Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rage - Horseman of the Apocalypse: The Rider's Quartet #2 - Jackie Morse Kessler

     Giving anthropomorphic personifications voice has always been an intriguing concept to me.  I've done my utmost to read the best authors in this select group.  Be it Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality, Neil Gaiman's Endless or the newest addition to this talented club, Jackie Morse Kessler and her Horseman of the Apocalypse
     Missy is a cutter.  Her only kind of release when life gets to be too much is to take a blade across the unmarked parts of her skin and bleed.  Her razor never lets her down.  Has never humiliated her in front of half the school. 
     She hadn't ever cut that deep before, but this time she had.  That left her with a choice.  Either keep bleeding until her heart stopped or take up the sword that guy who looked like the 90's alt rock star delivered.  Missy was not going to go out a suicide.  No way.  She'd take up the sword.  With one touch Melissa 'Missy' Miller becomes the incarnation of War, and Rage really begins.
     Ms. Kessler is someone I admire for sheer audacity.  First she's not going out of her way to make her character lovable.  Hell, she's not even pulling a muscle to make her likable at the beginning of the book.  Secondly, she's taking on the topic of cutting, and she Does Not pull any punches.  Doesn't matter that this is a YA novel there are some scenes in this book that will have you putting it down to go make a sandwich.  You'll come directly back, but you will need a short breather in-between.   To take the journey and discover why Missy does this to herself and what exactly she gets out of it is a long road.  Having Death, Famine and Pestilence around are kind of a blessing and a curse.
     You would think becoming an all-powerful Horseman would solve all those pesky problems you had pre-Sword of War, right?  Not so much as it turns out.  Whether you want to believe it or not, War is a necessary function in this world.  Missy has to learn her new function and how it works in harmony with the other three Riders. 
     Jackie Morse Kessler does not shy away from the hard topics that people need to know about.  You're going to feel Missy's Rage in this book.  Through Ms. Kessler's talented sentences you may even begin to understand why Missy feels the need to do this to herself.  Rage works as a stand-alone or as the second in the Horseman of the Apocalypse series. 

I give Rage an Excellent rating of 3.5 Stars out of 4

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I want to also say that a portion of this book's proceeds will be going to To Write Love on Her Arms or TWLoHA.  Please stop by their site and buy something or just get educated!


  1. Wow I want to start reading the first book right away. Cutting is a personal topic to me and I love seeing authors tackling this subject. I haven't read the others books you have mentioned but I'm putting Jackie Morse Kessler series on my to be read list right away. Thanks, I'm really looking forward to reading it.

  2. Well, Jackie said on FB the other day that her editor has finally accepted the rewrites on LOSS. I'm guessing this one will be about Pestilence. Death would just seem like the end of the series, but with a title like LOSS, Death is a definite contender.

  3. I was waiting for this kind of books looks very interesting and i and very much found of this book i will tell all my friends to read this book.
    Peter Sacco