Series: Riders of the Apocalypse #2
Release Date: 4th April 2011
Synopsis: 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.
Review: I was a huge fan of Hunger, book one in the Riders of the Apocalypse series, so I was very excited to start the second book, Rage. Once again, I find the idea of Riders of the Apocalypse very interesting and the way Kessler weaves them into the modern world is fantastic. I think that this series is one of my all time favourites, the supernatural elements and human emotions mixed together make a super unique idea for a novel. Where Hunger was focused on an eating disorder, Rage was focused on self harm. Hunger focused on Famine, the black rider of the apocalypse, where as Rage focused on War the Red rider of the apocalypse.
I loved the idea behind Rage, Missy, a self harming teenage girl who uses a blade to relieve her pain, is chosen to personify War. War the one who controls and unleashes anger upon the world. Missy needs to come to terms with her own rage and embrace War so that the world remains in balance. Missy's life is already spiralling out of control but one night puts a stop to it all. One night she cuts too deep. The only thing that stops her from dying is Death himself. Here he tells her that she needs to embrace War and take up her role and arms of office. She will need to learn to control war, before war persuades her to do more harm to herself. Will she be able to accept the horrors that lie within or will it be to late?
Missy is the main character, she is cutter. She cuts to relieve herself from the pain that other people cause her. It's the only way she knows how to cope and she's been doing it for a while. She isn't doing it for attention or to fit in, she is mentally ill and believes this is the only way to cope. She has no one to talk too so she takes comfort from the blade. Missy is an outcast, she doesn't fit in anywhere in the high school cliches. As a reader we get to know her personally, we don't see her as the black goth wannabe that everyone else sees. We see Missy as teenager girl who is ill. For everyone else she wears a cold mask, held in place by sheer will, but behind it she is crumbling and the blade is calling her name. Missy is full of anger and pain, yet she has an attitude and could if she wished beat the crap out of the others. That's what makes her the perfect War, the violence is there waiting at the surface but instead she needs to find a balance. She needs to be able to live her life knowing she can cope without the blade and not caring what others say about her. Missy really grows in this book and it's incredible to see the realistic way the author has done this.
Jackie Morse Kessler has a real talent as a writer. She tackles some harsh subjects in such ways that make the reader understand and feel sympathetic towards the characters. She handles the subjects brilliantly, she doesn't shy away from the harsh reality of things such as self harm. Instead she makes others understand the pain these people are going through. These are very powerful books and it really does give you an insight into a sufferers mind. She shows the reader what it's really like, she doesn't fluff it up with rainbows or overdo it dramatically, she does it realistically. That way many people can relate and learn life lessons from her books. Rage is an incredible book in it's own right, so much talent went into it and you can tell. Rage is the powerful and insightful second novel in the Riders of the Apocalypse series and I can't wait to see what's next!