Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Review: Riders by Veronica Rossi


Author: Veronica Rossi
Release: February 16th 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mythology, YA
#1 in the Riders duology
Sequel: Seeker (#2)


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 honestly didn't expect to end up liking this book as much as I ultimately did, for various reasons.

It had a male 1st person POV character, for one. Usually, this bothers me a smidgen, because I can never seem to completely relate well to male 1st person, however, I didn't have a problem. Probably because Gideon was a decent person and being in his head wasn't torture, like it is with many other male MCs who were written by female authors. I really appreciated that.

I liked the premise. It was something unique, or at least something I haven't read about before and have actually never thought about, either. It was original and fresh, just what I'd expect from Rossi. Not only that, but the nice idea was also executed pretty well if you ask me. I liked the slow discovery and exploration of the horseman skill set, the recruiting of the other three horsemen, and so on.

Another thing I really, really liked was the way the plot is told. With the actual story taking place in the past and simply being recapped by Gideon in the present during a military interrogation, the way it was set into this framework but at the same time, being pulled back into the present never truly disrupted the storytelling itself. Rather, it added another layer of depth and suspense, an urge to want to read on, read the next chapter and not stop reading. It was ingenious.

And the characters. I had my doubts about some of them at first, because lots of characters stay very empty of characterization and personality for the first half, but my doubts soon faded as the characters get along more and more during the second half, and share more about themselves as a result. 

The plot was pretty straight on, and easy to follow, which I don't mind. The plot doesn't always have to be complex and mysterious, I liked the simplicity of it. Just fetching the four horsemen, bringing the team together and afterwards getting an object to a safe location. Got it. That's all I need. There were some surprises towards the end; I just overall appreciated the straight-forward plot.

All in all, I wasn't disappointed, thank God. I had high hopes for one of my favorite authors' new book, and she met all of them. I am very satisfied. 

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