Sunday, February 20, 2011

Review: Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Rage (Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Book 2)Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Release Date: April 4, 2011
Publisher: Graphia
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 228
Source: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley
Challenge: 111 Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon | The Book Depository

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.
 WARNING: this book does get a little graphic as it deals with the fact that the main character is a cutter (self-mutilator). There are a few graphic scenes.

I had already really enjoyed Hunger, the first book in the Horsemen of the Apocalypse Series, so I figured I would enjoy this one too. Little did I know that it would be so much more passionate. Rage, is the story of a 16-year-old girl who has bottled up all of her emotions for so long that cuts herself to feel better instead of dealing with the pain and hurt that has happened in her life. 

Death, who is completely charming yet again (he is my favourite character in the series - he brings a little humour to such heavy topics), has chosen Melissa to be the new War. He can see in her, what she cannot see in herself. He believes in her so much that he doesn't let her give up too easy and pushes her just enough that she actually has to figure out who she really is. She has an internal war going on about whether she holds the rage, that she glimpses from time to time, or not. Part of her believes that she isn't really that angry inside. She likes to feel in control - so she cuts to give herself a different type of pain to deal with - one that she controls. But in reality she isn't in control at all. This is another reason she is at war with herself - her lack of control vs. her delusion that she is in control."How does one stop war? By offering peace."

The one character who I really loved was her horse, Ares. Normally the horsemen do not name their horses, but Missy decided he needed a name. Her horse actually seemed to be in tune with her and accepted her whether she was full of rage or full of compassion. Ares always had her back, though the other horsemen warned her that the Red Steed would just as well kill her if he had the chance... I just don't think he had the right rider yet, until he met Melissa.

I realized while reading that I don't think I ever once felt even an inkling of how Melissa felt - the frustration, the anger, the sadness, the rejection - when I was growing up. I cannot imagine what it would be like to feel like I was carrying such a burden that it was easier to shove all the emotions deep inside and close them into a jar like Missy does. "Missy shoved the thoughts and feelings down into their prison of the glass jar. Only once the lid was sealed tight did she release her breath." (She imagines a jar with a lid in which to trap everything inside to neatly tuck away.)

In the end, I think this story is a great way of showing how one can accept who they are and learn to control their emotions. That there is hope. That you can learn to deal with what is happening even when you think they are spiraling out of control faster by the minute. 

In stories, the guy gets the girl, Good defeats Evil, and there's always a happily ever after. In real life, you strive for that happy ending, but it doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes you have to compromise.


  1. I've read quite a few reviews of this series and I'm really intrigued by the premise. I'll have to get around to them soon.

  2. @lisa - I am enjoying it a lot and cannot wait for the next book! :)

  3. I just finished it. I loved Death too...soo cool. I just didn't connect as well to Missy as I did to Lis. :(


I read every comment and try to reply to them all. Thanks for visiting my little piece of the blogosphere.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...