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The 13th Horseman

(Afterworlds #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  177 ratings  ·  38 reviews
In a darkly funny, action-packed adventure, fourteen year old Drake is surprised to discover the Horsemen of the Apocalypse hanging out in his garden shed. He’s even more surprised when they ask him to join them. The team is missing a Horseman, having gone through several Deaths, and they think Drake is the boy for the job.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  177 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Monty Python, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Shelves: arcs, reviewed
Utterly squeeing at having this so early. When Barry told me the premise way back when, I was in fits of laughter. Excited :))))

Okay, I've calmed down and also finished the book. Whilst I probably should add the same caveat to this, which I did to Cat Clarke's Torn, I can't be bothered so go and look at my review of that book. Yeah this is a reading copy from the publisher, yeah I know Barry, no I don't ooze all over authors and publishers because I have some weird psycho author-love complex and
Big Book Little Book
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Copy received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I now have a new favourite book and I shall be telling all my friends about it! The 13th Horseman is full of humour, action and suspense. This book is about Drake, a very normal school kid. Unfortunately, he gets expelled from school for the very silly reason that he blew up two toads, along with the top two floors of the school as well! It was all just an accident of course, but it means he had to move house in order to start a new s
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The fact I blasted through it in two days pretty much sums it up. Ridiculously easy to read, and genuinely funny in places. In fact, one or two of the sections of dialogue reminded me of Douglas Adams. No higher praise.
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy, fantasy
Whenever I start to write a review I am determined that it will be succinct and straight to the point. Invariably they end up over-long and somewhat waffly, but no matter how hard I try I can't seem to write less, even when a book is so good all that really needs to be said is "It's brilliant, get your hands on a copy now!". The 13th Horseman, the first book in a new series by Invisible Fiends author Barry Hutchison, is one such book.

And now for the waffle (I just can't help myself). I love Bar
After an unfortunate incident at school Drake finds himself expelled and is forced to move house to be nearer to his new school. The last thing he expects to find in his new garden shed is three of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse - War, Famine and Pestilence - sitting around playing board games. Even stranger is the fact that they are convinced that he is their newest recruit, the replacement for Death. The old Death apparently got bored of waiting for the Apocalypse to start so he quit and decid ...more
Daph (Loving Books)
Drake is a 14 year-old boy who discovers a shed in his back yard with three men in it who claim to be the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They claim he is the fourth, even though Drake thinks there has been a mistake in appointing him Death. With the other Horsemen, he goes on several adventures, trying to stop an bitter former Death, who seems to have set things in motion to get the Apocalypse started, even though he is no longer a Horseman.

The story was fast paced, full of adventure and tasks set
Rosalyn Steele
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Boys, 8-12
Read the advance reading copy (pub date April 2012 in Canada).

At the opening of the book, Drake & his mom have just moved to a new house in a new school district. Drake was expelled from his last school after an unfortunate attempt to save the school's lab frogs went awry & resulted in an explosion that took out the top two floors of the building.

Shortly after moving in, Drake is cutting the grass at the back of their new house, & discovers a shed inhabited by three rather odd men p
Hannah Renowden
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! Full or action and the type of sniggeringly brilliant humour that gets you funny looks on the tube.

