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Riders Hardcover – February 16, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Gideon Blake worked all of his life to become a U.S. Army Ranger. However, when he regains consciousness after what seemed to be a fatal accident, he finds himself healing instantaneously and branded with a strange cuff on his wrist. Along with his superpowers, Gideon seems to be feared by many—even after his attempts to be friendly. After a mysterious girl named Daryn finds him, he discovers that he has become War—one of the legendary Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He and three others—Conquest, Famine, and Death—must save the human race from an emerging evil from the past. Unfortunately, they fail, and Gideon is left to convince the U.S. government that the human race is still at risk. Rossi has laid the groundwork for an intense new series sure to be loved by the author's fans. Told from Gideon's point of view with a tone that makes him seem like a real character and not the superhuman that he is, this novel will engage teens. VERDICT Intense enough for reluctant readers yet sophisticated enough to entice those who enjoy books with a military background and lots of action.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI
“Rossi has laid the groundwork for an intense new series sure to be loved by the author’s fans. Intense enough for reluctant readers yet sophisticated enough to entice those who enjoy books with a military background and lots of action.”―School Library Journal, starred review, on Riders
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The writing in this book was typical Veronica - hilarious, action packed and swoon worthy. The story starts out with Gideon in an interrogation room and continues as he gives recounts the last few weeks of his life. The way Gideon narrates is engaging and hilarious. I found myself being so immersed in the story that I was unaware of anything happening around me. Finishing the book felt like I was coming up for air because I was that invested in the story. The writing was so beautiful that I found myself getting emotional OVER FREAKING HORSES. The bond that was described between the horses and their riders was incredible. I feel like my attachment to the boys and their horses only amplified my fears during the fight scenes. I was literally on pins and needles while reading that part of the story. The action sequences were EPIC. I don’t use that word often but it is the ONLY word that I could think of to accurately describe the battle scenes! I also really appreciated the diversity in characters. I liked seeing an author bring in different cultures and backgrounds into the story.
Speaking of diversity, lets talk about the characters. Not only is Gideon a pretty funny dude but SEBASTIAN WAS FREAKING HILARIOUS. Sebastian’s catch phrase mishaps had me crying from laughter. I loved that he was Hispanic and lovable because a lot of times I see this ethnicity written with a chip on their shoulder like the world owes them something, but that was not the case with Bas. Death was the next rider that was found and he was a bit harder to love at first because his anger was amplified by War’s temperament. By the end of the story he had won me over. I wont go into detail because spoilers but I genuinely like him. OH AND JODE OMG. Jode is British and ALSO THE LOVE OF MY LIFE. He was so quirky and smart and just all around charming. I really need more of him in my life. IS IT TIME FOR SEEKERS YET?????
**I would also like to mention how Veronica chose to write Riders with reverence for the military and also showing amputees in a heroic light. This struck home with me because so many members of my family are veterans and drawing attention to the camaraderie that soldiers feel with each other and the lasting effect it has on their lives is something that I definitely appreciate.
Have you read any of Rossi’s work? I really enjoyed her Under the Never Sky trilogy. If you like YA sci-fi/fantasy, it is definitely worth a read! I think Rossi must have a great sense of humor because of the wit infused in that trilogy as well as in Riders.
Riders is written in first person from Gideon Blake’s point of view. It has been a long time since I’ve read first person from the male point of view, and I think Rossi pulls it off well. I enjoyed Gideon’s wise cracks and tendency to shoot off at the mouth in general yet, on the other hand, the leadership and bravery he can exhibit.
The storyline is extremely unique. Gideon dies in a parachuting accident and wakes up with a mysterious cuff on his wrist. Soon he meets Daryn, a girl he immediately likes. She tells him what his cuff means and what his mission is. He is a horseman, as mentioned in the book of Revelation in the Bible. Daryn and Gideon need to track down the other three horsemen and bring down the Kindred, an evil group of dissenters from Satan who are seeking power of their own.
I really liked this book! I immediately connected with Gideon and enjoyed the relationships he establishes with Daryn as well as with the horsemen. I think the descriptions of each horsemen’s abilities, weapons, and (most importantly) their horses are really cool. I like the strength exhibited by the only prominent female character, Daryn. She is an important piece of the puzzle and is respected by the guys. I also enjoyed how the story is told…It begins at the end, with Gideon being questioned about what in the world has happened, and is told through flashbacks.
I recommend this book to anyone wanting a good read that is different than other recently published YA. Plus, we get a sequel next year! The very last page of book 1 (don’t go read it!) ;) and the book 2 title give me an indication of where it might be going. And it’s something I’m excited to read about!
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Who wouldn't want to read about the four horsemen of the apocalypse? Veronica Rossi takes these fierce but holy horsemen and makes them humans who die and find themselves called to battle for dominion over mankind. They are all so different, and you will feel a part of the story as you come to love them all.
And then there are the horses which are as unique as their owners. The seeker Daryn who receives holy instructions to guide the horsemen. And yes, Veronica has added a love story.
Take a ride with the horsemen. You will be glad you did!