Read Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler Online

loss

Fifteen-year-old Billy Ballard is the kid that everyone picks on, from the school bullies to the teachers. But things change drastically when Death tells Billy he must stand in as Pestilence, the White Rider of the Apocalypse. Now armed with a Bow that allows him to strike with disease from a distance, Billy lashes out at his tormentors...and accidentally causes an outbreaFifteen-year-old Billy Ballard is the kid that everyone picks on, from the school bullies to the teachers. But things change drastically when Death tells Billy he must stand in as Pestilence, the White Rider of the Apocalypse. Now armed with a Bow that allows him to strike with disease from a distance, Billy lashes out at his tormentors...and accidentally causes an outbreak of meningitis. Horrified by his actions, Billy begs Death to take back the Bow. For that to happen, says Death, Billy must track down the real White Rider—who is lost in his memories.In his search, Billy travels through White Rider’s life: from ancient Phrygia, where the man called King Mita agrees to wear the White Rider’s Crown, to Sherwood Forest, where Pestilence figures out how to cheat Death; from the docks of Alexandria, where cartons of infested grain are being packed onto a ship that will carry the plague, to the Children’s Crusade in France—all the way to what may be the end of the world. When Billy finally finds the White Rider, the teen convinces the man to return to the real world.But now the insane White Rider plans to unleash something awful on humanity—something that could make the Black Death look like a summer cold. Billy has a choice: he can live his life and pretend he doesn’t know what’s coming, or he can challenge the White Rider for his Crown. Does one bullied teenager have the strength to stand his ground—and the courage to save the world?...

Title : Loss
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780547712154
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 259 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Loss Reviews

  • karen
    2018-11-28 14:21

    if you have been reading all of my reviews to this point, (and if you haven't, WHY HAVEN"T YOU???) you know that i am not in love with this series in execution, but i applaud its attempts. so why do i keep reading it? part of it is my need for completion, part of it is that they are quick to read and part of it is that i keep hoping it will all come together to impress me with something i haven't seen before, and everything will fall into place making any reservations i had vanish with a snap of "ohhhh, so that's why..."this one was the weakest of the three, unfortunately. quick recap of the premise for those of you who have not been hanging on my every word on the internet: the four horsemen of the apocalypse are real, they are positions held by humans, and their goal is not necessarily to bring about the apocalypse, but to maintain balance and sort of forestall it. and so humans are chosen to fill these roles and deal with the ills of the world. and by humans, i mean sad and damaged teenagers. i personally wouldn't have chosen teenagers for these roles - they are so overwrought already, and it is terrifying to think that the fate of the world is in the hands of such emotionally unstable individuals, but there it is. also, kurt cobain is Death. i know.so, in Hunger, the first book, an anorexic girl is chosen for the role of famine. cute, right? in the second,Rage, a cutter is chosen for the role of war. in this one, a bullied boy is chosen for pestilence.already, it is flawed. i'm not sure who would have been a better choice, but with the others, at least there was a poetry to their selection - the characters were put into a position where they had to examine their own self-harming choices in a larger-world context, but in this one, billy's bullying isn't a choice he is making, his only choice is his reaction to it, which is to just keep his head down and endure it instead of standing up for himself. and how is disease going to make him change that? it's not. all it does is give him a little bit of power which, like the girls in the previous books, he uses initially for small-scale revenge. he becomes the bully because he can make people poop themselves and contract fevers. this is why it is not cool for kids to be given powers that can harm people - no impulse control. but, and that would be fine, only then kessler gets weirdly ambitious. and she constructs this entire secondary fantasy plot that brings in the mythologies of king midas and robin hood and the whole thing turns into a bloated mess that takes the focus away from our bullied kid and doesn't really add a whole lot to the larger structure. it muddies the water in what is already a muddy premise. i was hoping, by this point in the series, to have a clearer idea about why this is happening. and how these chosen individuals were able to maintain their lives and still save the world. i need logistics. don't just tell me "time is different" because the difficulty isn't just with time, and you know it. i need to start seeing the larger picture myself, and all this book did was to indulge in some sort of "well, the author must have always wanted to write a hallucination-rich robin hood fantasy novel, so she threw it in" situation. impulse control, indeed.it just needs to be tighter. the bullying is fine, even if it doesn't fit pestilence in the same way that the previous two fit their roles. the grandfather-suffering-from-alzheimer's complicates his situation and adds a nice additional layer to billy's character, but the rest of it just takes the emotional focus away from billy and doesn't feel like it fits with the two previous books. i have always felt that the first two books had the potential to really help people suffering from similar problems. that, while they might not be the best books ever written, they did have a good message, and they were sensitive without being at all treacly. i admired that, and appreciated that for some people, these books could be encouraging in dark times and help to examine their choices. this one doesn't address bullying in the same way, and doesn't really offer solutions or alternatives to what is still a huge problem in high schools. its message gets lost in its experimentation.i figure the next book will be the final one, and i hope that she can end it in a way that sheds light over the entire series. i hope, to co-opt the anti-bullying motto, "it gets better."

  • Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
    2018-12-10 08:40

    Jackie Morse Kessler continues to really work her way under my skin with these books. And where the first two books dealt with self-harm and eating disorders, this one tackles bullying and Alzheimer's. I never had an eating disorder nor self-harmed, but I got picked on in school. Middle school especially. I transferred schools between sixth and seventh grade, moving from private to public school so I wouldn't have to adjust when high school rolled around instead. I never got beat up but boys were just idiot assholes. Several times I got asked out, as a joke, and then taunted when I said no (because I knew they weren't seriously asking). I'd go to get a chair from the back of the choir room and one boy would always purposely get in my way. In eighth grade, two boys in my English class stole my Harry Potter poster book and graffiti'd in it. The teacher didn't see who had taken it and they of course claimed innocence. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but life isn't a competition of who had it worse. The point is that there were days when I really dreaded school because of having to deal with stupid people. I was able to avoid them more in high school and haven't seen any of them since graduation, thankfully.But enough about me. I really appreciate the way Jackie writes; it's really unassuming, which just makes it that much more surprising when you realize how hard it hits you and how much you as the reader can relate to it. This one gets four stars instead of five because the whole concept of being in the White was really confusing for me and difficult to follow (view spoiler)[especially with the interweaving of the Robin Hood thing (hide spoiler)], like I understand the concept of each Horseman not necessarily always being the same person, but that was a bit loopy for me.

  • Sesana
    2018-11-28 15:40

    Unfortunately, this one just didn't hit me in quite the same way that Hunger and Rage had. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe the thin fantasy premise is wearing out entirely for me. But in all likelihood, it has more to do with my relative lack of interest in the main issue of this book, bullying. I can't quite explain that, either, but it is harder for a book about bullying to catch my interest. And that was only emphasized when Kessler gave her main character a relative with Alzheimer's. Let's be clear, she writes that aspect of the book exceedingly well, and I wasn't even slightly surprised to see that she herself had a loved one with Alzheimer's. I wish she'd stayed with her original plan and kept this book largely about that, or even removed that plotline entirely when she realized that she was writing a book that was more about bullying.

  • Jackie Kessler
    2018-11-19 14:29

    To everyone who reads LOSS -- thank you!A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association, so if you purchased this book, either for yourself, for a friend, or for your library/place of work, thank you for helping to make a difference. :)

  • Kathy Martin
    2018-11-18 08:42

    I think this was my favorite of all of the Riders of the Apocalypse books that I have read. Billy Ballard is the victim of persistent and sustained bullying and just wants to get through the day. When Death comes calling and says he has to stand in as Pestilence, Billy feels totally unqualified and out of his depth. But he made a promise when he was five-years-old to a man who has haunted his nightmares ever since and he is stuck with the job. The job is made even more difficult by the fact that Pestilence is insane. We see the history of Pestilence who began life as King Mita of Phrygia and who took up the crown of Pestilence upon the death of his beloved young daughter. This Pestilence has served for thousands of years and the horrors he has seen and caused have made him insane. He is determined to end the world once and for all. Billy has to dive into Pestilence's memories and face his own fears before the world can be saved.I love the language in this story. The descriptions made me feel like I was there with Billy which was not exactly a good thing when he was being tormented by the bullies at his school. The only downside that I could find for this story was that Death didn't make enough appearances. There was less of the quirky humor that Death brought to the earlier books in the series. This book deals with real life issues like bullying and like caring for a grandparent with Alzheimer's. I thought Billy's feelings about his grandfather were very realistic as he switched between remembering the grandfather who was such a central part of his childhood and resenting the responsibility for caring for this sometimes violent stranger his grandfather had become. I agreed with him when he felt that he had too much irresponsibility for a fifteen-year-old. I also really resented the mother who didn't see that her son was being bullied and the school system that didn't see it either. This was an excellent story about a young man who doesn't let an impossible situation defeat him and who struggles with both grace and courage. I thought that the ending was realistic and not a typical "they all lived happily ever after." I recommend this story to all young adults.

