Thursday, April 19, 2012

Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler

My Loss poster, signed by Jackie!
We were lucky enough to be a part of the Loss blog tour last month. I finished reading the book shortly after, and finally -- here's my review!

Loss is a little different from the previous two books, Hunger and Rage, in Jackie's Riders of the Apocalyse series. Now that we are three books in, the faithful readers know the pattern. If Loss had followed suit, it would have involved a teenager who was living with a disease. Death would come and invite him to be Pestilence, the Rider of the Apocalyse, and then he would go out into the night learning how to use his powers for good.

But Loss didn't follow suit, and I applaud Jackie for that. The main character, Billy Ballard, was not suffering from a disease. He was being horribly bullied. And he was taking care of his grandfather who was suffering from Alzheimer's. There is already a Pestilence, Rider of the Apocalyse -- but instead of doing his job, Pestilence has gotten it into his head that if he doesn't ride then the Apocalypse won't happen. So he puts his physical self into a coma and hides in a memory. It's a good plan -- because he hasn't given up his title, Death can't actually get to him. That's where Billy comes into play. I won't go into the details why here, but suffice it to say that Death needs Billy to go get Pestilence and convince him to ride.

One thing I really liked about this book was all the talk about balance. I am sure it is mentioned in the other books, but it was really emphasized in this one. So, all of our teen Riders are not just going about wreaking havoc to usher in the Apocalypse-- they are helping to keep the world balanced so it can survive.

This book was a little hard to get into at times -- I felt the section where Billy went into the White got a little long-winded and repetitive. But, as always, Jackie's characters delivered some great one-liners and I really enjoyed the final showdown between Billy and the White Rider. And Breath -- Death's story -- is coming next. The final Rider of the Apocalypse. Oh, I cannot wait for Breath!

My review of the Riders of the Apocalypse series:
Loss Blog Tour post

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