Sunday, October 17, 2010


by: Jackie Morse Kessler

“Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.” 

Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? 

Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?

I thought the premise of this book was pretty outstanding.  I mean, how cool would it be to become a Horseman of the Apocalypse?! To get to ride on a noble steed and all that good stuff.

This book explores a lot of Lisa's inner turmoil and her relationship with her anorexia.  Being chosen to be a horseman of the apocalypse opens her eyes to the world around her and helps her see other people in even more difficult situations around her.

 Kessler does an amazing job of showing us how Lisa's' Thin Voice messes with her head.  Telling Lisa she is fat, and worthless, telling Lisa how many minutes on the exercise bike it will take to work off that one piece of broccoli and so on.  It was fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time watching Lisa go through this.  You want to reach out and shake her!
I love that Lisa's character grew stronger in her confidence with herself and finding her own voice after seeing how famine affects other people.  She is definitely a likable character, however I felt that given the scarce amount of pages in the book, (around 180 pages) that she was the only one that was fleshed out into more than just two dimensions.  I kind of wished that the book had been a tad bit longer so that the author could have maybe spent more time fleshing out the history and mythology of Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but at the same time, this book was about Lisa and her finding away to deal with her problems.

All in all this book was a quick and enjoyable read, and I will definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series, Rage.


Amber said...

Thanks for the review and I'm so glad you liked this book! Like you, I think the premise sounds amazing and I'm so glad to hear it dives into the sticky issue of anorexia.

a!k0 said...

the horsemen of the apocalypse reminds me of Supernatural...this would be an interesting read

TheBookGirl said...

I just picked this book up from the library today after being on hold for it for a while...glad to see that you thought it was good :)

Julie said...

I LOVE this cover and sometimes a shorter book is exactly what I need! Thank you for the review!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries