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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?

384 pages, Hardcover

First published February 16, 2016

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About the author

Veronica Rossi

23 books7,095 followers
Veronica Rossi writes fiction for young adults and older ones, too. To date, she has written the post-apocalyptic UNDER THE NEVER SKY series, the RIDERS fantasy duology, and the historical fiction standalone, REBEL SPY. Her latest book, ROAR OF THE TIDES, picks up where the UTNS trilogy left off.
Thanks for reading!

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5 stars
1,193 (24%)
4 stars
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3 stars
1,338 (27%)
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443 (9%)
1 star
142 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,011 reviews
February 24, 2016
Actual rating: 3.5
You’re an incarnation of War. You’ve been given War’s abilities to carry out a mission.”

“So, this guy,” I said. “Conquest. The other horseman. Wait—girl?”

“Guy.” Daryn was looking through the front windshield like we were still driving. “You’re all guys.”

“So, no horsepersons?” It sounded ridiculous, but it was an honest question.
This book was a lot better than I thought. For example, when I found out that the main character was a male, I worried that he would behave and think in a way that's more feminine ideal than realistic. You guys know what I'm talking about. The guys in books who wax poetically about the color of a girl's cornflower blue eyes or the way she turns her head so that the light hits her raven-black hair, bringing out the golden/red highlights in them and the heliotrope scent of her intoxicating perfume. Fuck that shit, man.

Thankfully, this book was quite macho, with the exception of a few rather descriptive passages. The main character is intelligent and reasonable.
By the time I got out, my head felt clearer and I had a plan. I’d attack the situation like I’d been trained to do in the Army. Gather intelligence. Create a strategy. Execute on it. I’d figure out what was happening to me, then go about reversing it.
This book is about an 18-year old man (barely out of boyhood) in the military after high school. After an accident that should have killed him, Gideon suddenly discovers weird things happening to him, so like any reasonable person, he Googled it.
Unexplainable rapid healing
Manipulating rage in others
Mystery metal bracelets

Just about everything turned up the same result: superhero websites.

That was enough intelligence gathering for me.

I shut the laptop, sat back, and laughed my ass off.
This book was just fun.

I really do like the main character. He's a nice guy, he is respectful, and he has no problem taking orders from a woman.
Because I had no problem taking orders from a girl. I’d been doing it my whole life, for one. My mom was the strongest person I knew. And if you were capable, I personally gave no shits what you were. For me character was character, end of story.
There's a lot of machismo and fighting and swaggering and stupid guy fights in the book, but I found them pretty amusing, lol.
He extended his arm to the side like Looky here, asshole. I’ll see your sword and raise you a scythe.

A cautious man would’ve backed off. Not me. Yielding would basically have told him he’d won. I was tougher and I’d prove it. If it cost me a limb, screw it.

“You really want to take on War?” I shrugged. “All right.”

“What did you say? You’re War?”

“Yes, he did.” Daryn said. “Now put your weapons down. Both of you.”
There's a lot of action, the writing isn't flowery and shit, it's straightforward and serves to drive the plot. It served its purpose of making the book a very easy read.

Read this review and more @ The Book Eaters
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
February 17, 2016
I’d chosen to serve because I could fight and because until wars stopped happening, people like me were needed. I had zero problem doing whatever it took to keep harm from coming to innocent people. Zero problem. Period, exclamation point, and freakin’ hooah.

1 1/2 stars. This book is like watching a bunch of rowdy jocks downing dirty pints while chanting about sports teams. In other words, this is the most weirdly macho novel I've read since Men Without Women.

There's not much plot to be seen here, and even less characterization. The beginning seems relatively interesting, using an interrogation and confession as a framing device for Gideon's story to be told. Unfortunately, everything kind of falls flat after that.

Gideon joined the military straight after high school because, dude, there were wars to be fought and, uh, patriotism or something. But an accident that should have killed him instead bestows him with strange new powers like super-healing and the ability to make people angry.

So then this girl called Daryn shows up (potential love interest despite zero chemistry between them) and tells him that he is WAR. As in, an embodiment of war, otherwise known as one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. And, though we don't know shit yet, we are told that it's absolutely definitely important to go hunt down the other three horsemen.

That's what this book is about. Gideon and Daryn traipsing around the United States (and later to Europe) to find these other guys. When the other guys are found, any character development is passed up in favour of manly posturing, physical fights, and comparing who has the best horse - literally, not a euphemism (or so they say).

It was very difficult to a) care about where this weakly-plotted novel was heading, and b) care about these characters between each macho pissing contest.

I'm not exaggerating when I say the characters are not given a personality beyond the one they all share - the one that makes them constantly puffed up and scowling at one another, trying not to get into a brawl over who's the most badass. Such a strange book... and so devoid of emotion.

Still, some good action scenes for readers who find that enough.

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Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,470 reviews9,636 followers
February 15, 2018
Reread on Audio. I took it down from 5 to 4 but still enjoyed it!

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List



I thought this book was brilliant! A young adult version of THE FOUR HORSEMEN, totally awesome.

Gideon is the first one we find out about in the book. He's in the military, he dies in said military, but comes back as WAR. He has a cuff on his arm and has abilities he knows nothing about. He is clueless as to what is going on. Gideon finds out when he's visiting his sister Anna at school and some girl named Daryn tries to get him to leave with her (no, not for that) In walks some mean looking peeps and Daryn takes off, she tries to get Gideon to follow...but..he's stubborn and has anger issues. He soon finds out these are not normal peeps and luckily doesn't get killed. He does hook back up with Daryn and she explains he is War and that they have to find his other horsemen brothers. You can imagine his reaction.....................................BOOM! MIND BLOWN!

Now Daryn, she is a person that gets things done for others. I'm not going into all of that, but at the moment she's trying to help the horsemen get together and defeat the Kindred, they are trying to get something that Daryn is carrying. The only way the men can possibly defeat them is to fight together otherwise they will just die. Now, all of that being said, they are not the REAL horsemen, they have their abilities and horses. --->Read the book :-)

They finally get all of the horsemen together. Sebastian is Famine, Marcus is Death, and Jode is Conquest. Each of these men have their own unique personalities and I love each one of them. I also LOVE their horses, the author takes time to include them and the men getting to know their own horse and how to be one with them.

The story starts where Gideon is in a government installation being interrogated, we learn the whole book through him explaining it. Don't get me wrong, this does not hinder the book in any way, I think it actually makes it better because of the end game.

