Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Me on Riders

Title: Riders
Author: Veronica Rossi
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen

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 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, 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?

Riders is the beginning of a longer war, the first few battles against evil, the search for missing allies.

Gideon is the pensive one caught up in his past, the avoiding one trapped by his father's death, hoping that enlisting in the Army will help him forget what happened. After an accident that should've killed him, that did kill him, he comes back different. He comes back confused, powerful. He comes back hunted. And now the race is on, the race to find the others. The race to figure out these new powers and the weapons that come with them. And for Gideon especially, the race to try and punch everyone. Because he certainly tries to.

The part that intrigued me most about this book is the reworking and the usage of the four horsemen. I was curious as to how the author would use their origin and their mission, how it wouldn't be completely evil and bring about the end of the world. It's so much less of that here. Instead, it's more of a fated thing, of the four of them coming together, massive flaws and all, and trusting in themselves. In fighting back against the darkness.

Even before I read this, I was wary of it. The description says a lot, so much so that I was afraid it gave away most of the book. But it doesn't, not really. As most of the book is told through Gideon's flashbacks, everything is slowly revealed. Almost too slowly for me. His becoming war. Meeting the girl. Finding the others. But where is he? Who is he talking to? What's happening to him? As I read this I got hints of Kendare Blake's Goddess War trilogy and Brigid Kemmerer's Elementals series. The overall battle against a determined foe, the searching for others, the combination of the paranormal and the impossible in a contemporary setting. With how it ends, I'm so curious as to what happens next, but knowing it's a duology, that there's only one more book, I'm also confused. What could happen next that would only take one book to tell?

(I borrowed a copy of this title from the library.)

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