Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review: Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Rage (Horseman of the Apocalypse: The Rider's Quartet #2) by Jackie Morse Kessler

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.


Rage is the second Horsemen of the Apocalypse novel and it was just as heartbreaking and intense as the prequel- if not more. While Hunger dealt with eating disorders, Rage tackled an even harder issue. Cutting.

Missy cuts to let out the pain and anguish of her life and to just deal with everything. Her story was shocking and hard to read and some of the descriptions were so vivid I felt sick to my stomach. Missy experienced so much embarrassment and heartbreak for one so young. At sixteen she had already lost so much and all it took was one person to push her over the edge. The cruelty dealt to Missy that fateful night was sickening and my heart went out to her at that moment. No one should have to go through what she did at the hands of their peers. I am lucky to have an amazing family and wonderful group of friends, but Missy didn’t have that and so her cutting went on for a long time, unnoticed by those who could help her. When Death comes knocking, Missy accepts the blade and becomes the newest Horseman of the Apocalypse- War.

War is a terrifying and hard job to endure and Missy must cope with not only her own problems, but those of the world. By becoming War Missy learns about the pain of others and how they would do anything not to have this pain; while Missy purposely injures herself. The main character’s journey from page one until the last was a hard one to read and Missy experienced a lot over the course of the novel, but also learned a lot about herself and those around her.

I felt it hard to connect with Missy, but I am glad I read her story. Watching her struggles with her own demons, trying to contain War from taking over, and the torment from her schoolmates was an experience and it will haunt me for a long time. I applaud Jackie Morse Kessler for tackling yet another intense and emotional topic and making it into a story that will leave readers shocked and gutted. I did not “enjoy” this addition to the series as much as Hunger, but I would recommend picking it up. It has taken me some time to try and find the words to write this review, but I am anxious to read the third book in the series. I know I need to be prepared with some tissues by my side!

Overall: 3 out of 5 stars

April 8, 2011/Harcourt Graphia/213 Pages/Young Adult/Book Two

Source: Publisher (ARC)

Other books in the series: Hunger


  1. This one sounds like an intense book...Thanks for the honest review, Kelsey!

  2. Wow, this book sounds brutal, lol. I still haven't read Hunger. Maybe I should pick that up before I read this one. Or read Rage first, since Hunger is better? :P

  3. I enjoyed Hunger. I have Rage at home. I'm planning on reading it this weekend. Great review!


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