Riders by Veronica Rossi

Riders by Veronica RossiRiders by Veronica Rossi
Published by Macmillan on February 16th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon

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’d chosen to serve because I could fight and because until wars stopped happening, people like me were needed. I had zero problem doing whatever it took to keep harm from coming to innocent people. Zero problem. Period, exclamation point, and freakin’ hooah.

1 1/2 stars. This book is like watching a bunch of rowdy jocks downing dirty pints while chanting about sports teams. In other words, it is the most weirdly macho novel I’ve read since Men Without Women.
There’s not much plot to be seen here, and even less characterization. The beginning seems relatively interesting, using an interrogation and confession as a framing device for Gideon’s story to be told. Unfortunately, everything kind of falls flat after that.
Gideon joined the military straight after high school because, dude, there were wars to be fought and, uh, patriotism or something. But an accident that should have killed him instead bestows him with strange new powers like super-healing and the ability to make people angry.
So then this girl called Daryn shows up (potential love interest despite zero chemistry between them) and tells him that he is WAR. As in, an embodiment of war, otherwise known as one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. And, though we don’t know shit yet, we are told that it’s absolutely definitely important to go hunt down the other three horsemen.
That’s what this book is about. Gideon and Daryn traipsing around the United States (and later to Europe) to find these other guys. When the other guys are found, any character development is passed up in favour of manly posturing, physical fights, and comparing who has the best horse – literally, not a euphemism (or so they say).
It was very difficult to a) care about where this weakly-plotted novel was heading, and b) care about these characters between each macho pissing contest.
I’m not exaggerating when I say the characters are not given a personality beyond the one they all share – the one that makes them constantly puffed up and scowling at one another, trying not to get into a brawl over who’s the most badass. Such a strange book… and so devoid of emotion.
Still, some good action scenes for readers who find that enough.

One StarHalf a Star


  1. I’m really glad you’ve done a review of this! I read Rossi’s ‘Under the Never Sky’ and felt somewhat disappointed. It’s hard to explain, but the book felt like it needed several more rounds of revision-it seemed half-finished. Because of that, I was a bit skeptical but thought I’d try and read ‘Riders’. Now I don’t think I will. It sounds disappointing, and I don’t want to waste my time with a book I know I’ll dislike. As always, loved your review!

Leave a comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that. Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.