The book isn't all doom and gloom either, there is a lot of funny times and snark, a tiny bit of love and a lot of setting up the world for the next book. There is something that is worrisome that happens at the end but it's gonna be all good, I just know it :-)

I would recommend this book to anyone that loves the thought of THE FOUR HORSEMEN in a different kind of setting, but still bad to the bone!


I can't wait until the next book! FIN......
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,705 followers
September 8, 2017
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

I went into the reading of the RIDERS by Veronica Rossi blind.

Well, almost blind. I knew it was supposed to be more urban fantasy than sci-fi, like Rossi's last YA series. I knew there was probably going to be a flaming horse. AND I saw on Goodreads that more than one user had shelved it under mythology, but beyond that . . .?


Sometimes that works for me and sometimes it doesn't. This time it did. But regardless, I always think it's funny to be faced with my own assumptions.

Like that the POV would be female.

It's not.

And that the fiery horse would have something to do with Greek mythology. Apollo, probably.

It doesn't.

Instead, I found myself in the head of an eighteen-year-old manboy who immediately joined the Army upon his high school graduation.

That was only the first surprise.

You know how on TV dramas you'll sometimes start a new episode, and the first thing that flashes across the screen is "18 hours earlier," then someone is incarcerated/about-to-die/or WORSE?

That's how this starts.

Our guy, Gideon, is cuffed and drugged after being extracted from nebulous circumstances in Norway. From there we work backwards. We find out that Gideon almost died, did die briefly, in fact, in a skydiving exercise mishap.

He woke up . . . different.

He healed from injuries he was told would take a full year to recover from in days. He had a seamless metal cuff on his wrist that GLOWED. His RAGE seemed to affect the behavior of the people around him.

Then he meets a girl who tells him he's WAR.

As in one of the four horsemen from Revelation, but not in an imminent apocalypse kind of way. He's been given certain gifts to do a thing.

BUT. Despite the lack of the apocalypse, there were still some very biblical themes--think Supernatural after Heaven and Hell got involved--which I always find to be awkward (b/c Bible Belt upbringing, I can't help it).

So there's that.

Then some of the plot elements and escalations are pretty basic. Not in an obnoxious, written for thirteen-year-olds who don't know any better kind of way, but in an if-you're-an-adult-who-only-on-rare-occasions-reads-YA-you-probably-won't-have-the-patience-for-this-one kind of way.

I struggled with a manboy meant to be a hardcore military man-in-training outlining every, single aspect of his interactions with girl-he-likes, in the "debriefing" that accounts for around 90% of the story. There are probably half a dozen details like that, requiring a deliberate decision to suspend disbelief.

But forewarned is forearmed, and nothing was too huge a stretch.

PLUS, Plot Twist at the end--totally didn't see it coming. And it was pretty darn epic. Like you'd expect from a book with a flaming horse on the cover.

SO. Overall, I greatly enjoyed RIDERS by Veronica Rossi, and I can't wait to see what the next installment brings. I think pretty much anyone who reads and loves YA will like it, too. It's only the YA weekenders I'm concerned about. As for the rest of you, go forth and one-click! What's not to like about bossy manboys getting all flustered by sassy, SUPER brave girls, plus there are swords and bows and FLAMING HORSES. Highly recommended. Unless you're one of those.

Jessica Signature
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,045 followers
May 28, 2019
3.5 stars

Buddyread with my big sis, Rachel

The plot is intriguing. A teenage girl (Seeker) has to do the most difficult task (because the boys’ meetings usually end in a brawl) of bringing together four teenage boys (the Horsemen) to protect something important while fighting evil demonic monsters. It’s very entertaining actually.

The narration is in the form of an interview where the interviewee is the one actually narrating past events and I can’t deny it could be engaging to read. It also gives you a clue as to the plot structure of the story. I admire the author’s versatility in writing. Her style here is completely different from that of her first series. Here, she is able to pull off the entertaining, genuine teen talk (aka the “Aj the Ravenous Reader/the Forever Teen” talk).

The highlight of the story for me was the last quarter especially where the beautiful horses finally appeared on full display. I also liked that part where the boy’s weapons materialize out of thin air when needed and their uncanny ability to affect other people’s emotions. They’re what made the entire thing so cool.

Also, there’s a minor character from the Philippines so plus half a star for that! Lol.

Happy birthday to my favorite 14 year old friend, Kelsi. I hope you’re enjoying your day with your buddies at the farm in the company of your most wonderful family and let us not forget, may you never run out of awesome books to read. Love yah, girly! <3 And because you love horses,

Profile Image for Sabrina.
476 reviews246 followers
June 28, 2018
”My team - an actor, a drunk, and a sociopath - didn't exactly inspire confidence.”

This book is incredibly funny and sarcastic.
I absolutely love the concept of The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (seriously, anything remotely related to that I will read it), so clearly I had huge expectations.
And they were achieved.

The story had a steady pace, the writing is easy and incredibly funny to read.
I had a lot of LOL moments, and the sarcasm in this was on point.

The plot twist was completely unexpected to me. In no way had I thought of that and I was completely surprised and I absolutely adore it.

There is no other character that has the memory of Gideon Blake, he remembers every detail of every single thing.

The action started in the final chapters of the book, and they were amazing. They all involved horses.
That’s how I imaged. The names of the horses were on point too,😂.

All of the characters were interesting to know about.
I liked them so much, Sebastian is my favorite, if I have to choose, the rest is in second.
They all had different personalities that went so well with the other. The development was slow but good.

I need answers now. Because hello? Sebastian is where? With who?
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
593 reviews3,542 followers
July 25, 2016
2.5 stars

"Gideon... you're the second rider. You are War, the red horseman. From Revelation."

I have the perfect gif for Riders. Wait for it... Wait for it...

Do you know how excited I was for Riders? I raged when I wasn't approved for an ARC. Well, not really. I said a swear word, petted my cat and went on with life.

But I was disappointed. I'm a big Supernatural fan and the Apocalypse arc was the highlight of the series. The first five seasons are dope. Two brothers and an angel fighting to stop a godly smackdown. It has its funny moments ("Do these tacos taste funny to you?" kills me every single time), but it's a reasonably serious show at its core. They're drawing on heavy stuff; it needs to be serious.

Riders is like what happens if Rick Riordan puked all over Biblical mythology.

Now, I love Riordan. His works are funny and a joy to read. Riders is more flippant. It's not funny—it just doesn't take itself seriously.

Then how the hell am I supposed to?

