters adjust to their circumstances and having to deal with having powers and with demons, must have been difficult to balance just right in the story, but the author pulls it off, and make the whole world feel believable.  It's also a fresh kind of fantasy world - at least I'm not familiar with a lot of fiction that deals with horsemen of the apocalypse and demons.  So this was a very refreshing and intriguing read!

I think the only thing that I didn't love was the romance.  I thought it all happened too fast, and it felt jarring for the circumstances, since there was so much going on, and so much at stake. I felt a little impatient with Gideon for being distracted.  But the romance is not a major part of the story, thankfully, so it didn't bother me too much.

Overall, this was a very exciting read, with a wonderful voice in the protagonist, and an excellent, mysterious fantasy world.

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