PJV Quickie: I have never read anything quite like what Kessler delivers in her Young Adult Fantasy series, Riders of the Apocalypse. She sucked me into a world unlike anything I’ve read before and delivered it in a way that is unexpected and abstract, leaving me intrigued, a bit confused and thoroughly entertained.
YA Fanatasy Novel, Breath by Jackie Morse Kessler
Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Series: Riders of the Apocalypse #4
Type: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Publication: April 16th 2013 by Graphia
Source: Amazon Vine
Review: What would happen if the Creator/Death was without hope?
Tomorrow would be the day the world ended.”
The last book, but also a stand alone of of Jackie Morse Kressler’s Rider of the Apocalypse series, titled BREATH is Death’s story. Death has lost hope, he has lost the spark that keeps him going millennia after millennia and he is ready to end it all. With his death comes the death of the world. Death’s final hours intertwine with a boy named Xander Atwood, the boy with the chocolate, who was nice to Death at one point, so Death owes him a boon. Xander is just an average kid, with average problems but he finds himself, literally trying to talk Death off the ledge of his families apartment complex.
Breath is a tame ride, through the small dramas of life, but also the broad sweeping views of death. It covers every little juxtaposition of how life intersects with death and the meaning of it all. Some how, Kessler takes spirituality, creation theories and everyday life and intertwines it into a very enjoyable read without it being overbearing or inflated. I was blown away by her techniques, everything she covered within the novel and the final ending. In the end I laid the book down and said to myself, “What did I just read?“
Breath was different, it was thought provoking, the flow of the story was phenomenal and the characters were very real. Kessler writes tragedy really well, so much so that I found myself caught up within the problems of each one of the main characters.
I highly recommend checking out Jackie Morse Kessler’s Riders of the Apocalypse series if you haven’t done so yet.
Like I said earlier, this book could be a stand-alone, but I recommend that you read the first three before tackling Death’s story. Kessler breezes over some topics, which are covered in the first three books, she also uses the other three horseman’s POV throughout the story so you really have no time to establish connections with them in this story, unless you’ve previously learned about them in the series.
Death’s POV is also a bit abstract, but he is one of the Creators and Death, so I don’t see how we could understand him at all. I did enjoy Xander’s character, even though I found him disjointed. Everything is explained in the end in a very interesting ending, but as I was reading, I had a hard time following at times. Again, I mention the ending, which was a big surprise of sorts and did explain a lot, but it left a lot more questions then I would have liked. In fact, it called in to question everything…I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I would love to discuss the books with other people that have read them.
Recommendations: This is a rather tame Young Adult novel with darker themes but suitable for young teen audiences. There is drinking and heavy topics, like anorexia and suicide, but nothing that promotes these topics. The drinking wasn’t really discourage, but their were consequences. Fans of darker Young Adult authors like Julie Kagawa and Richelle Mead should enjoy.
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