Sunday, June 19, 2016

Riders by Veronica Rossi Review

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

I always love a good supernatural story about the apocalypse. And from Veronica Rossi? Now that must be a lovely gift from Santa, who is very early in the year. (Or late??? It depends on the way you see it. It could go both ways.)

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are figures (or rather figures personified) I rarely see in literature. I'm absolutely curious about their mythology and their legends and to see what Rossi has made out of these stories. The horsemen are Pestilence (Conquest), Famine, War, and Death. Each of them have a particular horse that is solely for them, and they obviously possess/rule over a certain domain. In this book, Gideon Blake is the horseman of War, and as the narrator of the novel, he has quite a wild story to tell.

Gideon narrates the wild adventure he and the horsemen goes on. Spilling his unbelievable tale to the military he's in, he starts from the beginning of when he first died. With an investigation/interview of Gideon as a framing device, he digs back into the past and discusses his newfound powers to the girl he's falling in love with to the mystery only Tess knows. Gideon takes his journey and becomes tougher and tougher. He finds friends, enemies, and love. And he's a rather strong character who manages to tough it out and still keep his head above the water when it's threatening to drown him painfully.

The plot is given from Gideon's mouth. He speaks his unbelievable story to military officials, and from the very moment he died, his tale is exciting, quick, and nimble. Clear enemies, a mystery to protect, and certain relationships drive Gideon forward and towards the ending. I can't look away from these pages.

The ending leaves enough material for a slight cliffhanger but also enough for Riders to be simply a standalone. Still, I would love to see more of the story and its plot. But most of all, I would love to see where the characters go. They have a lot to do, and the adventure of the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse isn't over yet. 

Overall, Riders is a greatly engrossing story with great threats and a compelling character (hello, Gideon). I seriously can't wait to see what else Veronica Rossi could bring. 

Rating: Four out of Five

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