by Veronica Rossi
Series: Riders #1
Published on February 16, 2016 by Tor Teen
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
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?
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I’m… not really sure what I expected from Riders. I went in knowing this was a story about the Four Horsemen and that the main character, Gideon, has become War. Or some representation of War.
Okay, cool, I can work with that.
What I didn’t expect was Gideon telling the story as it happened in the present while the bulk of that story happened in the past. For clarification, he’s being interrogated about how he started out as “War” and the events following that.
And I wasn’t a huge fan of the style.
Gideon’s voice was very clear throughout the book because, after all, he’s narrating, but I felt like the book was one big conversation and it pulled me out of the story a bit.
He wasn’t exactly my favorite character, which didn’t help. A lot of that dislike came from the fact that his anger got the better of him far too often and it poured into his storytelling. While I get that he’s War and anger is his thing, it grew old and seemed overused. I wanted more from him as a character beyond the anger and his lusting after Daryn.
Who I also wasn’t a fan of. Started becoming a problem with this book when I wasn’t a fan of either of the protagonists.
Daryn had all of these secrets in her back pocket and most of the plot, the tension, the drive forward, came out of the fact that she simply couldn’t tell Gideon and the guys what was actually going on. I think if that’s who her character is and the role of a Seeker (she knows things), give her something else to do beside offering vague directions and denying information all the time because that’s what her character boiled down to.
Finally, the story ended with a time jump and it all comes back to Gideon and Daryn. They had this romance-thing throughout the book and I never liked any of it so the fact that the end of Riders leaves off on tension between the two of them doesn’t bode well for the sequel and how involved their romance will be in the plot.
It took a lot to get through this book by the end. I think the idea of the Four Horsemen being incarnated (kind of) into these four random guys is an interesting start to a story but the way it was executed wasn’t what I expected and I ended up being disappointed, in part, by that. I’m not sure I would recommend this book, exactly, because I’ve heard amazing things from it but also seen others have mixed feelings too. From my experience, I’m still on the fence about reading the sequel.