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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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Top Customer Reviews
This book was recommended to me by a student and has been sitting on my "To-be Read" for several months. I picked it up on Friday and was immediately engaged.
The book is written in 1st person from Gabriel (War) Blake's perspective. He talks about how he became who he is by explaining the process to a government official where he's being held prisoner.
The story moves quick! There is just enough background given on our narrator to understand who he is and what drives his anger. The romance element was underplayed and well-done as well.
One big thumb up for how well-drawn the characters are and believable! They have a strong background and unique, individual stories but it all melds together so well as they seek to protect the world from "kindred" who are trying to control an item that will allow them to rule an entire realm of misery. The four horsemen of the apocalypse and a secretive "seeker" are the only things in their way. Unfortunately, the embodiment of the horsemen (Gabe and others) have just become that and have no clear idea of what they're doing.
I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good, fantasy-based action story. The teen aspect is there, but not overdone, so I doubt anyone would pin this as just a YA novel. I'm looking forward to the next one!
I have been a fan of Rossi for years and was thrilled to see she was venturing into such a different type of book with Riders. From early reviews I knew this was going to be a much different reading experience and, overall, I found it to be incredibly original and interesting. I did, however, find that I was missing a level of connection to the characters that would have pushed this book into being an outstanding read.
We follow the story through Gideon’s first person point of view and watch things unfold through his experiences and memories. The approach Rossi took in telling the story, by using flash backs and an interrogation, worked for me better than I expected. I found myself captivated in finding out what exactly was happening and why.
Gideon was not what I expected for a main character though I had been warned by early reviews. His voice was so different than her other characters and he was much of a guys guy. I think this shows how great a writer Rossi is-she was completely capable of creating fully original characters in this new series. Though I respected Gideon’s character growth I never was able to really feel what he felt or connect deeply with him. I’m not sure if that was due to his character or me.
The secondary characters were well done (maybe easier for me to relate to than Gideon?) especially Daryn. I loved how mysterious her role in the story was and I really didn’t know where her storyline was going. Plus, she had great chemistry with Gideon. Each of the other members of the horsemen were pretty well developed though I favored one above the others. Plus, the horses. You can’t have horsemen without their steeds and Rossi really pulled out all the stops in describing and creating them.
Another plus in this book- the bad guys were really wonderfully evil. I was very pleased that one twist caught me completely off guard and I still don’t know exactly where things will go in the next book. This book was such a toss up of success and disconnect for me it’s rather hard to put into words. I did finish knowing that I’ll be reading the follow-up because I’m so curious to see where things will go.
The overall themes Rossi drew into the story such as, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, mythology, demons, and a few other things I’ll leave as a surprise really worked for me.
Though Riders wasn’t a complete success for me-I found myself intrigued with the storyline and how creative it was. The book was able to surprise me on at least one occasion and left me curious to what will happen in the next book.