To be honest, I am not sure what I was to expect with a Veronica Rossi book since I haven’t read any of her works yet. Aside from I know that this is a paranormal fantasy book with a theme revolving around the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, I blindly went into this book.
Riders by Veronica Rossi tells the story of Gideon, an eighteen year old boy who immediately enlisted to join the Army after his graduation from high school. A mishap on one of their skydiving exercises almost caused him his life. Actually he expected that he already died so he was so confused when he find himself surviving. But something in him has changed. The expected one year of recovery only took days. Aside that he woke up with a metal cuff that glows. Then he meets a girl who informs him that he’s War, one of the reincarnated members of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. And he was asked to join her look for the other three members. They have to fight the Kindred, an evil group who separated from Satan and want to make their own version of Hell, who’s hunting Daryn to get something from her that she is carrying. Things started to be a little bit sketchy as Daryn limits the details that she is saying but one thing is for sure, they are destined to save humanity.
As a start, going into the book, I am not sure what’s happening until it dawns to me that that books is told through by someone who is being interrogated. The book moves from flashbacks to the present. The readers will be introduced to what happening bits by bits making the book so slow at the beginning but as the story progress, it will pick up until you find yourself not being able to put down the book. The book starts with Gideon waking up confused to find himself drugged, cuffed, bloodied, tied to a chair and being interrogated by the military in a camp. He was informed by his interrogator that he was caught with his other companions. Gideon was made to recount and narrate the incidents that lead them to being caught in Finland in the hopes that they will let him go but that will not turn out to be easy.
And that’s how we came to know what happened. The readers will be introduced to the three other members of the squad. There’s Sebastian as Famine, Marcus as Death, and Jode as Conquest. Readers will be introduced to their uncanny abilities, awesome weapons and their daunting horses. Yes, the horses and weapons! The horse played a very important role in the story and they are just as distinctly-awesome as their owners. I like how the author gave time and vividly describe them. It’s been a while also since I read a book where I was so envious with the characters weapons. It’s totally mind-blowing.
The author did a really good job in writing the book through Gideon’s point of view. She let the readers connect freely to the character and take a good peek at what he thinks. She made a strong primary character with a likeable personality. Aside from his anger issues, he’s a passionate son, sister and friend and also at times hilarious. The author made Gideon’s character grow a lot from a boy with a lot of doubts and fears because of an incident in his past to a boy who knows how to man up and accept his failures as lessons. The author also made the other characters very diverse with unique backgrounds and personalities that I know readers will have something to connect to. They are all flawed but that’s what makes them even more relatable.
In addition, one of the things that I also enjoyed in this book was the it’s theme of friendship. I like how the characters developed their friendship. From their hardships with adjusting to each other to their progress of eventually setting aside their differences to forge an unlikely friendship for them to succeed to attain their common goal makes this book an enjoyable read. Their banters are something to look forward to when you’re planning to read this book.
The only problem that I had with the book though is the love aspect. It just took a while for me to connect to it. I just find the relationship of Gideon and Daryn seem to be so sudden and it took a while for me consider that they do have chemistry. I was only able to buy it a couple of pages before the book ends. I just hope the author gave their love story a stronger foundation from where I can feel that they connected. I am looking froward for the sequel to have more ship-worthy scenes.
Overall, I must say, Veronica Rossi is a good storyteller. She has this ability to make the books so engaging. The storytelling is unique and I commend the author for doing that as it definitely worked well with the book. It added more drama, thrill and excitement to the story. The way she tells a scene is very straightforward. I like how she managed to control the story’s plot so as the readers will be satisfied but at the same want more. I didn’t expect how the story ended. The twist came unexpectedly. I wish I have the sequel next to me after I finished this one. I am really curious what happened next after that ending.
I recommend this book to everyone who are fans of young adult books specifically those who are more into the paranormal fiction side. It has some biblical references. This book offers a unique story that will make you want for more.
Note: Thank you to Tor Teen and Veronica Rossi Philippines for providing the review copy in exchange for a honest and unbiased review. 🙂 In no way was my opinions about the book influenced by someone else.
I am very glad that I did sign up for the book tour of this book. 4 stars out of 5.
Author: Veronica Rossi
Source: Provided for Review
Part of a Series: Yes (Riders #1)
Release Year: June 2014
Publisher: Tor Teen
No. of Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy (Paranormal, Mythology)
About the Author
VERONICA ROSSI is the NY Times and USA Today Best Selling author of the UNDER THE NEVER SKY series for young adults. She was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, grew up in California and graduated from UCLA. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two sons, one of whom just surpassed her in height. (Photo and About the Author courtesy of Amazon)
A finished copy of Riders (PH only)