Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Hunger By Jackie Morse Kessler

Series: Riders of the Apocalypse #1
Release Date: 18th October 2010
Publisher: Graphia
Format: Paperback
Pages: 177
Synopsis: “Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.”

Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?
Review: These books have always been of interest to me but I've never been able to find them in any of my local bookshops. I don't even think they have been released in the UK by a UK publisher. Anyway, the idea of a YA novel about the riders of the apocalypse is so awesome! It's something that grabbed my attention straight away, it's such an interesting subject and it's something I wanted to learn more about after I had finished the book. Kessler deals with the Horsemen who are as old as time itself and incorporates them into the modern world. She does this flawlessly and it is brilliant! I loved everything about this book. Especially the realistic way she deals with the problem of anorexia.
Hunger follows Lisabeth, a seventeen year old girl who is struggling to cope with anorexia. A small annoying voice in her mind always tells her she is fat and she constantly loses weight. The problem is she cannot see the effect it is having on her. Those around her see there is a problem with her weight and they try to confront her but she denies it all. It isn't until she comes face to face with Death and gets granted the power of Famine that she begins to realise how ill she is. She also sees the effect hunger has on the world and as Famine she sets out to help. But her power is so much greater than she imagined and it could have horrifying consequences. Can she learn to battle that small voice in her head and help the Hunger in the world? 
Lisabeth Lewis was an interesting character. She seems like a normal teenage girl who hangs about with her boyfriend but underneath her baggy clothes, she is practically just bones. She is mentally ill, the little voice in her head talks to her all the time, it forces her to exercise after everything she eats. It's quite horrifying to see the extent of the effect anorexia can have on someone. It also shows how much it can affect your daily life.
The other character I really liked was Death. He looked like a teenage rock star but in reality he is thousands of years old. He is wise beyond his years. He has the ability to take a life and he's also the leader of the horsemen. When you picture death you seem to think of a bad guy but Death was probably the nicest horsemen and actually It would be amazing to meet such a wise soul who has seen the world change so much.
Hunger is a brilliantly unique book. The writing flows flawlessly and the idea is just so so unique. It also has one gorgeous cover. I really recommend this book. Yes is has fantasy elements with the Horsemen but it is also a very eye opening contemporary. You can learn a lot about anorexia in this book, and how it effects people. It's important to realise how it effects people and they don't realise, it is an illness just like anything else. It isn't something to make fun of, it is a very serious matter. Yes this book has dark realistic themes but it is such a good book. I really recommend it. Thanks to this book I want to learn more about the horsemen of the apocalypse. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series!


  1. This is a very interesting story. Great review. Think i'll give it a try.

  2. I loved Hunger, though it hit very close to home for me and was at times difficult for me to read. The topic of anorexia and through Lisabeth's friend also bulimia was very well-handled and realistic in my opinion.
    I agree with what you said about Death, he was my favorite minor character as well! I was really surprised by the twist that the Horsemen or at least Lisabeth actually try to help people!
    Great review :)

  3. Hunger is a moving story. It's an eye opener. But you know, aside from all that, it was enjoyable too. I never felt depressed like some books with heavy topics will make readers feel. In fact, the ending was hopeful. It made me happy that things turned out the way they did. So if you've been anticipating this book, I am going to tell you now, chances are you'll love it. And if you're unsure about reading this? Give it a shot, if anything, it'll open your eyes about a serious problem plaguing society.
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