Tag Archive | Riders of the Apocalypse

Book Review: Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler

Loss cover

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Please note this is the third book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series and may contain spoilers.

For my review on the first book Hunger.

For my review on the second book Rage.

Billy Ballard is the one kid at school that everyone either picks on or ignores. You know the kind. He can’t stick up for himself and doesn’t stand out in a good way. Poor Billy. Even the teachers and adults prefer to turn a blind eye. With a mother trying to support him and a grandfather with Alzheimer’s, well, home is no better place than school.

My heart went out to Billy. It seems that everyone nowadays is wrapped up with his or her own troubles and people choose to look the other way than to offer help or assistance. Then the white rider appears and Billy is giving his chance to fight for a life he doesn’t want to continue on with. Pestilence has gone insane and Billy is quested with finding him or taking his place.

This beautiful blend of Billy’s adventure as Pestilence to find the real white rider is a grieving, frightening and heart-beating ride. You feel the anguish; you feel Billy’s despair.

Yet, you want Billy to succeed. For once in his life you want this character to stop hiding against the wall and stand his ground! The character’s evolution will bring you to tears.

Book Review: Rage by Jackie Kessler

Rage Cover
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*Note -This is the second book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series and may contain spoilers
For my review for Book 1: Hunger

“Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different. That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a new kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control. A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.”

This follow up to the first, is very different but just as interesting and intense. Since I felt a personal connection to Hunger, I was interested to see how different the next book would be. I don’t have first hand experience in self harm. However I did know people in my life that did, and perhaps it’s because of that that I still felt a powerful connection to the story. 

Actually, it’s probably because of the sister’s bit. That hits close to home. 

Moving on. Missy is a perfect War, so much better than the first one we met. I enjoyed that Missy had a personality, no matter how conflicted it is. It makes her human, and that’s what makes this series a standout. Her characters are human (until their not), and they’re teenagers. They are going through that transition in life that no one has a guide book for. 

Missy takes to War much easier than Famine, and as a reader you are right along with her. Yet there still beats a human heart and as Missy begins to learn to control her new power, she can see she has the power to control her self harm. A fantastic message. 

Plus the romance bit with death is weird, interesting and odd. It’s like the chance to date Kurt Cobain. Even if it isn’t him, who wouldn’t want that opportunity? 

The ending to Rage is more of my taste as well. The connection between the horseman within the books is subtle -making me crave more, but nevertheless this second book doesn’t disappoint. 

Book Review: Hunger by Jackie Kessler

HUnger cover

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“Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.”

Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?”

What I see:

I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages. I have such a personal connection with the subject matter and was so pleased with how the author spun this first in the series. I love the character of death, his personality, his aura. The horse is also fantastic, they have just as much feeling as the humans. 

There is a lot of depth within this personal struggle of Lisbeth. She’s still a teenage girl trying to discover and most importantly, accept herself for who she is. As a reader we travel on this adventure that is at times hurtful and scary, and we don’t know if Lisabeth will come out right in the end. She has to create death as she slowly kills herself. She grows weaker, yet the fire of saving those starving, when she refuses to feed herself shows that her story isn’t quite over. I kept turning the pages hoping that this strong, caring, teenage girl would wake up and understand, that she is just the same as those around the globe dying because of lack of food. For those of us that have known the hunger and ignored it because we don’t look the way we want, Lisabeth will serve as a tale to comfort us around the familiar curtain of caution.