Review: Riders by Veronica Rossi
Riders by Veronica Rossi
On Sale Date: February 16, 2016
Juvenile Fiction \ Fantasy & Magic
Ages 13 to 18
Published by: Tor Teen
Hardcover, 368 pages
My Rating: 4 Star
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Riders. A new fantasy adventure from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Veronica Rossi.
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.
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?
Can you outrun your destiny?
Let's start at the end. Rossi opens her new YA series RIDERS with an intense timeline that runs backwards giving readers the feeling of imminent danger and the knowledge that things have gone very badly. With a dramatic flourish, we are made very aware that a major plot fail has occurred and that the main protagonist Gideon is in terrible danger.
Told through Gideon's perspective, readers are taken on an action-packed and suspenseful ride. Kidnapped and held hostage, a slow reveal occurs through the use of flashbacks as Gideon recounts his transformation into War. We meet Daryn the mysterious girl who helps guide Gideon to the remaining three horsemen. We also learn about his former life with the Army Rangers, the parachuting accident that kills him, and ultimately the epic reveal that Gideon is brought back to life to take the place as War as one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Rossi metes out tidbits about Gideon's former life and we can't help but admire and sympathize with his character while Rossi leads us to question why he is chosen. Hints of his power are revealed as Gideon discovers new abilities like advanced healing and the power to manipulate emotions. Then there this strange cuff he wears that won't come off, one that the other four horseman also seem to wear, and Rossi leaves us to ponder its purpose.
I love how Rossi creates the imminent sense of danger and with Gideon's POV readers are treated to some excellent characterization. There's testosterone, manly banter, and guy-bonding (bromance) as these four seemingly normal guys discover they have basically reincarnated into the four horsemen. I loved watching them become a team and fight off the bad guys which are nothing less than demons bent on destroying mankind.
Of course, this couldn't be a story about the four horsemen without four amazing steeds. Rossi does not disappoint us. Part of the enjoyment of this story is the exciting discovery of each horseman's abilities and those of his horse. All are as unique as their riders, and together the kick some serious ass battling demons. The cover boasts just one of them and hints, of course, with all those flames as to how amazing and supernatural they are.
Rossi creates an intense, action-packed, supernatural thrill ride with RIDERS. Great chemistry between characters, a male's POV, and a hint of romance makes this a read that YA fans are going to devour. A great start to a news series that's perfect for new and old readers alike. I have a lot of questions still and the end is gasp-worthy - I can't wait for more!