Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

This is the second book in a series that began with Hunger.
The basic story is that a girl who has is a cutter, is appointed by Death to be another rider of the Apocalypse, War. She rides a red horse whom she names Ares (the name of the ancient greek god of war).

This was an honest book, deep and sometimes extremely dark. It deals with the subject of violence, whether it is at a refugee war camp, degrading comments at school or self-mutilation. I loved how the book flowed, both realistically and poetically. I loved how the heroine gets to know and understand herself, how she battles with her darker side, how she overcomes her struggles.

The other three horsemen, Hunger, Death and another one whom I shall not name, because it might be a spoiler, make appearances in this book, and although it is not strictly necessary to have read the previous book to understand this one, it is better if you have.
The only problem I had with this book was the distorted view on the horsemen of the Apocalypse, for anyone who has studied that book, it is quite obvious that they are not portrayed correctly. However, I understand this is just a metaphor in Rage, a means to a purpose that deals with very serious subjects of our world today. 

I also liked that it doesn't exactly finish on a happily-ever-after, although it is hopefull and encouraging and the heroine has made real progress by the end of the story.
As a believer of the Prince of Peace, I am not sure I liked the resolution of this book, however, and I don't think I agree with the author's view on violence and war. If you are a parent or a teacher, you should read it first yourself and the decide if your teenager should read it.

This is above all a realistic story, an honest view on our world and our morals.
  If you don't want to be sad or touched by other people's pain, you shouldn't read it. If, however, you want to realize what is going on in the world around you and not just about the countries that are at war, but about your friends, your children, yourself, you should definitely read it. I am certainly glad I did.

I read this book on NetGalley.

Rating: 4/5

P.S. You can find a very interesting interview of the author by her characters here, at Figment blog. I really enjoyed it, it is quite an insight in the author's mind -and in the characters'.

Publication Date: 4/8/2011
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