Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review of Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Series: Horsemen Of The Apocalypse (#2)
Pages: 228
Publisher: Graphia Books
Published: April 4th, 2011
IBSN: 9780547445281

Source: NetGalley

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..

[Synopsis by Goodreads]

Rage is the second book in Jackie Morse Kessler's Horsemen Of The Apocalypse series, the first book being Hunger, which I admittedly read after Rage, but since the books have different protagonists, there were no spoilers.

Initially, I couldn't really feel for Missy. I didn't see what had happened to her prior to the beginning of the novel that was so bad she would take up self-harm. Traumatic things happen during the book that cause her to resort to the blades she keeps in her closet which are almost understandable (as understandable as wanting to hurt yourself could ever be), but not before the book begins.

Her becoming the Red Rider Of Apocalypse, War, felt like a metaphor for her being at war with herself constantly about her self-mutilation and a catalyst for her to learn control. The contemporary theme of self-harm seems more important in the story than the paranormal aspects.

Furthermore, the plot is more focused on Missy's internal struggle with War and with her self-destructive tendencies than on any real action or conflict. The  book was more focused on the psychological than the physical, which I'm not sure if I liked or not. It was interesting, at least.

It was written in honest, spare prose and was straight to the point. It kept the book short and engaging.

The ending, to me, though realistic, felt kind of cheesy. Not in what happened, but more in how it was told through the epilogue. I prefer finishing a book with something left to the imagination.

I give Rage a 3 out of 5, and plan to read the next book in the series, Loss, when it comes out next year.