Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.
Riders by Veronica Rossi caught my attention for two reasons: the unique premise of the four horsemen in a YA novel and the return of Rossi after her previous trilogy, Under the Never Sky, which I quite enjoyed!
Note: I received an advanced copy of Riders from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Riders by Veronica Rossi (Riders #1)
Published by Tor Teen on Feb. 16th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Nothing but death can keep eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.
While 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.
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?
How is the writing style?
Riders switches between the present day and the past as Gideon recounts how he got to the current situation. The present is told in present tense and the past in past tense, so there is a lot of switching between. This didn’t both me as much as it has in previous novels like this though. That’s probably because the writing style is quite abrupt and blunt, with short chapters and a sort of no-nonsense tone that you would expect from a private in the Army. It’s all from Gideon’s perspective though, so that also makes everything flow nicely and gives you a sense of his character right away.
General tone of the beginning
The action is immediate since Riders opens with Gideon prisoner in a strange set up and he quickly starts recounting the odd events that led to the situation that got him taken prisoner. There is obviously an immediate mystery since Gideon makes references to some things that sound rather supernatural. Things then slip into slow build though since it takes a while during his flashbacks for him to start looking into what the hell is going on.
Setting, genre, etc?
I suppose this would be considered fantasy YA. It has one of those difficult in-between age characters, since Gideon just graduated high school, so he’s not really in the YA age range anymore. It’s also clear Riders isn’t a typical fantasy, since it is focused on a character from the military in modern day with weird stuff happening to him. I’d say it has more of a light sci-fi feel without the technology being explained as far as I read.
- My current read, leave me alone! (~5 stars)
- Reading in the near future *hides from TBR pile glare* (~4 stars)
- Hoping to get back to eventually (~3 stars)
- Probably not getting back to but someone else will like it (~2 stars)
- Don’t really want to push this copy on anyone else (~1 star)
I’m giving Riders 3 stars. I’m not in the mood for it at the moment, but if you like male main characters, a blunter narration style, and the premise intrigues you, go for it!
Have you read this one yet? Are you inclined to check it out?
Riders by Veronica Rossi
© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.