Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review and Giveaway of 'Breath (Riders of the Apocalypse #4)' by Jackie Morse Kessler

Goodreads Description:
Contrary to popular belief, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse aren’t just harbingers of doom—they actually keep life in balance. But what happens when their leader and creator, Death, becomes suicidal?

Before the first living thing drew its first gasping breath, he was there. He has watched humanity for millennia. And he has finally decided that humanity is not worth the price he has paid time and again. When Death himself gives up on life, a teenager named Xander Atwood is the world’s only hope. But Xander bears a secret, one that may bring about the end of everything.

This heart-pounding final installment of the Riders of the Apocalypse series looks at the value of life, the strength of love, and how a small voice can change everything . . . forever.
About Author:

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 or without zombies). She also has a master’s degree in media ecology. (The living study of technology and culture. Which is cool, but she still can’t figure out how to use Tweetdeck.)

Jackie spends a lot of time writing, reading, and getting distracted by bright and shiny new ideas. (She just came up with a new idea right now.) She has a weakness for chocolate and a tendency to let her cat take over her office chair.
My Review:

I received this book back in April before it was published as a giveaway, but this is the fourth and final book in a series, and I wanted to read the first three before I read this one. I am so glad that I did read them all. I absolutely love this series. My favorite was the first in the series, Hunger, and I didn't think I could like any of the others as much as I enjoyed the first. I was wrong. 'Breath' is now officially my favorite in the series.
This book blew me away. Let me first talk about the writing itself. Kessler's style is beautiful and lyrical without being pretentious. She has a way of drawing a picture with words that is so vivid it's like looking at a living picture in your mind. I've said it once and I'll say it again Jackie Morse Kessler takes young adult writing to a whole other level. Her words are carefully chosen and perfect.
Now for the characters and story. The two leads in this one were Xander Atwood and Death. The other books in the series were about teenagers being turned into the riders (famine, war, and pestilence) by Death. This one told two concurrent stories that overlap. Death has become suicidal because he has lost hope and Xander, through a series of fortuitous events, is tasked with stopping him. This is a pretty major task considering if Death dies so does the world. It turns into an origin story of Death, which is different from any other version of Death I've heard and incredibly interesting. It overlaps with Xander's own story of betrayal and loss of hope. The whole story is unique, interesting, and addictive. I tore through the pages and couldn't wait to find out how it would end, which turned out to be creative and unpredictable.
There were also sections about the other riders from the first three books and brought satisfying closure to all of them. All of the characters, including the ones from previous books, are so well drawn and I couldn't help but care about them all. I also never thought I would get the chance to truly understand Death, who up until this point was a very mysterious character. Amazingly, even though I got a much better understanding of Death he still maintained that bit of mystery that makes him so interesting.
Overall I loved this book. It was well written and a perfect ending to a really good book series. After reading the first three I wasn't sure how it could possibly end, but this book brought closure to every character in all of the books, and did it eloquently. I can't wait to read what Jackie Morse Kessler writes next. She has most definitely gained a lifelong fan in me.

My Rating:



  1. I think'd be nice to be able to use my power to help people get food.

  2. Death, no suffering, just a quick end.

  3. Death... its final..nothing to question.