RAGE by Jackie Morse Kessler


From the "Riders of the Apocalypse" series, volume 2
Age Range: 14 & up
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High-school student Melissa Miller wears black and cuts herself, seeking refuge in self-harm and soccer. After being humiliated at a party, Missy must choose between dying and meting out death to others as War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Over four action-packed, angst-filled days, Missy faces her teenage tormentors and witnesses the injustices of war. Unlike her series predecessor Lisa Lewis—now Famine—Missy is slow to accept her role and unimaginative about using it for alternative purposes. But Missy can neither return to her life nor ride as War until she learns to control her rage. Kessler revisits the world, characters and literary weaknesses of Hunger (2010). While Missy’s family, friends and classmates are underdeveloped, the other Horsemen—crazy Pestilence, distrustful Famine and charming, soulful Death—and their distinctive horses are skillfully rendered (the horses especially, almost endearingly so). The causes and warning signs of cutting are clearly established and sympathetically narrated, but the graphic descriptions may unsettle some readers. The psychological and social issues overwhelm the paranormal elements here, and the theme of overcoming self-harm through apocalyptic power wears thin on this second outing. Dark humor and realistic situations cannot overcome the swiftly staling premise. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)
Pub Date: April 4th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-547-44528-1
Page count: 228pp
Publisher: Graphia
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2011


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