Review: Riders by Veronica Rossi

Review: Riders by Veronica Rossi
Riders #2
by Veronica Rossi

Genres: Adventure, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication date: February 16th, 2016
by Tor Teen

Format: Hardcover
Book Depository

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 received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Riders has been getting a lot of mixed reviews and I am here to tell you that your enjoyment of the book will depend heavily on your likes and dislikes when it comes to writing styles and narration. This book is narrated in a before and after and a good chunk of it is told in a summary like style so if that is something that is already turning you off, you might not want to read the book.

That writing style worked for me though and I thought it suited the book perfectly. I honestly don’t think I would have enjoyed the book as much as I did were it NOT written this way.

I dove into the book with almost no knowledge of how others were reacting to the book and I barely remembered the blurb since all I knew was that it was by Veronica Rossi and that I wanted to read this book more than I wanted to do anything else.

Was it worth it? That is a really hard question because I absolutely love this book because it is such a me book but at the same time, there were little its and bits that bothered the crap out of me.

For starters this book has diversity but the way Marcus (who is black) is portrayed as dangerous and at times unhinged, really bothered me. That did change over the course of the book as the main character got to know him better but this initial characterization of Marcus did bother me. There were also some characteristics about Bas (who was latino) that seemed a little awkward but it wasn’t nearly as problematic as the way the main character initially saw Marcus.

A lot of your enjoyment of the book will depend on whether or not you like Gideon. I did for the most part. He is actually hilarious and honestly, we are similar in so many ways that I couldn’t help but relate to him. ALSO his leadership skills are great. Except when he gets ragey but he is war so it is a thing that happens unfortunately. His characterization is also very ‘not like the other boys’ and that–I imagine–can get old REAL fast.

This book is chock full of amazing characters who are ready to win your heart over with their amazingness. I will say though, Jode is one character I wish was fleshed out more. Because I could see myself loving him but I wasn’t attached enough to him to appreciate his character. Daryn is also an amazing character but I hated her as a love interest. I shipped Gideon with ANYONE ELSE. It’s just something about their dynamic. I liked them better as master and sensei than I did as l-o-v-e-r-s (okay so they technically aren’t that yet but they are in a weird relationship because neither of them wants to do anything about feels.)

The reason why this is a Rashika book though is all the adventure in the book. I AM RASHIKA. I like my adventures and especially love it when they come with a side of paranormal. I love how the plot is set up in terms of rising action and the world building in this book definitely helps set up that feeling of adventure (although still not okay with the religion bits but that is a rant for another day.)

So to recommend or not to recommend? I say look at that pretty cover and let that be answer enough for you because that book will look gorgeous on all shelves if I do say so myself. Also, I really really really liked it and my body is ready for book 2.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.7
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Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).


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  1. says

    I absolutely love this review. I’ve seen some mixed views on this book as well and most of the issues did come from the narration. I quite like the before and after take and so I think I’ll be alright for this book. I really love her Under the Never Sky series and so I have hope for this one. I’m interested in seeing how the four horsemen mythology is explored in the book. :D
    Lois @ My Midnight Musing recently posted…Review: Air Awakens by Elise KovaMy Profile

  2. says

    Well, I’m glad you gave this one a chance. I’ve seen a few not-so good reviews that has got me worried. I think the narrative will probably work with me as well as I’ve experienced it from her other books in the past. Your review renewed my interest!

  3. says

    I’ve heard a lot of split reviews for this, so I’m glad to hear you liked it so much Rashika. Definitely going to have to give it a try – the characters sound absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Damage DoneMy Profile

  4. says

    I continue to be so torn about this book! I read the sampler and I was a bit turned off about the format of the main character telling us all about what had already happened, but I liked Gideon’s voice and was intrigued about what was going on… Now, this would be a library book for me if I could find YA books in English in a library here… so I dunno!!!
    Pili @ In Love With Handmade recently posted…Friday Reads: Love Fortunes And Other Disasters & ARC Review of Menagerie!!My Profile

  5. says

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Rashika! I haven’t seen raving reviews of this like I did for Under the Never Sky but I’m for sure still planning to pick it up and I adore how you always give a really full-body picture of the novel, both its positives and negatives. Lovely review, as always, Rashika!

  6. says

    You know that I definitely did not like it as much as you did! Hahhaha. But I definitely thought the same as you. To be honest, I don’t think I caught on to the fact that Marcus was black (must have skipped that part over). And I hated Daryn’s and Gideon’s relationship. I would have loved that done away with. AND BAS. He was definitely my favorite. :)

    AWESOME REVIEW RASHEEKA. A lot of reviews of this are going up today/yesterday!
    Valerie recently posted…ARC Review: RidersMy Profile

  7. says

    I really enjoyed the guy-banter and character building in Riders! Of course, those amazing horses were such fun and kick-butt as well. This was my first read by Rossi and I’m thrilled to try more. I do know what you mean by the use of flashbacks those, at first it took me awhile to acclimate to it but ended up loving the way it all worked out.

    Great review, Rashika :)

  8. says

    Dude, I am SO on the fence with this thing. Like- I will think about stuff I did like, but then I read a review and I am like “oh yeah, I didn’t get the strange religious angle either…” or “what is up with that Marcus stuff?” or “who the hell was Jode even? Did I meet him for more than 10 words?”. And then I get mad again. BUt I didn’t dislike the book. I am so confused. This book has confused me, that is the bottom line. I do like Gideon and Daryn though. So there’s that. I usually feel “meh” about 3-3.5 books but this one… I feel like, half approval, half hatred, and I don’t know what I am supposed to do with that! I am glad you were able to organize your thoughts much better than I will be in this lovely review :D
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