Thursday, 21 April 2011

Review: Rage

Rage (The Horsemen of the Apocalpyse Riders Quartet: 2) by Jackie Kessler
Published: 8th April 2011
Publisher: Harcourt Graphie

Goodreads description:

Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.

That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a new kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.
A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.

My thoughts:

First off, this isn't a light read. It's not something that you can tear through in a few hours. It's a heavy; anguish-filled; epic poem of a novel. I haven't read the first in the series; Hunger and to be honest I don't feel it is entirely necessary whilst it may be preferrable. The writing is hands down the best part of this book. It's almost poetry. The metaphors Kessler employs are so apt and empathetic. I love the description of Missy controlling her emotions by forcing them into a glass jar; and her 'dead' face. One of my favourite, lighter sections was one of the many conversations between Death and Missy:

"I'm trying." "You're dying, try harder"

Onto Death-I just loved him. He looks suspiciously like a certain dead rockstar...and he still sings. Hmmmm. You can sense the tension between him and Missy all the way through; and I love his bizarre sense of humour and his strange ways of helping. Missy was a very empathic character; you really feel for her and her situation. Kessler handled the self-harm issue very well. The book doesn't glorify it, and nor does it come across as a sermon about how one shouldn't do it- it simply expresses the reason why this girl, Missy, feels it's her only choice. The novel shows her internal struggle; her shame; the satisfaction she derives from cutting which she cannot find elsewhere. It shows people don't just do this for attention-that they don't need laughed at, or preached to, they need help. Help and reassurance.

Honestly I really liked this book-though in this sense that word seems a bit ineffectual. The whole book was so raw and full of emotions. I loved Missy's battle with her War alterego; her attempts to stay human when she's so tempted to give in to War's wishes.

I would give this book 4/5 and I would recommend it to older teens. The issues raised in the book probably aren't suitable for younger readers-but the prose is so much like poetry that even if you can't relate to the story you can surely enjoy it as a work of art-which it definitely is.


  1. Interesting, this isn't one that I had heard of before.

    Jules x

  2. I just checked this book out of the library the other day and I am more excited to read it after reading your review. I read Hunger a few months back and I thought it was well written and a great way to engage young adults in conversations about eating disorders.

  3. I can't decide if I want to read this series... I do, but then... I don't. Hmmm, the internal debate continues!

  4. This is next up in my TBR pile so I just skimmed the review. I'm reading Hunger right now and I'm enjoying it so far. They are much darker than the average YA.

  5. I have this series on my reading list! Now I want to start on it even more. It sounds pretty awesome, even if it's a bit heavy. :) Thanks for sharing your awesome review!

  6. Great review, congrats on being featured on the FF, have a great FF and I am your newest follower :)


  7. I love the sound of these books, especially Rage. I'm glad you've said that it is pretty much a stand alone because this one does sound better than the first. I will keep an eye out for it! :D

    thanks for your great review

  8. I was thinking about reading this one. I read Hunger a few months ago. You're right, they aren't light-hearted reads at all. Hunger dealt with anorexia. It was pretty powerful. Based on what you wrote, it seems like this one might be better!

    In Hunger you get an understanding that Death and War kinda have a thing. Makes sense really. The previous War was no longer part of the group (at the end of Hunger), so it makes sense that book 2 is focused on replacing her. I noticed the Nirvana allusions too! Too bad my students would NEVER pick up on that. I think most of them were born the year he died. LOL

  9. This book sounds good. I haven't read the first one yet, but I'll have to.

    Thanks for following my blog, I'm now following yours.

  10. Really good review! I haven't read Hunger so far, but I'm glad to read that it's got a sequel worth reading! I need to start Hunger soon so I can get to Rage then. Thanks for sharing your thoughts:)


    My latest review:


Thanks to blogger making it easy for us to reply to comments I will now be replying where possible, so if you comment be sure to check back! =]