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Loss (Riders of the Apocalypse #3)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  792 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews

Jackie Morse Kessler’s Riders of the Apocalypse series follows teens who are transformed into the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The third book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series, Loss, is about a bullied teenager who's tricked into becoming Pestilence, a Rider of the Apocalypse, and finds himself with the power to infect people with diseases.

Fifteen-year-old Billy

Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 12, 2016 karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: why-yes-i-ya
if you have been reading all of my reviews to this point, (and if you haven't, WHY HAVEN"T YOU???) you know that i am not in love with this series in execution, but i applaud its attempts. so why do i keep reading it? part of it is my need for completion, part of it is that they are quick to read and part of it is that i keep hoping it will all come together to impress me with something i haven't seen before, and everything will fall into place making any reservations i had vanish with a snap of ...more
Feb 16, 2016 Sesana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Unfortunately, this one just didn't hit me in quite the same way that Hunger and Rage had. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe the thin fantasy premise is wearing out entirely for me. But in all likelihood, it has more to do with my relative lack of interest in the main issue of this book, bullying. I can't quite explain that, either, but it is harder for a book about bullying to catch my interest. And that was only emphasized when Kessler gave her main character a relative with Alzheimer's. Let's b ...more
Jackie Kessler
To everyone who reads LOSS -- thank you!

A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association, so if you purchased this book, either for yourself, for a friend, or for your library/place of work, thank you for helping to make a difference. :)
C (Knightingale Reviews)
"Though art the White Rider, William Ballard. Thou art Pestilence, Bringer of Disease. Go thee out unto the world."
"Loss" is the third book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series. I was definitely glad that the plot was different from the first two books, but it took quite a while for the action to begin. During the first 90 pages I considered ending the series because I felt that it wasn't that great, but I am so glad I stuck through it! The book definitely delved deeply into the mystery of the

Loss is the third book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series by Jackie Morse Kessler. I enjoyed the first book immensely and, while the second book had its flaws it was also an interesting read. This book, however, had problems. In spades.

We follow Billy Ballard as he deals with bullying, Addison's disease, and his Grandfather's Alzheimers. At one point in the story he takes up the bow of Pestilence, a Rider of the Apocalypse. Pestilence has plagued him since he was a child and Billy crumbles w
Kathy Martin
Mar 05, 2012 Kathy Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this was my favorite of all of the Riders of the Apocalypse books that I have read. Billy Ballard is the victim of persistent and sustained bullying and just wants to get through the day. When Death comes calling and says he has to stand in as Pestilence, Billy feels totally unqualified and out of his depth. But he made a promise when he was five-years-old to a man who has haunted his nightmares ever since and he is stuck with the job. The job is made even more difficult by the fact that ...more
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Summary: Billy's always been the kid that gets picked on by the biggest, stupidest bullies around. All the poor kid wants is to walk home without getting beaten to a pulp...

Then Billy meets Death - literally, not figuratively - and learns he is set to become the White Rider of the Apocalypse. Now, armed with power beyond his comprehension, Billy lashes out at the people who made his li
Mar 10, 2012 Krystal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
This is one of those books that deals with a difficult topic, but manages to make that topic applicable in such a way that teens/young adults will maintain interest and understand. Billy Ballard is bullied. The former sentence is alliterative and incredibly sad. He doesn't fight back or defend himself, but takes most of the bullying in stride. Adults are even sometimes around when he is bullied, but do unfortunate fact in many cases. The reader will connect to Billy and feel terribl ...more
Rhiannon Ryder
I fell in love with this series when Houghton Mifflin randomly sent me the first part, Hunger, shortly after it came out in the fall of 2010. It was a heavy hitter with heart, and I loved the fantasy element that Jackie brought to the issues. It was a terrific meshing of story with major teen issues, making it very readable despite tackling serious subject matter. I was even more impressed when I read Rage, and found myself in tears by the end. To say I was eagerly awaiting Loss is a bit of an u ...more
Attila Cthulhuson
Mar 28, 2012 Attila Cthulhuson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Each book in this series deals with an issue relevant to teens, and the teen’s struggle culminates in his or her opportunity to become one of the four horsemen. I was unsure which direction Kessler would take with this one. I figured she'd go the modern route and have the white rider be Pestilence. I was pleasantly surprised when she found a way to have the rider be both Pestilence and the Conqueror.

