Ballard is the kid that everyone picks on, from the school bullies to
the teachers. But things change drastically when Death tells Billy he
must stand in as Pestilence, the White Rider of the Apocalypse. Now
armed with a Bow that allows him to strike with disease from a distance,
Billy lashes out at his tormentors...and accidentally causes an
outbreak of meningitis. Horrified by his actions, Billy begs Death to
take back the Bow. For that to happen, says Death, Billy must track down
the real White Rider—who is lost in his memories.
In his search,
Billy travels through White Rider’s life: from ancient Phrygia, where
the man called King Mita agrees to wear the White Rider’s Crown, to
Sherwood Forest, where Pestilence figures out how to cheat Death; from
the docks of Alexandria, where cartons of infested grain are being
packed onto a ship that will carry the plague, to the Children’s Crusade
in France—all the way to what may be the end of the world. When Billy
finally finds the White Rider, the teen convinces the man to return to
the real world.
But now the insane White Rider plans to unleash
something awful on humanity—something that could make the Black Death
look like a summer cold. Billy has a choice: he can live his life and
pretend he doesn’t know what’s coming, or he can challenge the White
Rider for his Crown. Does one bullied teenager have the strength to
stand his ground—and the courage to save the world?
I was super intrigued by the concept of this series: normal, imperfect people becoming Horsemen of the Apocalypse. While I haven't read Hunger or Rage, I would definitely like to. Maybe because as well as a bookworm, I'm also a horse-girl, but if I had to be something evil-ish, it would totally be a Horseman of the Apocalypse!
One of my favourite parts of the book for Kessler's portrayal of Death. He was perfect! Calm, intelligent, uncaring and unbiased. Such an awesome character and definitely my favourite.
I also enjoyed the layers in Loss. As if finding out you must act as a Horseman of the Apocalypse wasn't enough, Billy is also dealing with some serious bullies, not to mention his grandfather's battle with Alzheimer's Disease. Bullying is a huge issue and I'm glad there are books like Loss that give it a voice without being boring or preachy. Hooray for an awesome message.
Unfortunately, the middle of the book held some issues for me. The plot felt like it slowed to a crawl and things jumped around a lot, leaving me confused and not sure what was significant to the story. However, I still enjoyed the book and will definitely keep an eye out for Hunger and Rage.
Also, I didn't feel like the title packed the same punch as Hunger and Rage.
On the Cover:
Beautiful. I love this cover (possibly because it's shiny).
Rating: 3.5 Hearts
Source: Won from the awesome Rhiannon at Diary of a Bookworm
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