Monday, March 19, 2012

Loss review

Description: Fifteen-year-old Billy Ballard is the kid that everyone picks on, from the school bullies to the teachers. But things change drastically when Death tells Billy he must stand in as Pestilence, the White Rider of the Apocalypse. Now armed with a Bow that allows him to strike with disease from a distance, Billy lashes out at his tormentors...and accidentally causes an outbreak of meningitis. Horrified by his actions, Billy begs Death to take back the Bow. For that to happen, says Death, Billy must track down the real White Rider—who is lost in his memories.

In his search, Billy travels through White Rider’s life: from ancient Phrygia, where the man called King Mita agrees to wear the White Rider’s Crown, to Sherwood Forest, where Pestilence figures out how to cheat Death; from the docks of Alexandria, where cartons of infested grain are being packed onto a ship that will carry the plague, to the Children’s Crusade in France—all the way to what may be the end of the world. When Billy finally finds the White Rider, the teen convinces the man to return to the real world.

But now the insane White Rider plans to unleash something awful on humanity—something that could make the Black Death look like a summer cold. Billy has a choice: he can live his life and pretend he doesn’t know what’s coming, or he can challenge the White Rider for his Crown. Does one bullied teenager have the strength to stand his ground—and the courage to save the world?

My thoughts: 
I figured that if Famine was about an anorexic girl, and Rage was about a girl filled with rage who cuts herself, then something similar would happen with Loss. For me, being bullied wasn't the obvious choice, but the correlation ended up working based on how Billy ended up becoming Pestilence.
A main reason I enjoy this series is because it involves an awesome fantasy story revolving around the Horseman of the Apocalypse. But it also addresses some serious issues. And now that I think about it, bullying was a perfect issue to use, especially with the amount of suicides that have been happening.
One thing that got me really excited about this third book in the series is that the main character is a male this time. Sometimes I feel like guys are forgotten about in certain situations, so I was happy for the change (although I liked both girls in Famine and Rage).
This time around, there was a lot more fantasy, which I was initially happy about. At the present, I'm torn between whether I liked the extra fantasy or not. A majority of the story were flashbacks, and those flashbacks were from the previous pestilence instead of Billy.
While some of it was definitely interesting (and surprising), I was somewhat disappointed because I felt like Billy went through a change in the midst of those flashbacks that I barely got to see. Even so, what I did get to know about Billy was pretty awesome. Mainly because the author has the ability to make you (better) understand getting bullied, or being anorexic, or wanting to cut yourself, whether or not you’ve ever gone through those things.
The next book is titled Breath, but I have no idea what it’s going to be about since all the “positions” have been filled. Hopefully the next book will have a better balance between getting to know the main character and moving forward with the plot. Either way, Loss was still a good addition to the riders series.

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