The Riders Duology





  • Title: BOOK 1 – RIDERS
  • Author: Veronica Rossi
  • Series: DUOLOGY
  • Pages: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen
  • Release Date: February 16, 2016 /
    May 16, 2017
  • ISBN-10: 0765382547/0765382563


I became a huge fan of Veronica Rossi with her first series, Under the Never Sky. When it was announced she was producing a new series about the four horsemen of the apocalypse, I was excited to see what she could conjure up. She was shooting for a different kind of Young Adult novel, and she definitely delivered–somewhat. This duology might not be for some people, because of that. 

“Like I mentioned above, the premise of these novels is the Four Horseman, War, Famine, Death, and Conquest (not Pestilence, which I usually associate with the four). Rossi didn’t actually go into the details of the four horsemen though, in the traditional sense. That would probably be too dark, instead, they are “representations” of said horsemen, there to bring to heel some wayward demons that are set on opening up another dimension, they aren’t happy with heaven or hell, might as well create a new one.  

The first book focuses on War. He’s a great character. His name is Gideon, and it’s his MALE POV we are subject to in the first book. Yes, a MALE POV, what?And he’s a GREAT male character. If you like testosterone, military men, a bit of an ego, hair-trigger temper…but still thoughtful and introspective at the same time. 

Oh, yes, Gideon. The 18-year-old, Ranger in training, who plummets out of an airplane without a working chute, and miraculously only has a few injuries, and those injuries heal too quickly to be normal. Gideon knows something isn’t right, he should have died. So, what does he do? Heads over to his twin sister’s college campus and goes to a party and meets a girl.

This is where the love-interest Daryn (female) comes in, and where the story gets a bit out of whack. Daryn is a Seeker, she can see the future, and she’s seen Gideon’s transformation into War. She drops the truth on him, while they are running from some scary looking people that bust in on a party in the dorms. Gideon rolls with the information, most likely because he’s already hot for Daryn…and they set out on a quest to find the other horseman. The two books cover that quest, the bonding of the horsemen, the final conflicts between the bad guys and the horsemen…and then a whopper of an ending in the first.

In the second book, there is a little time lapse, and the POV shifts to include Daryn, and the repercussions of what happened in book one.  And the Urban Fantasy setting of book one sort of merges into a fantasy setting in book two, with a lot more “good vs. evil” tones that you would expect in a demon vs. angels type book line, but with the author taking a very it’s not black and white stance on good and evil, which threw in a lot of surprises.               

I have to admit, the first book I loved. If I was only reviewing RIDERS there would be a big 5-star rating up top. I loved how Rossi started the novel, Gideon is being held by an unknown baddie and under interrogation. His commentary and story-telling is humorous and entertaining, even though he’s being forced to tell this story. I love his introspection, and even though he’s this macho guy, he’s still a kid with daddy-issues. I really enjoyed Gideon’s POV. I thought Rossi captured him perfectly, he didn’t sound like some female’s version of a character, he sounded real. 

I knew there were some issues with the book though, but because of the character development of Gideon, I was willing to look past this. Rossi kind of glossed over what is a very complex world. I would have liked to see this same concept within an adult book. My entire issue with most YA books is that they “dumb it down” for the audience when most teens read better than adults, but I understand they are usually looking for something else in their books than adults look for. One of which is the romantic tension, or what I call angst. And Rossi put this in there in heaps. Daryn and Gideon. <gag> There should have been more…more setting development, more focus on the demons, and God…there’s this quote that Gideon says, that is rather deep:

I had the answer to the greatest mystery of all time, and I hadn’t even stopped to think about it.”

The answer was if God existed. He, being a horseman, pursuing demons, knew for a fact that there was a God, and he was imbued with favors given to him by said God. This right there should have been taken and EXPANDED. But, instead, Rossi focused on Gideon’s infatuation with Daryn, which had no basis. Daryn treated Gideon like crap. Absolute crap, and Gideon’s instant dislike of Marcus (death) and their repetitive fist-fights. 

But, I was willing to look past all of this – and focus on Gideon and his story. Which was amazing. So RIDERS – 5-stars. 

But, then Rossi follows it up with SEEKER which now has both Daryn and Gideon’s POV. And I can’t go into it, or give it away, but my main dislike of SEEKER is the fact that I can’t stand Daryn. I don’t like how she treats Gideon, I don’t like how she’s a coward and runs away, how it’s always her decision. I understand that Rossi was trying to show a female within a power position, she was trying to show that a male like Gideon could follow a female and take orders from her, but I couldn’t get behind the character of Daryn and the choices she made. I might have if the relationship with Gideon and Daryn would have ended…I didn’t think it was believable that she could constantly push him away, choose other people over him at every point within the story and he would be so besotted that he would follow along like a puppy in love. 

Can you tell these books really made me think?? If anything, I got some really good thought provocating material out of them. I highly recommend that you take a look at these. I can’t guarantee that you’ll love them, but if anything, you’ll think about the storyline. And it’s something different that you don’t normally find in YA. Which is my favorite part of the experience, something new. 

“If someone asked me for an American I’d say, “You got one right in front of you.”

The Riders Duology by Veronica Rossi

Riders by Veronica Rossi

Series: Riders, #1
Published by Tor Teen on February 16th 2016
ISBN: 0765382547
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Source: Library
Also by this author: Through the Ever Night
5 Stars

Nothing but death can keep eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

While recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen—Conquest, Famine, and Death—are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now—bound, bloodied, and drugged—Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for—not to mention all of humankind—he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

The Riders Duology by Veronica Rossiby Veronica Rossi Series: Riders #2
Published by Tor Teen on May 16th 2017
ISBN: 0765382563
Pages: 352
Also by this author: Through the Ever Night
2.5 Stars

When Daryn claimed she was seeing visions during her sophomore year of high school, no one believed the truth.

She wasn’t losing her mind; she was gaining the Sight—the ability to see the future. Daryn embraced her role as a Seeker. The work she did was important. She saved lives.

Until Sebastian.

Sebastian was her first—and worst—mistake.

Since the moment she inadvertently sealed him in a dark dimension with Samrael, the last surviving demon of the Kindred, guilt has plagued her. Daryn knows Sebastian is alive and waiting for help. It’s up to her to rescue him. But now that she needs the Sight more than ever to guide her, the visions have stopped.

Daryn must rely on instincts, intelligence, and blind faith to lead the riders who are counting on her in search of Sebastian. As they delve into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems and where Samrael is steadily amassing power, Daryn faces the ultimate test. Will she have to become evil to destroy evil?

The very fate of humankind may rest in the answer.

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Rachel, whom you might know as Parajunkee, is the blog owner of and the design blog To make matters even more confusing she is now a published author under the pen name of Gillian Zane. Rachel has been blogging for over eight years, designing / web programming for over fifteen, but her real love, reading, has been her favorite hobby since childhood. Rachel has won numerous awards for her writing, the blogs she has created and her design work. If you want to check out more about her books click "The Books" on the navigation bar at the top of the page.