25. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fantasy, Fiction, Teen Books

Loss (Riders of the Apocalypse #3) by Jackie Morse Kessler, 272 pages, read by Courtney, on 04/12/2012

So, we’ve met a young lady with anorexia who becomes Famine. We’ve met another young lady who cuts herself and becomes War. Now meet Billy. He spends his days trying his best to avoid the vicious bullies that prowl the halls of his school. In his off-time, he’s busy taking care of his grandfather, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Between the trouble at school and his grandfather’s unpredictable behavior, Billy’s pretty miserable. Needless to say, he is not necessarily pleased when Death shows up at his door asking for Billy’s help. Pestilence, the fourth rider, has shirked his duties and it now falls to Billy to either find the White Rider and get him back on the horse (literally and figuratively) or take up the mantle of Pestilence himself. Neither choice is ideal to Billy, especially when he realizes that the man known as Pestilence bears a very, very strong resemblance to Billy’s childhood nightmares. Also, Billy really doesn’t like horses.
This installment in the Riders of the Apocalypse series is definitely a bit different that the others that preceded it. With an existing, albeit infirm, Pestilence, Billy is not forced to automatically assume the role as the girls from the previous books were. While he does carry the symbolic bow and is able to use some of the power that comes with it, his main goal is getting the old Pestilence back on duty so that Billy doesn’t have to. This book may not be quite as accessible as the first two, but it is indeed a unique experience and well worth reading. Fortunately, the other books in the series are more “companion” novels rather than being sequential, so readers can really begin anywhere they like in the series and still get the plot. I am really, really curious to see what Kessler does in the next book of the series, especially since we’ve now met all of our horsemen (horse-people?). Also, I’ve got to give the horses a “shout-out” because they’re swiftly becoming some of my favorite recurring “characters” in this series.

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