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.
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?
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: February 16th 2016 by Tor Teen
Three stars: An exciting book that features the apocalyptic horsemen, but it flounders with lack of detail.
Gideon still can't make sense of what has happened to him. One day, he is on track to complete his training as an Army Ranger, the next, he hurtles from the sky, with two parachutes that won't open. He crashes to the ground, and should be dead, but the strange thing is that he wakes up a couple of days later, and he can get out of bed. In the course of a few hours, he is completely healed. Stranger still is the red, metallic cuff on his wrist that he cannot remove. Then a strange girl, Daryn, shows up, telling him that he is War, one of the Four Horsemen. Daryn insists that Gideon come with her to find the other Horsemen. If he doesn't, the world could end. Will Gideon accept his role as one of the Four Horsemen and save the world?
What I Liked:
- Riders is an interesting book that features the legendary Four Horsemen from Revelations. I liked this new take on the Horsemen, it was unique and different.
- I liked that this book features Gideon as the narrator. You don't get too many male narrators in the YA genre, so I am inclined to snatch up all that I can get. Gideon is an interesting character. One who is drowning in grief and self loathing when he is given a startling second chance. As War, he works to save the world, while learning to keep his temper in check. I liked that he was flawed and broken, but that he was able to step up and take charge when the stakes were raised. Gideon is rash sometimes and quick to fight, but then he has a softer side as well.
- Along with Gideon is the mysterious Daryn. Daryn was all kinds of interesting with her troubling past and cryptic future. I liked that she took it all in stride and that she gave up everything, including her family to go on the quest to save the world. I liked peeling back her layers and seeing the kind girl underneath. Sebastian is the scene stealer. He is Famine. He is funny and laid back, and he always made me laugh. I liked the eclectic and interesting characters in this one.
- What would the Four Horsemen be without their horses? Needless to say, the horses don't disappoint. I loved the horses. They could appear out of thin air when called, and each had special attributes and talents. I think my favorite was Shadow.
- For you romance lovers, this features a nice, subtle slow burn romance that is just beginning to take root. I liked watching it develop, and I am interested to see where it goes. No love triangle or over the top drama so far.
- There is plenty of suspense as the book opens with Gideon drugged, tied up and held captive by the U.S. military, forced to share his secrets. The book is told through flashbacks as Gideon relates to his captors what happened. So the reader knows up front that something bad has happened, and you just wait for the chips to fall. The mystery kept me reading.
- The ending is fast and furious with some big reveals and developments. After the dust settles, there is an Epilogue that ends with a cliffhanger, leaving me wanting to know more.
And The Not So Much:
- This book is one that required extreme patience. The reader is thrown in with no information on the how and why of how the Horsemen came to be, other than the four boys died and mysteriously came back to life with cuffs on their wrists and strange new abilities. I kept wanting to know why they were chosen, who picked them and so forth, and by the end of the book, I still didn't know. Daryn seems to hold the answers, and she keeps promising to reveal secrets, like little bread crumbs throughout the book, but by the end, there was still so much I didn't know. I am a detail reader, and the lack of information drove me nuts.
- I read Ms. Rossi's Under the Never Sky Series, so I know what a talented writer she is. One thing I loved about her previous work was her terrific world building. I was expecting the world building to be just as good, but I was disappointed. I wanted so much more when it came to the world building, and it just wasn't there. This book suffered from a lack of details and explanations.
- I was frustrated that Gideon, Death, was so underdeveloped. There is next to nothing revealed about him. All he does is cause problems and fight. In the final pages, there is a tiny bit of information given about his past, but it was too little too late. He was a character that I couldn't stand, and most of it was because I didn't know what made him tick.
- The finale is chaotic. There is a big confrontation between good and evil and the U.S. military gets involved. The whole thing with the military left me scratching my head. How did they get entangled in the whole saving the world thing? Once again, not enough explanation and detail.
Riders is a book that I was expecting to be outstanding, but it faltered with lack of detail and it felt chaotic. I struggled with the scant information regarding how the Horsemen came to be and why. Even after the end, I still was left scrambling for answers. This is a book that requires patience. I liked the new spin on the Horsemen, and I have hope that the second book will shed some light on many of the unanswered questions. I would recommend this for readers who like mystery and aren't bothered by lack of details.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
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