The main teen issue was bullying, with Billy Ballard, a kid who is so used to being beaten up he
Jul 25, 2012 Megs rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
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 m
First Impression: I've always found this an interesting series with the mix of supernatural elements with teen issues. I was curious to see where this one was going.

While Reading: This one started off slow for me. I couldn't quite relate to Billy and honestly did not find him to be an interesting characters, especially compared to the previous main characters in the other books. But when the action picked up towards the middle of the book, I found myself entranced in the plot. I loved the way th
Mar 28, 2012 Darcy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, ya
I would have liked this one better if the book would have been all about Billy. I think bullying is a problem with kids today and I hated to see what was happening to him, especially when adults were around and they ignored it. So when Billy started to act out to get back at the bullies I was cheering him on.

I understand why there was so much with Mita, Billy needed to see that to learn what could go wrong so that he would be able to handle the job. But it made the story a little boring for me.

May 25, 2014 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the concept of this series, and this is another strong contribution. Kessler explores the different horses of the Apocalypse (Famine, War, Pestilence) with social issues (anorexia, cutting, bullying). This was an interesting take on sickness; I completely felt the fear and pain felt by the protagonist.

This series falls a bit short from being fabulous for me, but is still worth reading. I like seeing how each character deals with their problem as well as the same issue on a global
Sep 06, 2014 Laurel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal, death
Billy is bullied at school. His grandfather has forgotten him. And he can't speak his feelings for his best friend. All while having nightmares about the Ice Cream Man. His life is changed forever though when a blond guitarist goes up to him and tells him that he is the White horseman. Pestilence.

Another great piece from Kessler. She has moved to approaching bullying. She handles, as with the others in the series, with a realistic approach and a developed main character. And of course the presen
Tamora Pierce
A bit more magical/abstract than the first two books--a bullied kid is pulled in to take the crown and bow of Pestilence while dealing with his crush on his best friend, the school thugs, and his grandfather's Alzheimer's.
Sophie Jordan
Sep 22, 2011 Sophie Jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Um. WOW. A page-turner. Gritty and honest with an empathetic boy-protagonist.
Dec 28, 2011 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: advanced-copy
The best in the series so far! I loved this. Review to come.
Rinda Elliott
Sep 22, 2011 Rinda Elliott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Looking forward to this book! Rating it high for expectations. ;)
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Loving the new cover!
Jeanette Diaz Michel
As of the first three books, this one is my favorite. Personally I feel it is the strongest just because there is more lore and history to the Horsemen. The series was finally getting its own mythology!
This book also seemed darker than the other ones as well as it introduced the idea that Death is different from the other Horsemen; otherworldly.
I didn't mind the smaller scale and more personal stories and journeys of the first two, but getting to know one of the other Horsemen (Pestilence) as so
Jun 01, 2014 AshleyiSee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Billy Ballard is the one kid at school that everyone either picks on or ignores. You know the kind. He can’t stick up for himself and doesn’t stand out in a good way. Poor Billy. Even the teachers and adults prefer to turn a blind eye. With a mother trying to support him and a grandfather with Alzheimer’s, well, home is no better place than school.

My heart went out to Billy. It seems that everyone nowadays is wrapped up with his or her own troubles and people choose to look the other way than to
Aug 25, 2015 A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loss es un libro que —mientras lees— te deja un amargo sabor en la lengua, una inquietante sensación de pánico subiendo por la espalda y un sentimiento de desesperación en tu pecho que no puedes dejar ir.

Billy Ballard es por lejos mi personaje favorito de toda esta serie. Como los anteriores jinetes, él tiene sus propios demonios y sus propias debilidades a las cuales debe enfrentarse. Esta vez era el miedo. Un miedo que lo paralizaba y no le dejaba luchar.

Un héroe consumido por el terror que de
Eric Juneau
Jackie: this series is not your confessional. It is not your soapbox or your diary. It is a book, meant to inform and entertain. You introduced a great concept with "Hunger", but gave up decent exploration of the topic for superficial YA thrills. Then you screwed up with "Rage". You screwed up with this one. And (now that I have "time-sink fallacy" to finish the series) I know you'll screw the pooch with the last. I know it.

