AUTHOR: Veronica Rossi
SERIES: Riders #1
PUBLICATION: February 16, 2016
PUBLISHER: Tor Teen
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.
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?
(Thanks to Tor Teen for this review copy and for making this blog tour possible! And thanks to Veronica Rossi PH too!)
I have loved Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky Trilogy when I read it, so when I heard that she will be releasing a new book and that Veronica Rossi PH will be hosting a blog tour about the said book, I grabbed the opportunity to be one of the blog tour hosts and be one of those who will share with you guys my thoughts about it. Here I am also admitting that by the time I finished reading the whole book, I found myself thinking that I had to have a copy of this book for myself because it’s so worth it.
The factor that I want to talk about first is this story’s point of view. Young adult novels I’ve read recently all had a female protagonist’s point of view, not that I have a problem with that (because girl power!), but Riders, being told on Gideon Blake’s point of view surprised me at first. But then as it turned out to be, I found it really refreshing and cool to be inside a guy’s mind in an apocalyptic story. There was also the impression of machismo in the novel which all the more, adds up to the whole feel and uniqueness of the story.
Veronica’s writing style was magnificent. The way the past was told in line with the events of the present was really cool. I am in awe of how well she built up the events of the story, with words just flowing into the pages and with colors and events seeming real. She had the perfect description of where her characters are and what they’re doing that it really isn’t hard to imagine them at all. The pace of the whole world building was just right, it didn’t feel rushed nor too slow, that you’ll just enjoy learning about new information about the characters and their world. The constant presence of action is a plus too.
The plot of the story was very unique and well-made. The mere knowledge that this was based-off on the four horsemen from the Book of Revelation sparked up my intrigue in knowing things about it, since like Gideon, I’m afraid of reading that book in the Bible because I believe it talked about the end. The way the plot went around the horsemen saving the world from the end instead was a really good and interesting point in the story, and it’s a really wonderful ride having that idea at first and then seeing the characters really do it in the end. Along with its unique and intriguing plot, I just loved how every search for another horseman was so well-written and well-executed that every encounter got me at the edge of my seat. They were very thrilling and fun to read about.
As for Gideon Blake, I loved the way his character thinks, executes plans, and sees that everything is in order. That side of him appeals to me since order is a big deal for me too. His military background all the more makes him really interesting, and it’s as if he was having battle tactics for the most part of the book. In the book we see his journey to self-forgiveness, and it’s lovely to have seen him grow so much in the course of the novel. As for the other people in his team: I was so intrigued by Daryn’s whole persona. She is a mystery to me still, but I know she’s only doing it for their own safety; Bas, on the other hand, is a character that I love in the story just because of the way he cares for the others, and how he always lightens up the mood of the story; I was also touched whenever Marcus somehow opens up to them about himself, and through those little steps I see his growth as he learns how to trust his fellow horsemen; lastly, I think Jode is adorable. His mini-banters with Gideon are very amusing, and like his horse, he brings light into their whole ordeal.
There were still loose ends that needed tying up at the end of the story, but somehow, it also felt right if the story just ended there. There was closure in a way, but wanting another book about their next adventure isn’t all that bad, right? I’m hoping that the next book does contain events after this story, since the short description of Seeker goes a little like this, “SEEKER is told from the perspective of the visionary girl with whom the Ranger falls in love.” And seriously, I could interpret it in two ways: a sequel with Daryn’s point of view; or the same story told in her perspective.
All in all, I have to say that I loved this book. The plot, characters, and writing style were really good, and everything worked out well to slowly unravel the mystery behind their identities. This is an intriguing, gripping, and fast-paced read that you will love if you’re a fan of urban fantasy and apocalyptic contemporary books.
4 out of 5 stars!
Veronica Rossi is a best selling author of fiction for young adults. Her debut novel, UNDER THE NEVER SKY, was the first in a post-apocalyptic trilogy. Released in January 2012, it was deemed one of the Best Books of Year by School Library Journal. The series appeared in the NY Times and USA Today best seller lists and was published in over 25 foreign markets.
Her second series for young adults will begin with RIDERS (publishing February 16, 2016), the story of four modern day teens who become incarnations of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and the prophetic girl who brings them together.
Veronica completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She is a lifelong reader and artist. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she has lived in Mexico, Venezuela, and all over the United States, to finally settle in Northern California with her husband and two sons.
When not writing, Veronica enjoys reading (it’s worth repeating), painting, and running. She does NOT like anything involving numbers, the addition of them, subtraction of them, you name it. They terrify her. Her obsessions generally lead to fictional works. Currently, she’s delving deep in to Ancient Greece.
A finished copy of Riders (PH only)