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Loss (Riders of the Apocalypse, #3)
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(Riders of the Apocalypse #3)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  941 ratings  ·  168 reviews
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 outbrea ...more
Paperback, 259 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Graphia (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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Apr 22, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Ashley Marie
Jackie Morse Kessler continues to really work her way under my skin with these books. And where the first two books dealt with self-harm and eating disorders, this one tackles bullying and Alzheimer's.

I never had an eating disorder nor self-harmed, but I got picked on in school. Middle school especially. I transferred schools between sixth and seventh grade, moving from private to public school so I wouldn't have to adjust when high school rolled around instead. I never got beat up but boys wer
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
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. :)
Kathy Martin
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Tamora Pierce
Mar 05, 2012 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Christian - Curious Quill
"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
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
*initial thoughts*
All I can think right now is man I loved the first two books in the series so much what happened? I think the simplest answer is I just didn't identify with Bill at all, and I also felt like the representation of sickness and health was overly simplistic (with a weird huge focus on the bubonic plague). Nothing felt as fully fleshed out as I would have liked it to have been, and I don't think relating bullying to Pestilence works the way anorexia to Famine or self-injury to War
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So far this one is my favorite book out of the series
Rhiannon Ryder
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Eric Juneau
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Attila Cthulhuson
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Apr 14, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Kristen Harvey
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
May 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.

Ashley Thompson
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who has read the first two
Shelves: reviewed, owned


Okay. I'm not gonna lie... this one was tough to get through. Firstly, let's backtrack a bit, right? Hunger was a beautifully tragic tale about a girl with anorexia, and that story was bound together by her becoming Famine, the Black Rider of the Apocalypse. Rage was about the journey of a young girl and her tendency to self-harm, all highlighted by the fact that she was chosen to be War, the Red Rider. Loss, however, fell very, very flat on the meaningful message stage.

I don't know

Rinda Elliott
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Looking forward to this book! Rating it high for expectations. ;)
Sophie Jordan
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Um. WOW. A page-turner. Gritty and honest with an empathetic boy-protagonist.
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Nov 09, 2011 marked it as to-read
Loving the new cover!
Kelly Brennan
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: advanced-copy
The best in the series so far! I loved this. Review to come.
Caleb Thayer
I personally enjoyed the book Loss. The title is a bit misleading, my first reaction when reading was thinking the main character would go through a change due to the loss of a family member or close friend. The book is really about one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

The book starts off with the main character getting beat up by a group of bullies. He then goes home and realizes his grandfather with alzheimers is missing, he goes looking for him and sees death, o
Kiki Z
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
I genuinely have no idea what to think of this series. The first book was good, the metaphor or parable or whatever it was worked. The second one had such an unlikable main character that I gave up on it like two chapters in. This was filled with lyrical, beautiful writing but I'm not really sure what Billy's bullying had to do with Pestilence. The first one worked because a girl suffering from an eating disorder became Famine and realized how precious food was. This one doesn't seem to have any ...more
Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Out of the the three books so far in this series, this one really hit home for me. It was dark, but full of light. Scary, but full of hope and bravery. You experience and delve into feelings that only exist in our very cores. Feelings and emotions that we never let see the light of day because of what would happen. It's terrifying. But by conquering that, it changes everything. It doesn't mean that those emotions that leave us curled up in a corner ever leave, bu ...more
Bonnie (A Backwards Story)

Bookworms, don't forget to check out today's interview with Billy Ballard from LOSS, as well as previous reviews of both HUNGER and RAGE! I also interviewed Jackie last year on her RAGE Blog Tour. Earlier this week, I also talked about the Mythological Aspects of LOSS! Check it all out to find out more about this unique series!

LOSS is the third book in Jackie Morse Kessler's Riders of the Apocalypse quartet, though you don't need to pick up the previous two novels in order to read it. Not only i
Okay I actually finished this book at the end of last year (2016...I think, oh god maybe 2015 looking at my start date *shame*). I'd always planned to write a review but this series is so good that I can't even do it justice. I have the last book but have been putting off reading because I know it will destroy me.

*EDIT* okay totally lied, I finished it on June 15th, 2014...
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Smith
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love how this book really brings to light the way bullying goes unnoticed within schools. How school staff turns a blind eye to what's going on and can sometimes be the one doing the bullying. I also love how it shows that those that are being bullied can find an inner strength that lets then stand up and rise above. ...more
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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

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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