I don't even have that much to rant talk about because it's bland mush. The plot is run-of-the-mill. I can potentially see it becoming a Hollywood blockbuster. It has a formulaic, simple plot that works great in that particular form of media. Gideon is your average Joe main character who wants to protect everyone and is haunted by his past and shit. Throw in a dash of needless secrecy and the reluctant-recruited-teammates trope and you've got Riders.

Daryn is a disappointment of a character. I expect this kind of personality-less, elusive female character from James Dashner and Patrick Rothfuss, but from a fellow female author? It hurts, man.

And why doesn't she tell Gideon from the beginning the bad guy can read minds and that's why she can't give out crucial information? Why do readers have to sit through this ridiculous secrecy? If the bad guy (I don't even remember his name. The only reason I remember everyone else's names is because they're in my notes) captures him, Gideon will find out he can read minds. It's not a big secret. He will have simply learned through action rather than listening.

Logic farts are everywhere. Why is Gideon a dick and doesn't tell his mom and sister he's safe? He disappeared after a party at his sister's dorm. They're definitely worried out of their minds. The bad guy can find out where they live by reading Gideon's mind anyway. Why not give them reprieve?

I might read the sequel only to Riders has a prequel vibe. Let's see if it lives up to its mythology next time.
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,120 reviews1,348 followers
February 10, 2016
Without any doubt, Riders was my must-read book of 2016. It was one of the only few books I was dying to get my hands on because as most of you may know, Veronica Rossi is an author I admire and worship. My expectations were sky-high when I went into the book, although I will admit to expecting it to be a fantasy series for some reason, which it isn't. Thankfully, Riders turned out to be a rather spectacular read that left me salivating for more at the end!


Image courtesy of DeviantArt

male narration

If you didn't know, Riders is told  in the point of view of the male protagonist, Gideon. Veronica Rossi did a bang up job with his voice! I tend to struggle a bit with male POVs, but I had no trouble connecting with Gideon. From the moment he allowed readers a peek into his mind, I was so completely fascinated by the workings of his brain. Gideon was cocky, charming and hilarious as a character. Not to forget, he was passionate and incredibly steadfast when it came to his family and the safety of his loved ones. He was a very complex character that truly underwent a whole lot of growth throughout Riders from a mildly intense and aggressive character to someone who learns to control his anger. His journey was incredible and by the end, I have no doubt you will be rooting like crazy for this boy like I do.


This is important to know before you go into Riders, but if you're expecting anything remotely similar to Under the Never Sky, then change your expectations immediately because nothing about Riders is like the author's debut series. And trust me when I say that's not a bad thing. As much as I love Under the Never Sky (a series of my heart and soul!), I was so pleased to read something entirely different from Veronica Rossi. Riders just went to prove just how versatile and incredibly talented she is. I tend to get annoyed when authors seem to employ the same writing styles, plot tropes and character personalities in their books, so I was beyond pleased with this one! Her writing, was as always, flawless - not that I was expecting anything different! It's really easy to sink into her prose and get lost in its depths. Her writing itself is such an experience and is a top reason why Riders is a must read.


Friendship is always such an important element of books for me. I love reading about growing platonic relationships and so I was excited about the blossoming friendships in Riders between the 4 horsemen of apocalypse. It was a thing of beauty watching them progress from wariness and animosity to almost brothers with their loyalty to each other and the fun banter between them. It helped that they all had such unique personalities and were all quite loveable. I, of course, have my favorites (BAS!), but I had a soft spot for all of them. I'm looking forward to getting to know them more intimately in Seeker.

 gripping plot

Initially, it took me a bit of time to really dive into Riders because the book is told in flashbacks and present scenes, but once I got adjusted to the tone of the story, I was hooked. It's a fast-paced, thrilling and non-stop action kind of read, perfect for a paranormal story like Riders. The world building was presented in bits and pieces, an element that makes for a bit of a slow start, but by the last quarter of the book, it finally came together and it was glorious! In addition to the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, Riders also had angels and demons and trust me when I say that they made up for a sensational series starter! BUT THAT ENDING THOUGH. It had me ready to rip my head off, and then go beg the author for book 2. I NEED IT.


Having loved and I mean LOVED the romance between Aria and Perry in Under the Never Sky, I was most excited for the romance in Riders. While romance wasn't the focus of the story, I was pleased with the way it progressed. Daryn and Gideon have what I would call a slow-burn romance, only that stayed in the background for the most part, but slowly grew into more. Their relationship wasn't easy with Daryn being very secretive about her role in the story and her purpose for bringing the 4 horsemen together, but it was understandable. And guys, I shipped them so hard. I'm ready for some more swoony kisses in the sequel and I have no doubt it will be even more ship-worthy and mind blowing in Seeker.


YEP. This is totally a legitimate reason to read Riders because these horses were my absolute favorite parts of the book. Horses are such beautiful creatures and I was giddy with excitement to see them play such pivotal roles in Riders. Gideon's horse, whose name I won't reveal because he isn't named until way after, had so much personality. Like his rider, he was a little bit sassy and a whole lot loyal. The growing bond between Gideon and his fiery horse was a highlight of the book for me. Watching them become close to one another was a very "FEELS!" kind of moment for me.

Overall, I was very impressed by Riders and Veronica Rossi's foray into the paranormal genre. It was a fresh story with a really great cast and I'm excited to learn more about this world that Rossi has crafted. Definitely give this a book a try, readers!
Profile Image for Jillian .
431 reviews1,783 followers
February 13, 2016
**4.5 stars**

Video Review: Coming Soon

Veronica Rossi has done it again, folks! I am a huge, huge fan of her Under the Never Sky trilogy so I was really looking forward to the release of riders. I sort of had a vague idea of what this book was about when I first heard about it, but I wanted to go into it blind. So I was really pleased when it had to do with a twist of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse lore/stories/scriptures.

I really loved the plot of this book. The story was so fascinating because Veronica Rossi incorporated alot of scripture and history and background of the horsement. So you have the War, Conquest, Famine, and Death. They're reincarnated into humans (our MCs) and are destined to protect humanity against evil and demons and all that. Cool, right? YESSS IT IS. It's so action packed and the story is myterious and intriguing all the way through until an extremely climactic end. My heart was RACING through out the book.

The characters were really solid. I especially liked the main character Gideon. He may be a typical YA male protagonist -- angry, sarcastic and sassy, and needs to control everything (I also pictured this dude as Bellamy Blake LOL) -- but Gideon was likable. His character development was great and I really empathized with him. I did like the girl/love interest, Daryn. I wish she was a little more fleshed out as with all the other characters, Bastian (famine), Marcus (death), and jode (conquest). I felt like I got all these little bits and pieces but i needed more. I do feel like the next book is really going to do that so I'm looking forward to it. I think the best part of the characters are their interactions and the relationships that are formed. Alot of the times i was smiling and laughing while they were all together and I was rooting for them. This is a good v. evil story and I highly recommend it.

