RIDERS by Veronica Rossi


From the "Riders" series, volume 1
Age Range: 14 - 20
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Bickering boys slouch toward something in this semi-apocalyptic action tale.

Feeling helpless after watching his father die, and longing for brotherhood and belonging, Gideon Blake joined the Army Rangers. When he falls from grace—and a plane—and temporarily dies, he returns as red-cuffed and rage-filled War, though he’s afraid of his fiery horse. Inexplicably abandoning his family and Ranger unit, he partners with hot but helpless Seeker Daryn on a road trip to collect the other horsemen: Sebastian/Famine, Marcus/Death, and Jode/Conquest. The seemingly interminable trip and Gideon’s painful flirtation with Daryn are punctuated by bloody encounters with the Kindred, seven former allies of Satan who now seek a realm and slaves of their own. Typical demonic villains, the Kindred are grotesque, ridiculously named, and prone to terrible dialogue. While God and spirituality are repeatedly mentioned, actual religion and Revelation are of little relevance here. Rossi relies on an interrogation as an intrusive framing device to explore all aspects of Gideon but leaves the fellow horsemen underdeveloped, though each boy gets to show off his weapon and steed. Gideon may not be great at flirting, leading the horsemen, controlling his temper, or horseback riding, but he will try to save the world with hooah and some hubris.

Not a lot of plot or subtlety, but plenty of explosions in this macho, military story. (Fantasy. 14-20)

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-7653-8254-2
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Starscape/Tom Doherty
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2015


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