Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Social Issues
Paperback: 228 pages
Release Date: April 18th, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse series
Source: Advanced Reading Copy From netgalley.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
This is the second book in the Horsemen of the Apocalypse series by Kessler. I got an advanced reading copy of this book through netgalley. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, Hunger. This book was a good addition to the series. I really enjoy how Kessler ties the mythos behind the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse into teen social disorders. You don’t need to read Hunger to read this book; it features a separate story and different characters.
Missy is a cutter; she cuts herself to deal with the pain she feels inside. She is also an excellent soccer player and a girl who has recently lost her cat. When she is deeply humiliated by an ex-boyfriend she cuts too deep. As with Lisbeth in Hunger, Missy is given a choice…she can take up the sword of War or die.
I didn’t like this book quite as much as Hunger, it didn’t seem as well planned out. Still I did enjoy how Kessler made it so that War could do good with her powers instead of causing death. I love how Kessler is finding ways to give the Horsemen good ways to use their supposedly destructive powers. Missy was an engaging character, but I disliked how little support she got from the people around her. In the first book, Lisbeth has more realistic and supportive friends…in this book everyone around Missy is pretty much a jerk. I didn’t think this was very realistic.
Again the best character in the book is Death; he is patient and witty and an all around wonderful character. Famine makes an appearance a couple times, but is very dispassionate in the role she plays. I loved how well Death and War get along; it makes them both even more intriguing characters.
The issue of cutting as a way to cope with emotional pain is dealt with a lot in this book; this is well integrated with the concept of War. I love how Kessler deals with the mythos of the Four Horsemen and wished that she spent a bit more time with the fantasy portion of the book (with War and how she can change the world) than with the social teen aspect.
The ending is realistic and satisfying; some may be upset that it is not a fairy tale ending but I thought it fit the rest of the book well. The writing is very well done; dialogue is natural sounding, the plot moves at a fast clip, and it was easy to read and engaging.
I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series, which I hope is about Pestilence.
Overall this is a very creative series. I love how Kessler bends the mythos of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to fit teen disorders; love Death as a character and want to see more of him in future books. Didn’t like this book quite as much as Hunger, but it was still an engaging read and overall I am happy I read it.