Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Early Review - Breath (Riders of the Apocalypse, Book 4) by Jackie Morse Kessler (4.5/5 stars)

Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal
Size: 336 pages
Publisher: Graphia
Release Date: April 16th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0547970431
Stand Alone or Series: 4th book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series
Source: Amazon Vine for Review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I received an ARC of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. Thanks to Amazon and Graphia for the chance to review this book. This is the fourth, and final, book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series. I really enjoyed it, especially since it features my favorite rider of the four, Death. This is the book where we learn how the Riders came to be and it is structured quite a bit differently than the previous books in this series.

Before Pestilence, Famine, and War there was Death. This is Death’s story. What happens when Death sucumbs to depression and gives up all hope? Without Death can there be life? Xander has a secret...and a bit of a drinking problem. When he finds Death on his balcony it is up to this troubled teen to talk Death down from abandoning humanity and destroying the world.

Previous books in this series have featured troubled teens who are basically given a choice between dying or taking on the mantel of one of the Riders of the Apocalypse. This book was different that those. This book switches POV between Xander, who drinks a lot and is beginning to have lapses in his memory, and Death.

For some reason unknown to the reader Death owes Xander a boon. The boon Xander asks for is Death’s story...the story of how he came to be on Earth and why he created the Riders.

This, as you can imagine, is a fascinating story. Death has always been my favorite character in this series. Death has a sardonic sense of humor but can still be very touching at times. To hear Death’s story was fantastic.

Xander was also an excellent character. He is struggling with some pretty big secrets and issues. Still when Death shows up on Xander’s balcony ready to end it all, Xander sets aside his own problems and asks insightful questions that make Death rethink the path he thinks is necessary.

This was a touching and compelling read. The story was very engaging; you constantly want to know Xander’s secret and what Death’s decision will be. It was very very hard to put down.

The book is wrapped up nicely and all of the Riders we have come to know and love in this series have their stories added to and enhanced some. I really enjoyed it.

Overall an excellent conclusion to this series. If you want to read a YA paranormal series that is really different you should check this out. Each book deals with social issues and part of sales is donated to a charitable organization. In this case donations go to an organization dealing with Depression. All of the books in this series are quick and interesting reads that are both entertaining and thought-provoking. Highly recommended.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Reading Challenge
- Paranormal Reading Challenge
- Young Adult Reading Challenge

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