The writing was great. Veronica Rossi is such a great storyteller. Whenever I had the time to read, I could not put this down. I hated being interrupted. She just has this great talent for creating interesting stories and fantastic character relationships with her writing. She also gave me a little bit of feels through out too!

Overall I highly recommend this. It's a great first book in a duology. It was extremely exciting and left me on the edge of my seat! I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel!!

Disclaimer: Big thank you to Tor Teen for this review copy! I was sent a finished copy by Tor Teen in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own.
500 reviews2,411 followers
Want to read
August 26, 2016

This cover. I want to lick it.
Profile Image for Neil (or bleed).
965 reviews740 followers
March 28, 2016
I had never read a book about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (and actually knew little about them) so the fact that I am so excited about it is an understatement. I don't know what to expect but I am sure it will deliver and I will enjoy reading it since Veronica Rossi wrote it. (She writes the Under the Never Sky trilogy which I really loved.)

And unsurprisingly, I do. I did.

Riders is a fun, page-turner read. I'd had a couple of laughs with the sarcasm and wittyness of the characters. The banters were also great, giving the extra ride and light for the novel. And thanks for its straightforward writing and narrative, I haven't had a hard time reading this book. It was engaging and I'm hooked from the very start up to the end. The interrogation format also works for me and it kinda tricked me. Hmp.

I absolutely enjoyed reading Riders there's no denying on that, even I threw some eye-rolls on the romance part. Well, I think it is still instant and didn't make me giggle or something but at least, it hadn't gone overwhelming and somehow, made a conflict and sense for the plot.

The plot and the mystery of it is also one of the strong points of this book, in my opinion. It's kinda frustrating, as usual, to wait until the end to find out the answer to my question but all I can say it is worth the wait. The delivery of it all, and the realization on my part is really amazing. I thought it was a smart one and redeemed my frustration.

Oh yes, there are some other aspects that haven't been explained well, not enough information yada yada especially on the (spoiler alert! oh, not really) Seeker part. But seeing the title of the sequel, it was understandable that the author is reserving those explanation and information in the second book. And I'm fine with it.

Totally engaging, with distinct and lovely characters, awesome horses, cool weapons, kickass action, demons, and a little of unreliable narrator, Riders is a fantastic ride! #TeamFamine
Profile Image for Siiri (Little Pieces of Imagination).
538 reviews106 followers
August 7, 2021
the last two years i have been trying to not buy many books and tackle more of those already on my shelf that i was once so excited about. riders is one of those - sounds unique and written by one of my favorite YA authors? sounds like a good time guaranteed!

had i read this when i was still a teenager, i probably would have loved it! veronica rossi always writes her books high stakes and i really got those wonder woman: warbringer vibes from this one

i love the idea of this book and i really liked the format (interrogation pov switching with a memory pov of the things gideon is being interrogated about) which allowed for a certain mystery to entangle which eventually came together quite nicely

but i didn't fall in love with the characters which is ultimately the key to really loving this novel and i didn't whatsoever care about the romance (which is a shame because the romances in under the never sky trilogy and its novellas made me feel everything once upon a time)

this (mildly) open ending actually suited the story really well, so you will not find me reading the sequel


originally from 2016:

;_______; The sound of series is basically all I've ever wanted.
I needs. Come here, precious.

Profile Image for anna.
553 reviews37 followers
Shelved as 'tbr'
February 25, 2016

I am quite intrigued, after the last 20 or so pages. I might just pre-order this in the next few days.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews839 followers
February 13, 2016
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Riders by Veronica Rossi
Book One of the Riders series
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publsher

Summary (from Goodreads):

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

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?

What I Liked:

I'm going to start my review by saying that this is one of those books that you really need to read for yourself, don't necessarily trust the reviews (positive or negative). Obviously my review it going to be positive, but I've seen many negative and DNF reviews for this book. I adored Rossi's Under the Never Sky trilogy, and I thought her New Adult contemporary romance series (under Noelle August) was just okay. I've had Riders for months, but I put off reading it until February, upon the publisher's request. I personally think it was well worth the wait! By now, I've seen a mix of reviews, but I managed to evade the specifics and form my own opinion. I encourage anyone interested in this book to do the same!

This book is written backwards - Gideon is telling a federal agent what happened, so the story is being told to us. We know that Gideon is drugged and held in a prison at an unknown location, and that he has been separated from three males and one female that he had been with, in Norway. We know that he is one of the four Horsemen, and that they was protecting something incredibly important, but everything went wrong. Gideon must tell his story in hopes of the agent believing him and letting him go - but it's not as simple as all that.

I don't usually like books that are written such that the story is being told back to us, in which a character is in the present and telling us the past. However, I think this type of storytelling worked, in this book. I think a lot of people struggled with this, especially in the beginning, but I think Rossi did a really good job of crafting the story with this uncommon way of sharing the story.

I adore Gideon. He's got a temper, he's a tough guy, he's a hard worker, he's got a serious case of OCPD, and he's a good person. He has so many layers - I love how thoroughly and deeply Rossi digs into his character. He has so much baggage from his past that is weighing him down, and part of his journey throughout this book is coming to terms with the baggage.

This book is told exclusively in Gideon's first-person POV, and I love this change of pace (compared to most YA novels). Just Gideon in first-person, no one else. Gideon has an interesting and hilarious voice. He's sarcastic and yet direct, commanding and sometimes harsh. He has a military mindset, with the precision and the commands and the physical and mental strength.

Gideon is War, hence the temper. Throughout the book, he and Daryn (a girl who shows up needing his help) search for the other three Horsemen. There is Sebastian, who is Famine. He is talkative and excitable, and the joker of the group. Marcus is Death, and he is hardened and almost unfeeling. He and Gideon do NOT get along (but they are so similar). And finally, there is Jode, who is Conquest. He's a "pretty boy", rich and cultured and polished. Together, the group must work together to help Daryn and protect the mysterious THING that the bad guys are looking for.

There is romance in this book, and there is NO love triangle/square/pyramid/pentagon/anything of the sort. It's a linear romance, and a slow-burn one, and not an easy one. I loved watching Gideon and Darryn fall for each other, but Darryn pulls away from Gideon constantly (for good reason, unfortunately), and I just wanted to smoosh their heads together! The romance is pretty minimized, though it is there. I think it might be a tiny bit more present in the next book, but I like that it isn't the main emphasis of the story. Not by far.

