Published: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.0/5.0
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?
I’m so glad I got an early review copy of Riders, courtesy of Tor Teen! I didn’t even know this was missing from my life until I read it, and for me that’s always pretty exciting. This book itself was pretty legit- the four horsemen are our main characters and they’re total noobs at the job, which is really hilarious at times. We get to find out how they became what they are and how their relationships developed- not always easily.
What I found to be the most interesting was that we know what happens at the beginning of the book. Crazy right? The way its handles is pretty cool- Gideon is telling the story to his captors and the narrative switches between the events that have already taken place and the present. This aspect of the story was handled very well in my opinion. It seems that a first person narrative either works extremely well or not very well at all, but I really like this!
The characters themselves were, for the most part, very likeable. Obviously the seven baddies were despicable, but that’s kind of a given though I did expect them to be a little more evillll. The good guys (the horsemen) were great! Gideon was a fun narrator and his emotions really color the story, and his four other companions kept things interesting the entire time. I love all the sweet powers the horsemen get to use courtesy of their weird wrist cuffs that can’t be removed… but my real favorites were the horses!!! You knew I had to get to it eventually, huh? THE HORSES. War’s horse was massive red beast with flames coating him. Famine’s horse was a wispy mare of deepest shadow and moonlight. Death’s mare was the color of the sands of Karnak, ancient and beautiful. Conquest’s horse was the blinding white of purest snow, glowing with righteousness! Okay, well that last one was just a little dramatic, but it’s true!
The plot of the story was a pretty strong start to what I hope will be a great series. It’s got promise, that’s for sure. The ending scene of Riders is a pretty clear set up for the next novel, and all the horsemen MUST reunite and lay down the law. I want swords chopping and explosions happening! YA fantasy readers should definitely check this out because it was such a fun read! I finished it in only two sittings and I really could have done it in one if time had allowed.