- Veronica Rossi
- Tor Teen
- Released February 16th 2016
- Book 1 of Riders series
- 3.5 stars
After recovering from an accident that technically killed him, Gideon Blake 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. He and the other horses – conquest, famine, and death – are gathered by a secretive girl, Daryn, in order to save humanity from subjugation by demons but they fail. Now he and his fellow horsemen are being interrogated by the government and in order to save Daryn – and the rest of the world – he needs to convince them that the world really is in danger. But everything is not as it seems and there are no guarantees that anyone will believe him.
This book is kind of difficult to review. There are parts of it that I felt were two star quality but there are also four star qualities in there, especially in the back half of the book. At one point I was going to give it three stars but the ending is too well done for that so 3.5 stars it is.
Riders is actually mostly in recollection format, the first ninety percent of the book I would say is Gideon telling his story to a government psychologist who isn’t all that he seems. Like any other book with supernatural powers, there’s a sort of “discovery” period for Gideon where he wants to believe that he has these abilities but at the same time it’s so outlandish that he can’t fathom it. For all four of the horsemen actually, I think their enthusiasm and skepticism were balanced very well. Each of the horsemen have enhanced healing powers and a cuff that is made of material unique to them on their wrist. They each have a horse as well as a special weapon that corresponds to the ones stated in the book of Revelations.
Gideon was the first horsemen to be “gathered” by Daryn, a seeker who gets visions of the future and then makes them come true. The parts of the book I didn’t like as much were the parts where Gideon was way too protective of Daryn. I understand that he’ is trying to look out for her but it comes of misguided as she wants to get in on the action and he’s never letting her. Gideon is also really needy throughout the whole novel, he feels like he needs to prove his manliness at literally every turn and really thinks that he’s the specialist person ever. However, as the book progressed, these personality issues kind of smoothed out. He realized how much he cares for the other horsemen and Daryn and that they each have their own abilities that make them better as a team. And it’s this bonding that they all have at the end that I really liked about this book. When Gideon starts to feel attached to the other 4 people, I started to as well which makes their capturing and the final battle so much more emotional!
Despite the questy feel as all of the characters tromp across the USA and then Europe, on the whole the book felt kind of depressing. Perhaps this is because I know that they have been captured so as I’m listening to Gideon telling their story, I’m just waiting for the moment where everything goes south, or it could be because they are captured. I don’t know. But that’s part of the reason why this book is getting a higher rating from me, I felt connected with the book, at least in the last half.
This is a stand alone novel even though there is technically a second book. If you’re looking for a fresh read though, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick Riders up. It has a well written male perspective and really makes you feel things for the characters.