By: Veronica Rossi
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?
So this book is about a guy who basically dies and then revives with a strange cuff on his hand. People around him start getting angry at him for no apparent reason and he has these strange healing powers. He’s War, of course. Or, well, a reincarnation of war, to be more precise. I’m not gonna lie, I wanted to read this book in the first place because of the TV show Supernatural. But it’s so much more than that. I just love the concept of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. I overall liked the book, but it fell flat when it came to the way the story was told. I’ll dive into that later, but for now, let’s move onto world development, shall we?
In Riders, the protagonist and the girl he meets at a party gone sour go on a road trip to find the other three horsemen after finding out he is War. This road trip leads them to Los Angeles, somewhere in Texas, I believe (I seriously can’t remember), and Rome, I think. There wasn’t much world development when it came to the places they visited, because of the unique way the story was told, but the development when it comes to the demons and everything in that department was great. I loved how they were ruthless and how throughout the story, the only reason the horsemen were still alive was because of their powers. Plus, the main character was part of the military (he’s War, what did you expect him to do for a living?), which means that he knows how to strategist and fight. This certainly came in handy when battling demons.
I did find character development of sorts in this book, but the relationship between Gideon and Daryn seemed a bit rushed. I also think it’s kind of too predictable to make the main character fall hopelessly in love with a girl he a) just met, and b) knows virtually nothing about. I guess I’m just the more realistic-type of girl who likes it when there is development before they start to see each other in a romantic way.
I got annoyed at how Gideon was always so mad at Marcus for beating him up in the desert, where he was the one intruding on him. I get that he’s war and everything and how he gets angry quicker than before and feels the need to pick fights with everybody he sees, but it still annoys me nonetheless. I liked how all of these seemingly normal people (kids, though…) die and then get these powers. It reminds me of Heroes in that way. The part where they are all training with their horses and learning to summon them and their weapons, then learning how to fight is great. I just wish that the story was told in a different way so that we would have gotten to experience it more rather than the main character just describing it.
I thought that there was great plot in this. There was a protagonist, an antagonist (multiple, actually), a love interest (even if I didn’t like that aspect of the story), a comical relief, and a mysterious object that has a mysterious but powerful purpose. I will finally say why I didn’t like the way the story was told. Gideon is trapped by some sort of military group (or at least that’s what he thinks). They ask him to explain everything from when he ‘died’ to the time they captured him. If this book was instead written during the time everything was happening and then he was captured, I would have liked it more, but I don’t think the next book in the series will be told the same way so I’m looking forward to that. I liked this book overall, but I didn’t like the choice of storytelling Rossi chose to go with. It wasn’t really necessary and brought the entire book down a par.
What did you think of this book? Do you have some of the same thoughts as me? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!