Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler


Fifteen-year-old Billy Ballard is the kid that everyone picks on, from the school bullies to the teachers. But things change drastically when Death tells Billy he must stand in as Pestilence, the White Rider of the Apocalypse. Now armed with a Bow that allows him to strike with disease from a distance, Billy lashes out at his tormentors...and accidentally causes an outbreak of meningitis. Horrified by his actions, Billy begs Death to take back the Bow. For that to happen, says Death, Billy must track down the real White Rider—who is lost in his memories.

In his search, Billy travels through White Rider’s life: from ancient Phrygia, where the man called King Mita agrees to wear the White Rider’s Crown, to Sherwood Forest, where Pestilence figures out how to cheat Death; from the docks of Alexandria, where cartons of infested grain are being packed onto a ship that will carry the plague, to the Children’s Crusade in France—all the way to what may be the end of the world. When Billy finally finds the White Rider, the teen convinces the man to return to the real world.

But now the insane White Rider plans to unleash something awful on humanity—something that could make the Black Death look like a summer cold. Billy has a choice: he can live his life and pretend he doesn’t know what’s coming, or he can challenge the White Rider for his Crown. Does one bullied teenager have the strength to stand his ground—and the courage to save the world?

My Thoughts:

I was super intrigued by the concept of this series: normal, imperfect people becoming Horsemen of the Apocalypse. While I haven't read Hunger or Rage, I would definitely like to. Maybe because as well as a bookworm, I'm also a horse-girl, but if I had to be something evil-ish, it would totally be a Horseman of the Apocalypse!

One of my favourite parts of the book for Kessler's portrayal of Death. He was perfect! Calm, intelligent, uncaring and unbiased. Such an awesome character and definitely my favourite.

I also enjoyed the layers in Loss. As if finding out you must act as a Horseman of the Apocalypse wasn't enough, Billy is also dealing with some serious bullies, not to mention his grandfather's battle with Alzheimer's Disease. Bullying is a huge issue and I'm glad there are books like Loss that give it a voice without being boring or preachy. Hooray for an awesome message.

Unfortunately, the middle of the book held some issues for me. The plot felt like it slowed to a crawl and things jumped around a lot, leaving me confused and not sure what was significant to the story. However, I still enjoyed the book and will definitely keep an eye out for Hunger and Rage.

Also, I didn't feel like the title packed the same punch as Hunger and Rage.

On the Cover:

Beautiful. I love this cover (possibly because it's shiny).

Rating: 3.5 Hearts

Source: Won from the awesome Rhiannon at Diary of a Bookworm

Find the Author: Goodreads | Website

Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository

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