Tag «Author: Veronica Rossi»

Series Review: Riders by Veronica Rossi

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Riders (from Goodreads):

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?

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: Riders Duology
Author: Veronica Rossi
# of Books: 2 (Riders, Seeker)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance, Adventure
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single (Riders), Alternating (Seeker)
Publication Dates: February 2016 – May 2017
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

After finishing the Under the Never Sky Trilogy nearly three years ago, I’ve been missing a little Veronica Rossi in my life. She’s a fantastic storyteller and I was STOKED to see what she would do next with this series.

I knew Riders had some mixed reviews but I was optimistic. It took me awhile to get into Under the Never Sky but once I did, I thoroughly enjoyed it and the world Rossi weaved.

The Concept / The World:

I have a few Horsemen of the Apocalypse novels on my TBR but this is the first one I’ve read off of it–and it didn’t disappoint! It’s such a cool concept and Rossi does a great job developing it. The plot is straightforward but it does have those added layers that become more intricate as the story evolves. It captured my full attention from the start.

The Plot:

For me, Riders had an odd pacing. First, I loved the format of the novel. Having Gideon essentially describe past events in an interrogation room gives the novel a fantastic level of suspense. How does he get to that point? What happened to the others? I loved the anticipation of the big reveal! Learning how the horsemen were brought together captured my attention from the start.

But once the horsemen are assembled, the plot reaches a plateau. And it feels a little stale. I didn’t like waiting around for something to happen, especially when the first half of the novel had such a great pace to it. The good news is that it does pick up and the last few chapters were fabulous.

Yet Seeker–despite Riders ending on such a high point–takes its time to reach the same momentum. The romance gets a little more lot of airtime and it seems to be awhile before the action happens. Which is a little unfortunate because I think the romance is the weakest feature of this novel. There is no need to dedicate HALF THE BOOK to it when there are so many other plot points to wrap up. And when the focus does shift again to the actual plot, I wasn’t as into as I wanted to. If this had been the first book, I would have DNF’d it well before the 40% mark because it was so boring.

The Characters:

Gideon is the lead for Riders and he is the perfect choice. I loved his witty and sarcastic narration. He was a very entertaining narrator. But he is also a great leader for this essentially rag-tag team of horsemen.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between the 4 guys. Sure, it starts a little rocky but it was cool seeing them evolve as a team and come together.

And I liked that the villains are villains. I always enjoy having someone to root against.

The Romance:

Honestly, this is why my rating for this series is lower than I wanted it to be. I was not feeling this romance in the slightest. It’s such a shame because I know Rossi can write such great romantic pairings as evident in Under the Never the Sky. Here, it just seemed rushed and perhaps a little forced? I think if you removed it from the story, it wouldn’t negatively affect the plot but would enhance it–especially in Seeker where it becomes too much of the focus.

My Audiobook Experience:

I really loved the audiobook and I’m glad I decided to read this series as an audio one. Like I said above, Gideon has a sarcastic tone to a lot of his narration and I’m not sure if I would have grasped all of it in the book copy. And with Riders being written like Gideon is describing the events to his interrogator, it just seemed natural to listen to it as an audiobook.

Having the narration shift to an alternating one in Seeker worked. I’m not sure how else you could tell this story without it and both voice actors do a great job delivering the content.

Series Rating: 3/5

Riders 3.5/5 | Seeker 2/5

overall

It breaks my heart a bit that I’m giving this series this review. Riders was a great base for a strong sequel but Seeker just couldn’t keep the momentum going. I won’t be recommending this one anytime soon.

Read if You Like: adventure, mythology, action
Avoid if You: dislike romance focused sequels
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Series Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Under the Never Sky (from Goodreads):
WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Sad to See Go Series 2014
Series: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
# of Books: 3 (Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night, Into the Still Blue)

There are two novellas: #0.5 Roar and Liv and #2.5 Brooke

Complete?: No, Into the Still Blue will be released January 2014 Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Romance
Heat Rating: lukewarm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: February 2012 – January 2014
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

My Expectations:

This series was one that seemed to be everywhere I looked and has been on my “to-read” list for ages so I was super stoked when my local library added digital copies. After putting my name on the hold list, the prequel novella, Roar and Liv, and the first full novel, Under the Never Sky, were in my grasp.

