Sunday, October 31, 2010

Review: Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Title: Hunger (Horseman of the Apocalypse #1)
Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Publisher: Harcourt Graphia
Pages: 180
Received: ARC from NetGalley for honest review

“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?
I was immediately drawn to Lisa's character. I felt her character was a very graphic portrayal of what someone with anorexia looks like and feels like. Everyone around her knows what is happening, yet she is in denial still that anything is wrong with her. That is until Death comes along and asks her to become Famine, one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Lisa at first doesn't understand what is required of her to fulfill Famine's shoes. As she travels the world on her steed, Midnight, and witnesses the various communities that are dealing with huger and death, she slowly begins to realize that she could actually help the people instead of causing the horrible outbreak of famine. With that being said, she had to learn that the hard way, by realizing that you can't change unless you truly want to. By seeing the world hunger and choosing to help instead of hinder, she finds the strength that was always insider her. Lisa then has the courage to ask for help for herself to get better.

Honestly, my favourite character in the book was Death. His dialogue, "Thou art Famine, yo. Time to make with the starvation.", his philosophical comments and his style of wearing old school Converse high tops make him seem more approachable than the traditional black cloak and scythe. He brings some humour to an otherwise intense topic. 

Also, the use of War, one of the Horsemen, being represented as having control over many aspects of people's thoughts and actions, such as Lisa's Thin voice telling her she is weak. It shows that Lisa has been at war with herself over her battle with anorexia and only once she figures out she is strong enough to fight back, is she able to control the outcome instead of letting the Thin voice win.

Overall, it is a very well written novel. Kessler also adds some personal experience in the notes at the end of this book. I think it adds that much more to the story as she has personal experience with this topic.

I'm looking forward to the next installments of the Horsemen novels.

"You are full of fear," Death says, "when instead you should be comfortable with your own strength."


  1. I've heard such great things about this book, I can't wait to read it! Death sounds like a really interesting character:) And I love that Lisa is easy to relate to, that's always important to me as a reader. Thanks so much for this review, I enjoyed reading your thoughts!

  2. @Jenny - I love reading comments like this! Glad you liked my review and hope you enjoy it too!

  3. What a great review. I really, really want this book!

  4. @Kate - aww thanks. :) It was a great book!


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