Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: Riders

Riders by Veronica Rossi
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 16th, 2016
Source: Shannon's Overflowing Bookshelf
Date Read: 11/21/15 to 11/22/15
384 pages
Rating: 1/2

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.

They fail.

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 think it is safe to say that this was on a lot of readers' most anticipated for 2016, am I right? Although I wasn't super interested, I still couldn't resist not reading it once I saw it on Shannon's bookshelf. You know, when I visited. And stole all her books. No regrets.

Except, maybe I do regret reading this, just a little. To be honest, I thought this would take a completely different route plot-wise. When I was younger, I was totally into the whole "government takes control and kidnaps you because you have powers" phase when I was younger (Yes I was very specific back in the day), so no surprise, I wanted to read Riders. But, it just didn't go the way I wanted to. And along with that, there were a couple of flaws I just could not overlook.

So let's see, horsemen. Gideon is our hot-headed main character, and surprise, he's the personification of War? Oh sorry, legendary horseman. And then there is also Famine, Death, and Conquest. And then there is this mysterious girl that brings them all together because she knows something they don't. And all four of them have to basically save the world from, demons?

Should I just list these all out? Gah.

First off, there was just a lot to pack into one book. Sure, I may have gotten to know Gideon, seeing that he is our main character after all, but there is also this huge road trip that involves getting all the other characters together. And the book just skipped over the characterization of both Jode and Marcus, because they were the last to be "collected". And there just wasn't enough "book"-time for them.

Second, I have never read Under A Never Sky, and I have been told it is a lot better, but the writing style in this is all telling. And yes, I get it, Gideon is retelling his story to the authorities, but could it have been told better? And not just all tell tell tell? And don't even get me started on this love interest, what's-her-name, oh it's Daryn. She's trying to be all mysterious and keeping secrets so the demons (??) don't figure it out, but there was definitely a better way around the whole mind-reading trick the demons do. Like, lying? Lying is great! But just being non-communicative and leaving everyone in the dark? That never works. Which I assume is the point for their to be a plot, I suppose.

Oh, and I WANTED A GIRL HORSEMAN. HORSEWOMAN. Did they all have to be guys? DID THEY? Was this based off of something? Maybe I am just being ignorant. Then again, this is fiction. And I deserve a horsewoman.

Lastly (I promise), the ending involved all the characters brushing off everything that happened. [spoilers, highlight to read] All the authorities believed them in the end, so easily, GIDEON HAD HIS HAND CUT OFF, and he was like "oh there goes my hand!". And then Sebastian disappears into some sort of creepy portal, and everyone's like, "let's enlist for the army!" [spoiler]. And I'm just sitting here like, "Did you NOT PROCESS EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED? Gah.

To sum it up, the more I thought about Riders, the less I liked it. My rating dropped from a 3.5 to a 2.5 the more I discussed it with others. I feel bad, I really do, but again, maybe this is just a me thing.

Also, thank you to Holly @ The Fox's Hideaway for discussing this with me back in December, because she helped me actually remember the story and what happened, what I did not like. She's a trooper. She will have her own review of Riders posted on her own blog, at some point today!
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