Her author's notes say the book went through twenty-two drafts before it
Again, dove right into this because this series is total literary crack--the type of thing that you gulp down all in one or two days (think Hunger Games of Divergence levels of addiction).

Again, themes of high school bullying, albeit, more of the unexplained "I don't know why, people just like punching me in the face" variety.

I like that the characters are more in depth described than the previous books--we actually get to know what Billy (the main character) looks like, as well as his crush, a
Paula  Phillips
Feb 04, 2013 Paula Phillips rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now as readers of The Phantom Paragrapher will know, I love to read my fair share of Edgy Content and one of the authors that I have come to enjoy in this area is Jackie Morse Kessler , where she has taken edgy issues from Anorexia , Disease, Suicide and mixed it with a bit of mythology to create a series called The Riders of the Apocalypse.
Each of her books focuses on one main character who has suffered a rough time and has been dealt an awful hand in life, but what each of them doesn't realis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)
Loss is unlike the other two Riders of the Apocalypse books and Jackie Morse Kessler’s new style and direction are both welcome and exciting. Billy Ballard’s life of being bullied is extremely relevant to anyone at any time. We all know that feeling, either personally or as a bystander. And boy does Billy Ballard suffer. He not just bullied on a regular basis, but he’s tortured. He’s made to feel like he is nothing, then he has to go home and hold the weight of his grandfather’s care on his shou ...more
I was so excited to acquire a copy of this book, one of my most anticipated reads of the year due to my love for the previous books in the series Hunger and Rage. While each can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading all of the books.

Besides enjoying the previous books, I knew that this book would focus on Pestilence, the Horseman of the Apocalypse who we know the least about. He made brief appearances in the other books but he has definitely been very mysterious. Before we meet him
So, we've met a young lady with anorexia who becomes Famine. We've met another young lady who cuts herself and becomes War. Now meet Billy. He spends his days trying his best to avoid the vicious bullies that prowl the halls of his school. In his off-time, he's busy taking care of his grandfather, who is suffering from Alzheimer's. Between the trouble at school and his grandfather's unpredictable behavior, Billy's pretty miserable. Needless to say, he is not necessarily pleased when Death shows ...more
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disp 1 11 Dec 30, 2011 10:44AM  
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Jackie Morse Kessler grew up in Brooklyn, NY, with a cranky cat and overflowing shelves filled with dolls and books. Now she’s in Upstate NY with another cranky cat, a loving husband, two sons, and overflowing shelves filled with dragons and books (except when her sons steal her dragons). She has a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature, and yet she’s never read any Jane Austen (with ...more
More about Jackie Morse Kessler...

Other Books in the Series

Riders of the Apocalypse (4 books)
  • Hunger (Riders of the Apocalypse, #1)
  • Rage (Riders of the Apocalypse, #2)
  • Breath (Riders of the Apocalypse, #4)

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“On the flat expanse of pancake ice, War stood by the Pale Rider’s side. Though their forms did not touch, their shadows intertwined, black on black, in a smoky caress.
“Knew you’d come,” Death said cheerfully.
She smiled, and that slow motion of her lips hinted at many things. “The White Rider divided, and the world on the brink of destruction. How could I stay away?”
“I could set my watch by you.”
“You don’t have a watch.” Her smile broadened into a grin. “An hourglass, maybe . . .”
“Please, not another joke about a scythe . . .”
She mimed zipping her mouth shut.
A pause, as they listened to the sounds of the boy healing and the man summoning doom.
“I like him,” War said.
Even though she hadn’t specified whether she meant the boy or the man, Death smiled and nodded. “Me too.”
“You like everyone.”
“Well, yes.”
The two shared a quiet laugh, their voices mingling in perfect harmony.
A longer pause, and then War asked, “What of Famine?”
“What of her? She’s not mine. Not yet, anyway. She will be soon enough.”
The Red Rider slid him a look. “That’s cold, even for you.”
“Eh, just practical.” A shrug. “Everyone comes to me eventually. It’s the journey that makes it interesting.”
“Such a people person!”
He flashed her a grin. “My best quality.”
“Oh,” said War, sliding her gloved hand into his pale one, “I can think of others that are better.”
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