It's not everyday that you find 3 of the horseman of the apocalypse in a shed in the bottom of your garden. You certainly wouldnt expect them to have quite an array of board games either, but that is exactly what 14 year old Drake stumbles upon one evening when chasing a mangy cat who nicks his pizza money. Its hard enough moving house and starting a new school as it is without d
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! I thought that it was really good as well as being quite unusual. It was very creative and funny, while being a serious book at the same time. Full of twists and turns. An amazing book!
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nice. Funny. Reminds me of Neil Gaiman's work. Especially Good Omens.
Alisha Springle
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Four stars for an adult reader. Five for an 11-year-old boy reader.
Alexander Smith
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Let me start by saying I’m not sure where to start. This is the first book review I have ever written. In fact, it’s pretty much the first review of anything that I have ever written – well, since I was about ten when I wrote a review of a Norwich City football match because I was so shocked at the disastrous performance of the keeper (who let in a bizarrely awful goal then managed to knock himself unconscious). Anyway, whereas that review was stoked by outrage and disappointment, this one exist ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really funny. I liked the fighting and action and a brilliant plot. War was my favourite Horseman.
Pedro Benoliel
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
"We've had...a number of Deaths", War admitted. "Nine, actually. Not counting you."
"NINE! Why? What happened to them?"
Famine crammed his food into his mouth and began counting on his fingers. "Mad, mad, suicide, mad, quit, mad, goldfish, suicide, mad", he said.
"Wait", said Drake, replaying the list in his head. "Goldfish?"
"Admin error", explained Pestilence, rolling his eyes. "Do not even go there."

All teenager Drake Finn wants is to fit in at his new school. But when he discovers a shed in his
Serendipity Reviews
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Doesn't that first paragraph sound rather dark and foreboding? I was worried this book was going to be a little scary but as you continue to read you realise exactly why the author has written the passage so darkly. His imagery in the prologue was beautifully written and really stood out for me.
The rest of the book had me practically wetting myself. Don't be fooled by the prologue, it has a purpose; this book is the funniest book I have read in ages. The story is extremely surreal yet unbelievab
Oct 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
When Drake Finn finds a mysterious shed in his back garden, little does he know that inside he will find the three horsemen of the apocolyspe. Or that he will be given the job as the fourth…well technically the 13th. But having just started a new school and facing problems of his own, Drake doesn’t want to take up the role of Death. As long as he can work off his notice period without anything happening he’ll be fine…or so he thinks!

Review: I couldn’t wait to read this one, because it just looke
Nov 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: guest-reviews
Review by Shelly

How would you feel if one day you were in your garden and suddenly found a shed had appeared and inside were the three Horseman of the Apocalypse playing a game of snap? This is what happens to Drake who is then told that he is the fourth Horseman and is, in fact, Death himself.
Drake does the only thing a sane person would and tried to run away. Unfortunately the shed has other ideas and follows him until he caves in and accepts the job. Not great timing though as the previous De
Jenny / Wondrous Reads
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review, uk-author
I finally got around to reading The 13th Horseman after having a copy for a while and I'm glad I did. It's as funny as I hoped and is full of Barry Hutchison's trademark sarcasm and humour. It's also got plenty of action and horror - perfect for boys (and girls!) aged nine and up. I guarantee anyone who reads this will laugh their heads off but, unlike some of the characters, their heads won't actually separate from their bodies!

The 13th Horseman is all about teenager Drake and a shed in his bac
Book Chatter-Cath
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book and while I had every intention of reading this with my 10year old daughter, she loved the first chapter so much that she barreled along without me.

The following thoughts are hers alone, I've just typed it up for her :)

Miss 10's Thoughts
I really enjoyed the book, and all the characters are pretty cool too.

My favorite character is Famine because all he ever did was eat food and he was really funny.

The story is interesting and has a bit of mystery to
Apr 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantacy
Not as good as Terry Pratchett, but Hutchison might get close to it.
Really liked the humour of the boos as Drake finds 3 Riders of the Apocalypse from his backyard and becomes latest "Death" - not so easy task when you're still at school ;)

"You sitting down then?" asked human blancmange. He was munching on another chocolate bar, not even bothering to remove the wrapper first.
Drake's gaze shifted across each of the men in turn. The only sound in the shed was slow, rhytmic rattling of the containe
Sep 30, 2011 rated it liked it
When reading this book I had to keep reminding myself that it is aimed at a much younger audience than myself, so whilst I didn't find it funny at all, I think young boys probably would and I think they'd relate to the character of Drake a lot.

