Riders by Veronica Rossi


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.

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 know I can always trust Veronica Rossi to bring me out of a reading slump.  I didn’t have a clue what this book was about before I launched into it; I just went with it and Veronica Rossi did not disappoint.  It was a fun, exciting story that kept me engaged, fired my imagination, and had me laughing out loud.  It was the perfect antidote to lift me out of my reading slump.

What Worked for Me

The characters  • • • I really liked the characters, Gideon especially.  I also appreciated how Veronica Rossi made the four horsemen diverse–because yes.  It was so nice to see some diversity, and though I could see how it might appear to be a bit “too on the nose,” I liked it all the same.  It made the whole thing seem so much more real.

The dialogue  • • • A lot of Gideon’s narration had me laughing out loud, but a lot of the dialogue exchanges were hilarious to me, too.  Also, it was easy to tell who was speaking at any given time (something I didn’t fully appreciate until I read a book where literally everyone sounds the same).  Not the case here, thankfully.  It really added a nice layer to the characters.

The plot • • • At the start, I was a bit confused, but I quickly realized it was a two-string plot where Gideon was narrating the past within a present timeline.  It added a really nice dynamic feel to the storytelling.  And though I wasn’t the hugest fan of the big climax, which I felt was a bit rushed, I definitely didn’t have a problem staying engaged with the story.

The world • • • I mean, cool concept, right?!  This is the first Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse story I’ve come across and I loved Veronica Rossi’s vision of their powers and their horses.  I would love to see this as a movie.

Also, the detail that Veronica Rossi puts into Gideon’s Army training and just the way he thinks is so on point (or feels like it, anyway).  I loved it and felt it really added a lot of sophistication to Gideon’s character and credibility as a narrator.

The writing  • • • It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book by Veronica Rossi.  I forgot just how efficient her writing style is.  It isn’t super flowery or minimalistic, but strikes this middle ground that packs a lot of punch.  It just gets the job done and I love her for it.

The romance • • • Even though the romantic relationship was predictable, I like how it developed, because it wasn’t instalove.  These two went through a lot of stressful situations before things started shifting.  Also, I can see how they connect to each other, why they like each other (a logic often left out in fictional romances nowadays).  Even though I’m not 100% Team Daryn, I hope everything works out.

What Didn’t

The world • • • I list the world here as well because I would’ve liked more.  It was very focused on just the four of them, which was fine because it was cool, and there was a bit of history that played into the climax, but I would’ve liked more details.  Because this is a series, that will probably show up in later books, but I would’ve liked more in the first book.

The characters • • • I did have a tiny issue with Daryn’s character.  She reminds me slightly of Annabeth from the Percy Jackson books, in that you don’t get what her deal is right away and until you do, she’s off-putting.  I liked her well enough, but not enough to where I’d punch my fist in the air for her.  I think I’ll probably like her more after Seeker since I suspect that will be in her point of view.


Another striking book from Veronica Rossi.

Book Info

384 pages • Book 1 • Published February 2016 by Tor Teen

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2 thoughts on “Riders by Veronica Rossi

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