I won't say much more on the plot, but I will say that the story starts very slowly. I remember reaching the fifty-page mark and losing interest a little. But if you power past the 100-page mark, you'll be fine. The story took off around page 120 ish, and I couldn't stop reading. I loved seeing Gideon's character development, the small progressions in his relationship with Darryn, as well as how the four boys work together. The bad guys - demons - were a strange bunch, as was the world-building of this book. Still, I like what Rossi has going on here.

Overall, you can probably tell that I liked this book. Maybe not as much as I'd liked the Under the Never Sky series, but this new Rossi book didn't disappoint me at all! I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

What I Did Not Like:

Like I said above, the beginning of this book is SO slow. I actually wasn't getting into the book and wanted to push it back (for the forty billionth time), but I wasn't feeling it. It took me about 150 pages before I really started flying through the pages. So, be aware of that.

Would I Recommend It:

This book is set in the modern world, but obviously it's got tons of fantasy elements. If you're a fan, give it a try! This book isn't stuffed with religion (though there are Biblical references), and it also isn't consumed by romance. Gideon is a likable and noble hero, and I wouldn't mind reading more from his POV! Book two, here I come!


4 stars. I'm so glad I kept reading, and that I didn't get deterred by negative reviews. I wasn't likely to get deterred, since I got this one from the publisher and I've had it for review for months, but it's disheartening to see people dislike a book that you've been dying to read for years. I'm glad it didn't disappoint me!
Profile Image for Rachel Maniacup.
153 reviews79 followers
July 12, 2016
This sweet,lovely friend of mine recommended this book to me and to my sister AJ the Ravenous Reader because,not only that this book mentioned our country here(the main character said: Joy was cute,and told me about all the great beaches in the Philippines where she's from..some place called Cebu),but it's also "bloody amazing" and most of all, it's about "horses and horsemen!" Yeah,my friend KELSI love horses!And why not?She,herself is a horselady 'cause she's a very young tough,lady and a very good rider! And today,is just the perfect day to tell this friend of ours how proud we are of her,because today is her birthday! And that is why my sister and I buddyread this^^

So,what can I say bout this book? Well..JUST READ THIS! It would surprise you,I swear! I knew that when I saw the incredible cover,the writing on this book would be beautiful..just like what Veronica Rossi did to her Under the Never Sky series,only in a different way.But again, I was mesmerized by the great story line,and wonderful characters:
Gideon-WAR -the witty,hot-tempered,HOT guy!
Sebastian-FAMINE -the cute,hilarious,multi-talented guy (the love of my life and my HERO)lol!
Marcus-DEATH -the silent but ferocious!
Jode-CONQUEST -the bloody brilliant and rich British!
Daryn -the beautiful,but frustratingly secretive,strong girl who brought the four men together.

To you my dear friend,thank you very much for recommending this book that's awesome as YOU!
HAPPY,HAPPY BIRTHDAY,DEAR KELSI! I love you so much,mwah!

Profile Image for Joelle (Throne of books) .
193 reviews64 followers
February 27, 2016
*2.5ish stars*
When I first heard this was about the Four horsemen of the apocalypse, I was beyond ecstatic.

Unfortunately, this was a bit of a disappointment. I expected more of ... Well, EVERYTHING. The romance for one, is barely existent. And let me tell you, the story starts of with our main character being held tied up to a chair and being questioned by the government or who ever it is that investigates cases like these.
If you're a fan of Veronica Rossi's previous series, there's a 50/50 chance you'll like this. While this is pretty entertaining, it is NOTHING like Under the never sky. The writing is very distinctive, and the pacing is a combination of slow and fast. It's a quick read but the pace in which things are happening was very slow. Also, I am not a fan of the way the story was told. Like I mentioned earlier, it starts with him in the present being interviewed/questioned about the events that led up to that moment.

Every chapter starts off with him being asked questioned and he details what happened. We go into past tense. It's hard to explain for me. It's like when we were children and our grandmother would make us sit around her and she would begin retelling us a story. That's what this was like, our main character was narrating what happened. An example of another novel that does this, is Stephen king's Carrie.
Now, I personally did not like reading in this type of format. The story was interesting, to say the least. I liked some of the stuff that happened but I wasn't overall impressed or in any way attached to the characters. I'm going to be honest and say I don't think I'll be picking up the sequel, I wasn't left with a strong impression so I don't see the point of doing so.
Q: Has anyone else noticed that many of the books that have been released in February have been disappointing? If so, what book disappointed you? Let me know in the comments below!
Profile Image for Dany.
257 reviews
Want to read
August 6, 2016
I don't know why, but for some reason the first thing that cross my mind was:

(Okay, the premise wasn't the same but it remembers me a season of the series. And the horsemen of the Apocalypse are not precisely a new thing)
Profile Image for Jen ♥Star-Crossed Book Blog♥.
518 reviews317 followers
February 14, 2016
Riders was enthralling, addicting and I fell madly in love with this story.  A story where death created a journey that was filled with new-found powers and struggles at every turn. I couldn't help falling for the main male character and his fellow horsemen.  I also adored a girl who seemed to hold all of the answers to their questions.  All of these elements together created a fabulous book that landed right on my favorites shelf!  Riders is definitely a must read!

What are you looking at, Gideon?
You.  I’m looking at you.
How am I looking?
Perfect , I shouldn’t said.  But I didn’t.

I loved how the story of Riders unfolded.  It was brilliant!  We started in the present, where Gideon Blake, who was just bound and gagged, was being interrogated by the people who rescued him.  And he had to recount the last six weeks of his life, from when he died and woke up with a cuff on his arm, to what lead him to this point in time now.  The present gave us clues to people and situations that Gidion faced and how he felt about them, and the past filled in his fascinating journey to join with the three other horsemen.  I happily transitioned from the past to the present with ease.  In truth, I became obsessed with both time frames!

“Special Agent Daryn Martin.  Come in please, Ms. Martin.  This is War.  Over.”
Over the drone of the engines, I couldn’t hear my message register on her radio, but she did.  I saw her digging around in her bag.  A few seconds later, her voice came through my radio.
“Yes, Gideon?”
I pressed the talk button. “You will?”
“I will what?”
“I just asked you to come over here and you said yes.”
“You didn’t ask that.”
“But you answered anyway.  Come here.”
“You’re messing up the balance of the plane.  We’re going to fly in circles unless you come here.”
“Your ego’s weighing that side down just fine.”
I laughed. “Is that another no?”

