Have you ever loved an author’s first book and rejoiced to learn it was one of a series? An entire new world already written and waiting for you to enjoy? Kessler’s first book, “Hunger” is reviewed earlier in this blog and I really thought it was interesting. I immediately got the second in the Riders of the Apocalypse series, “Rage”. Sadly, the only thing to rage about was how much I didn’t like this one.
The premise of the series is that there are, indeed, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse who exist to oversee the universe. Each has a job, War, Famine, Death and Pestilence. Kessler recast the horsemen as everyday teens whose lives match the role. In book one, Hunger is a young teen with bulimia. This second try, Rage is another young teen girl who is a cutter.
I think the reason the first book in the series was so good is that it took halfway through the read to really understand what was going on, and the new role the teen would assume. In a second book, however, that wonder is gone. The reader already knows the premise, so now interesting characters must propel the story forward.
That is where Kessler failed in my opinion. I just didn’t like Melissa Miller. I couldn’t engage in her self destructive behavior of cutting, and didn’t care for the secondary characters in her life. Also, as an adult, and parent, I think this second book stepped on my last nerve. Melissa lived in a world with simple minded parents who didn’t have a clue and were uninterested in seeing the reality in their house. I acknowledge this is a Young Adult work of fiction, but does every parental relationship in these books have to portray parents as disinterested third parties?
I am now done with the series. Grateful for a public library system which saves me money.