When to Read The Novellas:

I decided to read Roar and Liv first because it is listed as a prequel novella. In hindsight, I probably should have read it AFTER Under the Never Sky.

Roar and Liv doesn’t really explain the world the story is set in as well as Under the Never Sky does. Although it makes the necessary distinctions, I was still a little confused about what was going on. It did help set some context for Perry and other characters but I think I would have survived not knowing that background information (because it is mentioned in Under the Never Sky) until after I finished book 1.

I also finished the book with a touch of dislike towards Perry–though to be honest I’m not sure why. All I know is that it took me a while to warm up to him in Under the Never Sky when I probably would have liked him right from the get-go. So my recommendation is read Roar and Liv AFTER Under the Never Sky.

The Plot:

Under the Never Sky (UNS) starts off really slow–and given what happens event wise at the start, it really shouldn’t. I didn’t get into the story until Chapter 12 or so. That’s when we get more twists and plot development happening and the story itself just picks up in pace. We also see the relationship develop between Aria and Perry a bit more around this time. Do NOT read this book if you are looking for a romance-focused story. The romance in this is very subplot and not the main focus of this story at all.

I enjoyed Through the Ever Night (TEN) much more than UNS. It was much faster paced–and never seem to stop its pace–and easy to get wrapped up in it. I discovered how attached I was to certain characters even though I didn’t think too much of them after UNS. The romances become a bit more of the focus and we get to see Aria and Perry develop into stronger characters. There were some great plot twists where I was gasped out loud and smiled to myself because of its brilliance. This book made reading UNS worth it! Just a fabulous sequel that has me counting down the days until January for the final book.

The World:

However, even after I have read two books in the series, I still don’t have the greatest concept of what is happening in this world physically. It might just be a me thing–though to be fair to myself, I don’t think it is ever really explained–but I still really don’t know what Aether is or what the domes really are or why people have the abilities that they do. I’m hoping that this is all explained more in the last book–especially the question of why people are living as they are because I am really curious and also slightly confused. I guess this uncertainty is what is propelling me to keep reading these books–among other plot points–but I like having a fuller understanding of the world. Don’t let this deter you from reading though! I have the feeling that this “mystery” is all done intentionally, which adds to the brilliance of these books.

Is it Dystopian?

Also, I’m still not really sure what the purpose of the dystopian setting is. Most dystopian stories take an aspect of our culture and magnify it to an extreme to prove a point. However, with this one, I didn’t know what message Rossi was trying to send us after reading UNS. My best guess would be our dependence upon technology to do every day things and the disconnect that happens when we let technology do everything for us. That message, if that is what it is, gets expanded upon in Through the Ever Night a bit more which helped ease some of my curiosity. Again, I am hoping this becomes clearer in Into the Still Blue.

FUN FACT: These books have been optioned for a film!

updates

–February 24, 2014– Book #3: Through the Ever Night

After Through the Ever Night, I’ve been counting the days until Into the Still Blue. I read Brooke to pass the time and while I still can’t stand her as a character, I can say that I understand her thought process a lot more after reading the novella. It helps bridge the slight gap between books 2 and 3 so I would give it a read if you can but it doesn’t take away from your reading experience if you don’t.

Into the Still Blue was a great way to end the series. It had twists, good plot progression and enough character moments to satisfy the readers who have read the series from the beginning. While I didn’t find it as jaw dropping as Through the Ever Night, this book was never dull. I also have to give props to Ms. Rossi for not being afraid to push her characters in order to benefit the story in this book and throughout the series. It’s really refreshing to read a book by a true storyteller. I can’t even be mad at the lack of a finite epilogue because I can truly appreciate how the series ended at the end of the day.

Series Rating: 4/5

Under the Never Sky 4/5 | Through the Ever Night 5/5 | Into the Still Blue 5/5

overall

After reading Under the Never Sky, I was curious to see what was happening next. I didn’t understand all the hype about this series until after I read Through the Ever Night. This story seems to combine the various elements of dystopian fiction in the Young Adult world into one trilogy that just builds up as you go. It isn’t just a romance story, or an action story, or a journey story–it’s all of these and it is written in a great way. Definitely one of the best written series I have read in a long time! Pick these up!

similarreads

  • Matched by Ally Condie (Matched Trilogy, #1)
  • Breathe by Sarah Crossan (Breathe Series, #1)

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