Not only did I love the story that was told, but the characters too.  We got to meet each of the characters, one by one, which made me become attached to each of them.  Even ones I didn't expect to at first.  But for the horsemen, I loved how they were their own person, unique from each other.  They included a friendly boy next door whose speech was hilarious and made me laugh so many times, a quiet bad-ass who I secretly crushed on because I like the challenging and difficult ones, and a good guy who came from a privileged life whose memory was astounding.  Each of them helped round out their group.  But my favorite by far was Blake.  He could be a hothead than practical, or sarcastic one moment and heartfelt the next, ohhhh or swoon worthy and then an ass.   And those swoon worthy moments filled my stomach with butterflies!  Blake was the boy who I desperately wanted to help fix, especially getting to hear some of the thoughts in his head.  But alas we also got to meet a very secretive girl who I really can't say that much about, other than I adored her!  Especially seeing her through Blake's eyes!

She smiled.  With the desert glowing gold and amber all around, so much like her, it was a perfect smile.  No secrets.  No hesitation.  Like she’d laid the full measure of herself on me.
It leveled me.
I reached for her hand, which was surprising to both of us.  What was I doing?  But I was already committed so I wove my fingers through hers, keeping it smooth.  Under control.

I feel as though there is so much that I can't say, but I have to mention that lead up to the ending.  Those perilous situations continued on longer than I thought was possible, and I loved every heart stopping moment of it!  Riders was a rich, imaginative story that I highly recommend!  And while it's part of a dualogy, and I'm desperately waiting for that 2nd book to be released already, I am in a good holding pattern where it ended.  Well, kind of not really haha!  What I mean is that enough answers are revealed so I found some relief, but that last page has me dying to read the final book.  I can't wait to see how Gideon's journey ends!

*ARC kindly provided by Veronica Rossi via a Twitter Giveaway in exchange for an honest review*

PS I have to say that I am ecstatic that this story had scenes in places that are near my heart!  Some scenes were in Half Moon Bay, California which I use to visit in my teenage years and another part took place on the Cal Poly campus in San Luis Obispo, CA where I went to college!  While I loved all of the locations in this book, I definitely loved those the most! ♥

This review was originally posted on Star-Crossed Book Blog

For more of my reviews, please visit:
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Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,422 reviews1,326 followers
February 22, 2016
When you pick up this book, please do not expect Under the Never Sky.

Seriously, I think that sometimes we set preconceived ideas when we start a new series from a beloved author based on their previous work, and you do a disservice to both yourself and the author when you do that.

Riders is absolutely nothing like UNTS and rightly so. Set in our world, the story revolves around angels, demons and the Four Horsemen … OF THE APOCALYPSE. Yes that’s right.

Rossi tells this story in a series of flashbacks that lead us to the situation that Gideon finds himself in on the very first page… tied to a chair, gagged and head covered with a hood and no idea where he is.

I immediately found myself connecting with Gideon … his dry humor and snark were present throughout and you all know I appreciate that quality in a character and that made me that much more interested in the story he was telling. The first 75% or so of this first installment is setting the stage for what comes next, and Rossi did it in a way that kept me engaged and turning pages.

Gideon of course isn’t perfect and I love that Rossi creates characters who are flawed and yet I find myself loving them so much. Of course, there are three other horsemen who we meet as Gideon tells the story, and I can’t wait to learn more about each of them.

This definitely isn’t your typical angels/demons story and I think if you can stick with the slower paced start, you’re definitely going to find yourself intrigued with the story that Rossi is telling. I know I’m excited to see where book 2 takes us, especially with that ending! Definitely get this one on your to read list today!

Thank you to the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts!
Profile Image for Michael.
177 reviews770 followers
February 21, 2016
Holy horses (I don't even think that qualifies as a pun but bear with my my thoughts are still recovering).

This book was everything I was hoping it would be and more. Like, I set my expectation high based on that plot summary and boy did this book come through.

First, I'm really digging unique storytelling methods this year, and this one definitely fell in that category. It was such a unique way to reveal two timelines at once!

And the characters. Gideon really doesn't have the qualities of a character I'd like, but, damn! I literally loved (sort of) all the characters. They were all so different. They all had their own unique stories. They all stepped up.

And the plot. Literally so mind-blowing. S**t got wayyyy crazier than I was expecting, but this is a book about the apocalypse, so I was clearly dumb for expecting less. So much action. So much tension. So much "oh shit, did that really just happen?!"

I have a feeling this is going to be one of my top books of the whole year.
Profile Image for Kiki.
193 reviews8,457 followers
September 5, 2016
Fun in places, agonising in others, with an ending like one of those Lord of the Rings movies: endless, fucking endless, filled with impossible stunts and going through a bitter divorce with physics. There's also the last chapter, which I absolutely could not wrap my head around. What the fuck was going on there.

(I also want to add, because it was something that stuck out to me, and something that bothered me, that Marcus was my favourite character. I really, really liked him. He was barely there, barely spoke, barely had any input due to Gideon arbitrarily hating him, but I really, really liked him and I was so interested in him. I wish this book had been from his point of view. I want to know more about him. I might even read the sequel just for some more insight into him. He had a cool horse and a really interesting power, and I just...loved Marcus. I connected with him, while I didn't connect to any of the other characters in this book.)

You bet your perky little ass I'm going to review this. Don't expect any less of me.

Profile Image for Danielle (Love at First Page).
726 reviews622 followers
September 1, 2016

4.5-5 stars

This is the lowest rating I've given to a Veronica Rossi book and it's still almost five stars. I love her writing so, so much! Breathtaking prose, snappy dialogue, endearing characters, swoony romance, creative world building... And you guys have to meet Gideon; his is one of the best male POVs I've ever read. Can't wait for the sequel!
Profile Image for B.A. Wilson.
2,451 reviews305 followers
October 25, 2017
I reread this book before reading the sequel, Seeker. This time around, I listened to the audiobook, which was fantastic. I'm glad I listened, because I couldn't remember enough to move forward with the second book. I hate that feeling of confusion, and it was nice to revisit this story. I really enjoy Gideon's POV and sense of humor.


I received an ARC of RIDERS through a Twitter contest and quickly fell in love. This story isn’t even published yet, and I’m anxious for the next one. I would beg Veronica Rossi to let me beta read book two, if that didn’t seem so desperate and stalkerish.

If you were a fan of UTNS, which I was (a serious fan), then you should know this story is absolutely, completely different. The contrast makes me want to fill my review with useless adverbs and adjectives, just to try to explain it to you. If you read a sample of both, I don’t believe you’d guess the same author wrote the stories.