I did like the story and how the horsemen were all the personification of their role, I think this book gave a new side to The horsemen of the Apocalypse myth in general and had an action packed ending with lots of fun twists.

The writing was really great a
Sep 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: kidlit
Fairly derivative (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witchin particular comes to mind - there's even a Neil Gaiman quote on the cover) but the humour is sparky and the plot races along. It's in the 12-16 category of the Scottish Children's Book Awards but I would say it was skewed a lot younger than that. I can't see anyone over the age of 13~ getting much from it.

Although girls may enjoy it, it is definitely aimed at boys. The one female character was little more th
Julie Pike
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I bought The 13th Horseman because the story idea was appealing and the jacket featured a quote from one of my all time favourite authors - Neil Gaiman - saying he enjoyed the book. I too enjoyed the 13th Horseman - it's pacey and funny in equal measure and laugh out loud in places. In my opinion the book is worthy of 4 stars. At times, I thought the humour got in the way of the plot and toned down some of the danger. That said, I enjoyed the story and liked very much the main characters - their ...more
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The 13th Horseman had been waiting patiently (well, it's a book and didn't really have any other choice) for me to finish my revision and exams but it was certainly worth the wait.

Without meaning to resort to clichés it's a real page turner and kept me guessing right until the end. The characters have their own distinct personalities and Drake is a likeable protagonist. Teenagers act like teenagers rather than particularly angsty children or mini adults which is really refreshing.

Above all else
Dave Brett-andrews
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
The first in a new series by the ever-impressive Barry Hutchison, and the AFTERWORLDS series couldn't be any more different from INVISIBLE FIENDS.

Whereas IF had shades of King, Stine and other horror legends, THE 13TH HORSEMAN is far closer to the comic genius and timing of Pratchett, Adams, Holt and Rankin.

It's clever without becoming confusing, hilarious on nearly every line, and with some heartracing action that would put most Hollywood blockbusters to shame.

I can't stress enough just how awe
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens-teen
This would have got 3 stars as it is a good, funny read but it just isn’t original! Take the premise from Skellig of a boy in a new house finding something strange in the shed at the bottom of the garden and making friends with the odd girl at school and mix that with Terry Pratchett just well in general - his style, the anthropomorphism of Death, Famine etc, the humour. The difference is that Hutchison put this into a real world setting rather than a universe of his own creation. Sadly this spo ...more
Karen Laing
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's easy-to-read, funny and in parts, has you laughing out loud! It has an essence of Pratchett, who I am also a big fan of. It's quirky and fun and the story has an original twist on the four horseman of the Apocalypse.

In short, the book is about Drake, a high school kid who is chosen to be the 13th Horseman (death) only to discover that he has an enemy, the 12th Horseman who is determined to bring about the end of the world. To add to his troubles, Drake doesn't think he's
Tom Loock
Apr 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I was lured into buying The 13th Horseman by a review in SFX magazine which wanted me to believe it would be a Young Adult-novel and comparable to Terry Pratchett.
It is neither.
It is a children's book and though it has some funny scenes, they are far and few between once you are past the initial set-up. And Barry Hutchison is nowhere near Pratchett (yet).
I will not read future books in the series.
Ross Marnie
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was an amusing kids story, an easy page-turner. The Horsemen were all quirky characters, with potential to have their own books. I only knocked a star off because I found it a bit too short to really develop Drake, the protagonist. I didn't find myself caring whether he saved the world or got killed by his predecessor. Overall though, the book made me laugh, and I suspect that was the author's main purpose in writing the book. Job done.
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
found this to be a very childish book, too childish for my liking, was not keen on the sense of humour used in the book but must admit that in the last third of the book it became quite gripping and fast paced so was not boring at least!! a young reader should enjoy the adventure!!
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Other books in the series

Afterworlds (3 books)
  • The Missing Remote of the Apocalypse (Afterworlds, #0.5)
  • The Book of Doom (Afterworlds, #2)