Series: Riders #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by Tor Teen (2.16.2016)
eARC, 384 pages
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?
At first I could take or leave this story. While intrigued, I had some issues connecting in the beginning for two reasons: One, our MC is male, and two, the way the story was told. I’m not a fan of reading in a male’s POV, because well, I’m clearly a female, and I can’t relate. I can’t get on board a romance with another female because I like males. So automatically, the romance is out. As for the way the story is told, Gideon is recounting past events that have already happened. It was interesting, but it makes for a very detached prose. He’s telling, not experiencing. The emotion isn’t there because he’s just telling a story. It was a bit too clinical.
Somewhere along the way, that changed for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I didn’t like it in the beginning. My curiosity was definitely piqued, because the concept is hella awesome. But the fact that things felt detached were giving me problems. The story was good, not great. Then right around 40% things started picking up. Really picking up. I was curious about Gideon and War. Intrigued when Bastian and Famine showed up. But it wasn’t until Death’s appearance when I started getting really hooked. From that point on the action was non-stop! It was edge-of-your-seat, heart-pounding, cinematic action. And it was EPIC! I was completely enthralled by this story!
The concept is freaking amazing. That’s definitely the selling point of this novel – I can guarantee it will be unlike anything you’ve ever read before! I absolutely LOVED the idea of the four horsemen reincarnated, and the Kindred. They were so creepy! My favorite part, though? The freaking horses. When Riot came into play this book went to a whole other level of enjoyment. I loved Riot! Shadow, Lucent, Ruin, and Riot were SO FREAKING BADASS, YOU GUYS.
Remember when I said this book was cinematic? I had no problem whatsoever picturing everything as it happened in my head. It was like a movie was playing, and I was engrossed! This book NEEDS to become a movie. It would be epic!!
The initial lack of connection is really the only thing that kept me from giving this book 5 stars. If the entire book had been like the last 250 pages, this would have easily been a new favorite for me! I didn’t really get onboard with the romance either, but I can’t really consider that as being an actual complaint. While I felt no warm fuzzies for Daryn and Gideon, it didn’t detract from the story at all. The romance took a backseat to the action (thankfully)!
He was ferocious and I was taking a beating, but it only spurred me on. Because seriously? I was War.
I think Rossi did a fabulous job bringing all of the horsemen to life with their own individual personalities. They were all very distinct, which is important because they were introduced in fairly quick succession. It was never hard to tell them apart, or to forget which horseman was which. They were very convincing! I do have to say that Sebastian was my favorite, because he was the one that always brought levity to things! Gideon did have me cracking a smile from time to time too with his sarcasm. View Spoiler »I was kinda freaking out a little when Sebastian disappeared. HE NEEDS TO BE OKAY IN THE NEXT BOOK. I just can’t handle any other options! « Hide Spoiler
Despite the detachment in the beginning, I quite like the way this story was told. You only get bits and pieces at a time, and no clue as to how Gideon was in the current situation. You get information in steps, and it keeps the interest going. I enjoyed Under the Never Sky, but I do believe Veronica Rossi has outdone herself this time! I can’t wait to get my hands on book two!
I had no problem taking orders from a girl. I’d been doing it my whole life, for one. My mom was the strongest person I knew. And if you were capable, I personally gave no shits what you were. For me character was character, end of story.
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5