I love that, because RIDERS is its own, different, fantastic story with a unique voice. It snuck its way into my heart with interesting characters and an amazing premise, which goes to show that a good writer can bring something new and different to every story.

I won’t summarize the plot, because everyone else will. Instead, I want to say that Veronica Rossi writes beautifully flawed characters that I adore and relate to. If you wrote a list of Gideon’s flaws down on paper, he wouldn’t seem like the kind of guy I’d want to be friends with, but he captured my heart (and often my sympathy), bit by bit, with the non-apologetic way his mind works. He reminded me that actions matter, but you also need to look past those to see a person’s deeper intentions, if you really want to understand someone.

The story shifts back and forth between past and present, and I really enjoyed how it all came together. Despite all the struggles and hardships, I want to be one of the boys and have my own horse, and I think that says everything. It’s a world I hated to leave and can’t wait to return to.

Pages: 384
Profile Image for Kaye.
Author 1 book170 followers
September 11, 2016
UPDATE 10/9/2016


Even now I can't stop thinking about this book. I'm still spellbound!!! If you havent read this as yet, you should now. I promise you, it won't disappoint!



I know I just used a word to describe how I'm feeling after reading this gem of a book but I still feel like that one word isn't strong enough to let you guys know just how truly amazing this book is.

I mean, what the hell did I just read?!!!!

I can't. I just CANNOT!

It was FRESH! Something that has been lacking in books nowadays, or maybe just ones I've been reading but you get what I'm saying.

This book takes a whole damn new spin on the FOUR HORSEMEN. Their roles, powers, just everything was so damn exciting and unpredictable! That's what I loved the most, I could not predict anything that was going to happen and I'm a real good guesser when it comes to that department on figuring out whats going to happen next in a book!

Riders blew me the hell away and back like a boomerang. I just couldn't stop reading! The setting, that damn PLOT, the writing and I must truly applaud Veronica Rossi for how she delivered the story through the protagonist. Simply brilliant!

And Oh! The CHARACTERS! Oh lord, they were stupendous! Really good job there with War. Famine. Death. Conquest.

I just CANNOT wait for the sequel!

Read this book! Read it now!
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,889 followers
June 15, 2016
After her extremely successful Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi’s sophomore project is finally here, and I dare say it’s slightly different from what her readers expected. Told from a male point of view, Riders is based on the New Testament story about the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. In her story, Conquest, War, Famine and Death are reincarnated (or rather embodied) as four teenage boys, all of whom had to die in order to become what they are.

Our narrator is one of the Four Horsemen, War. Gideon tells his story retrospectively, to an interrogator in an unknown government facility. He is there after being arrested for a crime that has yet to be revealed and he begins his story with the moment of his untimely death. With Gideon narrating his story in such an odd way, some of the urgency is gone and we’re left merely trying to catch up. The pacing is rapid, but we already more or less know how things end, which takes away at least some of our tension.

Rossi was always very good with details, which is true in this book as well. Although we don’t get nearly enough information about Gideon (War) himself and the extent of his powers, the horsemen and their horses were very interesting to read about. There is so much potential here, endless possibilities for weapons, abilities and weaknesses. We’ll hopefully learn more in the upcoming sequel.

In an effort to make Gideon’s love interest Daryn appear more mysterious, Rossi made her compassionless and inaccessible. From the start, Gideon’s insta-attraction seemed superficial and made very little sense. The more he was deceived and outright lied to, the more he admired Daryn and claimed he understood her. That type of romance is fairly difficult to like, but it might turn into something more substantial in the next book, which will be told from Daryn’s perspective.

The next book, Seeker, will be told from Daryn’s perspective. I obviously didn’t much care for her in this book, but I trust Rossi to skillfully turn that around.

Profile Image for Stacee.
2,711 reviews703 followers
November 24, 2015
This was awesome. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the synopsis was cool and it's Veronica, so for me it was a no-brainer.

It was a bit of a slow burn, but once I settled into the rhythm it was fantastic. The imagery is perfection, the boys act like macho boys, there are some subtle swoons, a few laughs, and a hell of a lot of creepy.

I've seen some mixed reviews, but I loved every page. The ending is quite intriguing and I'm eager to see how it plays out for book 2.

**Huge thanks to Holly for letting me borrow her arc**
Profile Image for Colleen Houck.
Author 39 books8,966 followers
June 18, 2016
Oh boy I love the horses and their names! I wish I had one of my own. I don't think I'd be a very good horse owner in real life. Dogs are plenty to keep me busy, but horses I could summon with my mind. Umm...yes! I really like how this book started where you're not sure what's going on and then as it goes along everything becomes clear. It's a really unique storytelling style. It reminds me of the storytelling in the X-Files.
Profile Image for Britt.
318 reviews81 followers
February 15, 2016
This book fell incredibly flat for me. The concept was okay but it was the narration and MC that I was NOT a fan of in the least. He clearly thought he was funny and amazing and he was not in the least. In fact I think the word I would use is obnoxious. The whole story the characters are kept in the dark as well as the readers. By the time you get the "thing" you don't give two fucks anymore. If you like choppy narration with a string along plot that is less than statisfying then this book is all you. Sorry Riders.
Profile Image for Joanna .
426 reviews84 followers
July 17, 2020
Update : July 16 2020 - Second read through

Its been 3 years since I have read this book and I will have to say that I enjoyed the book. Though if I am being honest its definitely more of a 4 star read as oppose to the 5 star rating I gave it the first time. This was mostly due to the way that some scenes didn't transition to battle scenes well and left me puzzled on how we got there.

The strength of this book is in the characters by far. I enjoyed all of them and appreciated Jode, Marcus and Daryn more then I did the first time. I still believe Gideon is one of the best male protagonist that I have read and that surprisingly has not changed over the years. He is interesting and hilarious and I love that he unknowingly became the hero that he always saw his father as and that he thought he could never emulate.

I can't believe it has taken me this long to get to Seeker but I'm doing it now.

I hope it is just as awesome as this book.

Happy Reading

I am actually quite exhausted because I have just put out reviews for both A Darker Shade of Magic and Provocative in Pearls on my blog The Reading Experience this morning and I'm only just getting started on the crazy amount of review writingI have to do today alone LOL. Even though I've been writing now for over 3hrs, I knew I needed to just power through because this book NEEDS to be PRAISED!!!!!

