Thursday, February 18, 2016

Riders ~ Veronica Rossi review [@rossibooks @torteen]

Riders (Riders #1)
Tor Teen
February 16, 2016
384 pages
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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.

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?

Riders has a great narrator in Gideon Blake former aspiring Army Ranger now War, one of the four horse men of the apocalypse. When we're with Gideon, bound to the chair and telling us what's happened, I pictured him looking like Adam from Supernatural:

But when we are in the story with Gideon, his time in the Army, with his mother and sister and then with the other horsemen, I pictured him looking a lot more like Channing Tatum (particularly as he was in Dear John or below):

Somehow, that didn't mess up the story for me at all - or confuse things. I'm not even sure why I had the two different images of Gideon, I think it was that we get more of an idea of his physical size and strength in the past scenes but his thoughts and attitude are more the focus in the interrogation. Somehow, it still works.

I really liked both the character Veronica Rossi has created and his narration style. He's an easy character to like and to relate to. Though I have no problem with male protagonist and/or narrators, it seems that Gideon was especially easy to connect with. His way of telling what's happened - with the aide-slash-influence of some truth serum type drugs - immediately pulls you into the story. 

The blend of his character, what he's experiencing and how he relates it, and the fantasy aspects make for a very readable tale.  (There's also some nice bits that are clearly the influence of Gideon being drugged - they're a nice touch and quite fun.)

I love that Riders has a male narrator and the majority of the characters are male but they female characters are still strong, unique and an important part of the story. This is a great example of where having a male main character (and narrator) is the absolute right choice and well done.

Everything about the horsemen, what they're tasked with, who they are, who their potential enemies are and everything else that makes up Gideon's new life is really well imagined and integrated into the story. There are surprises for both the characters and readers but things also really make sense.

Riders ended a lot differently than I was expecting and where things are for Book 2 are different than I anticipated - but I love it! I am really looking forward to seeing more of the friendships that started in Riders, some possible romance(s), more of the horsemen (and maybe the bad guys - or new ones) and hopefully repairing a few things from Riders!

Riders is a fun, imaginative read with a great narrator, intriguing characters and fantasy elements and an ending that has me really eager to see what the next book brings.

thank you to the publisher for my copy to review

1 comment:

  1. This is such a brilliant concept! I've always mused over the four horsemen and thought they were under-utilized in modern fiction. I read "Good Omens" not that long ago and the four horsemen biker-gang sort of sated that longing, but I'm glad to know about Riders!


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