Okay when this book hit the book community everyone was excited because, as I am sure you know, Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky series was amazing. After a few months, I was watching some Booktubers' review of this book and it made me slightly apprehensive about reading it. This would be my first go at a Veronica Rossi book even though I own her earlier series but its still unread. In the end I picked it up as an audiobook from my library (loving that service) and started to listen to it. Oh man, smh, this book was incredible. Let me start by saying that listening to this on audiobook is a MUST because our narrator, Dan Bitner, brought me nothing but LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every character he played, especially Gideon, was amazing. It was truly incredible and had me laughing out loud so much that people on my local subway use to turn and stare.

Okay lets jump into the writing style. I loved how it is told by Gideon as a recounting of events to another person. I enjoyed that it was kind of part report and part flashback. Really unique to me and very engaging. I never felt annoyed when he was recounting events in the past and then he would be interacting with the people in the present. It was always a very smooth transition from one to the other. The plot is incredibly unique too. I have never read any book that has the four horsemen of the apocalypse as the main characters. That alone sold me. Mysterious and fantastical it was well paced, action packed and left you always wanting to know more.

If you didn't already guess, the pearl of this story is the characters themselves. Especially, my favourite, Gideon. Firstly I wanna say I much I appreciate that these characters are not high schoolers. They are still young, as in they are under 25, but they aren't 15 going on 16 and have to deal with being at school while all of this was happening. I appreciated this because then you didn't have to have a greater suspension of disbelief any more then you normally would for a fantasy book. As with my Six of Crows review I am going to go list our MC's from my least favourite to my most favourite even though I love them all.

5. Jode a.k.a Conquest is a quite loveable character. We meet him last so we don't know too much about him but when the rubber meets the road, this dude is on. Great strategist and fighter. Total badass for a rich kid.

4. Marcus a.k.a Death is totally mysterious. We know next to nothing about his life and he is a bit antisocial. Once he starts to open up a small bit, he becomes a welcomed part of the team. Great fighter and of course he is scary af. I want to know more about him and I hope we find out more in the second book.

3. Daryn is a great side character. She is not annoying and I love her determination even if it is partially driven by outside forces. We learn a little about her family and you grow to love her more with every sacrifice she makes.

2. Sebastian a.k.a Famine is hilarious. He is the joker of the bunch and a natural softy however DO NOT let that fool you into thinking Bastian is not the biggest badass of them all. This dude's weapons are crazy and he can wield em. He is an amazing guy to everyone he meets and the friendship that forms between Gideon and himself is irreplaceable.

And lastly but certainly NOT my least favourite...

1. Gideon a.k.a War. I am going to say that when it comes to male protagonists, I don't have the best track record of loving them because I can't relate to them. Somehow Veronica managed to capture a young man who is intelligent and not boorish in her book and make him relatable to me as a female reader. Gideon is the strong, honourable, dedicated, compassionate and brave leader of the horsemen. He is witty and funny and his love for his mom and sister know no bounds. His friendship with Sebastian, though recently formed, turns into a 'ride or die' pact that he cherishes and his

I can't speak anymore highly about this book but I will tell you that before I had even finished the audiobook, I had already ordered a copy of the book from Bookoutlet. This is definitely one that I will reread in the future and I am so glad I was introduced to Veronica's writing this way. A definite must read by everyone and especially read via audiobook. In fact I think that, just like Shatter Me, this book is best experienced as an audiobook. Hands down one of the best performances on an audiobook I've encountered this year. It is only second to Kate Simses' performance in Shatter Me.

This is a GO. Enjoy.
*standing ovation *

Profile Image for Jessi (Novel Heartbeat).
999 reviews610 followers
July 17, 2016


At first I could take or leave this story. While intrigued, I had some issues connecting in the beginning for two reasons: One, our MC is male, and two, the way the story was told. I'm not a fan of reading in a male's POV, because well, I'm clearly a female, and I can't relate. I can't get on board a romance with another female because I like males. So automatically, the romance is out. As for the way the story is told, Gideon is recounting past events that have already happened. It was interesting, but it makes for a very detached prose. He's telling, not experiencing. The emotion isn't there because he's just telling a story. It was a bit too clinical.

Somewhere along the way, that changed for me. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I didn't like it in the beginning. My curiosity was definitely piqued, because the concept is hella awesome. But the fact that things felt detached were giving me problems. The story was good, not great. Then right around 40% things started picking up. Really picking up. I was curious about Gideon and War. Intrigued when Bastian and Famine showed up. But it wasn't until Death's appearance when I started getting really hooked. From that point on the action was non-stop! It was edge-of-your-seat, heart-pounding, cinematic action. And it was EPIC! I was completely enthralled by this story!

The concept is freaking amazing. That's definitely the selling point of this novel - I can guarantee it will be unlike anything you've ever read before! I absolutely LOVED the idea of the four horsemen reincarnated, and the Kindred. They were so creepy! My favorite part, though? The freaking horses. When Riot came into play this book went to a whole other level of enjoyment. I loved Riot! Shadow, Lucent, Ruin, and Riot were SO FREAKING BADASS, YOU GUYS.

Remember when I said this book was cinematic? I had no problem whatsoever picturing everything as it happened in my head. It was like a movie was playing, and I was engrossed! This book NEEDS to become a movie. It would be epic!!

The initial lack of connection is really the only thing that kept me from giving this book 5 stars. If the entire book had been like the last 250 pages, this would have easily been a new favorite for me! I didn't really get onboard with the romance either, but I can't really consider that as being an actual complaint. While I felt no warm fuzzies for Daryn and Gideon, it didn't detract from the story at all. The romance took a backseat to the action (thankfully)!
He was ferocious and I was taking a beating, but it only spurred me on. Because seriously? I was War.

I think Rossi did a fabulous job bringing all of the horsemen to life with their own individual personalities. They were all very distinct, which is important because they were introduced in fairly quick succession. It was never hard to tell them apart, or to forget which horseman was which. They were very convincing! I do have to say that Sebastian was my favorite, because he was the one that always brought levity to things! Gideon did have me cracking a smile from time to time too with his sarcasm.

Despite the detachment in the beginning, I quite like the way this story was told. You only get bits and pieces at a time, and no clue as to how Gideon was in the current situation. You get information in steps, and it keeps the interest going. I enjoyed Under the Never Sky, but I do believe Veronica Rossi has outdone herself this time! I can't wait to get my hands on book two!

Favorite quote
I had no problem taking orders from a girl. I'd been doing it my whole life, for one. My mom was the strongest person I knew. And if you were capable, I personally gave no shits what you were. For me character was character, end of story.

This review was originally posted on Novel Heartbeat. To see a breakdown of my assessment, please visit the full review here.
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