  • Christian - Knightingale Reviews
    2018-12-10 13:24

    "Though art the White Rider, William Ballard. Thou art Pestilence, Bringer of Disease. Go thee out unto the world.""Loss" is the third book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series. I was definitely glad that the plot was different from the first two books, but it took quite a while for the action to begin. During the first 90 pages I considered ending the series because I felt that it wasn't that great, but I am so glad I stuck through it! The book definitely delved deeply into the mystery of the Riders and the fact that they each carry the memories of their predecessors. I felt that this book deviated from the previous two by not sticking to the normal school setting and finally exploring the history of one of the Riders. I also enjoy the fact that Jackie Morse Kessler has a poetic quality to her words, which is always enjoyable.Here is a short synopsis:The first 90 pages or so establish the fact that Billy Ballard is a teen in high school that is constantly picked on. His home life is also not that great: his father abandoned their family, his mother is always working, and he has to take care of his grandfather who has Alzheimer's. The only light in Billy's life is his friend, Marianne, but he desperately wants her to be his girlfriend but doesn't have the guts to ask her. Apparently at the age of five, Billy was tricked by the White Rider into making a deal, Billy would replace Pestilence when the time came in exchange for a ride on his white horse. Billy agreed and ten years later Death comes to Billy to have him fulfill the agreement (this was definitely different from the previous novels in which Death chose the next Riders, but in this case Pestilence chose his own successor). Of course, Billy denies this agreement ever occurred, but he still must take up the mantle of Pestilence and is given the bow (the crown, however, is not bestowed upon him). It is soon revealed that Billy is not truly replacing the current White Rider, because the White Rider still possesses the crown and Death only needed Billy to temporarily fill the position until the White Lord returned. Billy desperately wants to escape his situation so Death takes him to Pestilence and explains that he is lost in his past, his memories. Billy must enter the White Rider's mind, find him, and bring him back. The rest of the book shows the history of the White Rider and the tragedies that have befallen the incarnations. Once Pestilence is brought back from his memories, he attempts to end the world, but you'll have to read the book to see what happens next!

  • Krys
    2018-11-17 08:43

    Loss is the third book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series by Jackie Morse Kessler. I enjoyed the first book immensely and, while the second book had its flaws it was also an interesting read. This book, however, had problems. In spades.We follow Billy Ballard as he deals with bullying, Addison's disease, and his Grandfather's Alzheimers. At one point in the story he takes up the bow of Pestilence, a Rider of the Apocalypse. Pestilence has plagued him since he was a child and Billy crumbles when he is confronted with the nightmare reality of his destiny.Frankly, this book is a mess. The first book, Hunger, is such a powerful and inspiring look of a young woman dealing with eating disorders (based on the author's personal history which anorexia). The second book, Rage, falls apart a little, but nothing like this one. I never connected with the character or any of his many struggles, which seemed too numerous to tackle adequately in the span of this short book. The lengthy amount of time that he spends battling in "The White" is unnecessary. I disconnected at these scenes and never got back in touch with this story, and that's a problem. In Morse Kessler's author note she talks about how the book came together after twenty two drafts. Wow. That's a lot of work to make the story cohesive. I wish after all that effort that she had not produced this book. It just felt forced and that's such a shame for this series. I hope the series ends on a higher note. I still plan on reading Breath after all is said and done. I have to know how Death (Kurt Cobain) is overturned. 2 out of 5 stars.- Review courtesy of www.bibliopunkkreads.com

  • Amanda
    2018-12-09 08:43

    *initial thoughts*All I can think right now is man I loved the first two books in the series so much what happened? I think the simplest answer is I just didn't identify with Bill at all, and I also felt like the representation of sickness and health was overly simplistic (with a weird huge focus on the bubonic plague). Nothing felt as fully fleshed out as I would have liked it to have been, and I don't think relating bullying to Pestilence works the way anorexia to Famine or self-injury to War did.

  • Rhiannon Ryder
    2018-11-15 14:48

    I fell in love with this series when Houghton Mifflin randomly sent me the first part, Hunger, shortly after it came out in the fall of 2010. It was a heavy hitter with heart, and I loved the fantasy element that Jackie brought to the issues. It was a terrific meshing of story with major teen issues, making it very readable despite tackling serious subject matter. I was even more impressed when I read Rage, and found myself in tears by the end. To say I was eagerly awaiting Loss is a bit of an understatement.In each of the Riders of the Apocalypse books Jackie takes a broken teen and shows them redemption through balancing the bad and the good in the world by making them a rider of something close to their inner turmoil. The girl battling an eating disorder becomes Famine, the girl who cuts herself becomes War, and the boy who's bullied and desperately trying to deal with his bad home situation becomes Pestilence. Their struggle as a rider becomes the way they find redemption in their personal life. Loss deals with bullying and Alzheimer's, Billy's life is a disaster at school where he's constantly picked on, but there's no relief at home where he has to help care for his beloved Grandfather who's being ravaged by Alzheimer's. The story line with his grandfather, like the story about Missy's cat was something I could relate to perfectly, as my own beloved grandfather wasted away similarly. Even his grandfathers prophetic words, in a moment of lucidity, reminded me of my grandfather, who also had a lucid moment of emotional depth the very last time we spoke before he died."You find you way," said his grandfather, shaking a finger at him. "You find your way, and you come back home."Unlike the previous two books in the series, Loss also had an intriguing background story of the previous Pestilence. The mystery surrounding the "Ice Cream Man" was a fascinating addition to the story and made me wonder even more about the other previous Riders.Jackie's gift for telling a story and making it personal remains her gift in the Riders of the Apocalypse. Who would think I would have strongly protective feelings for War, Famine, and Pestilence? And yet I deeply care what happens to these teens. But I think the best part of this series is not only how touched I am by each of the stories, but that contributions from the sale of each of the books goes to very worthy charities. Loss makes contributions to the Alzheimer's Association, one that's very close to my heart. I love the idea that the joy of a book can also contribute to a greater good. As if I need more reasons to buy books.

  • ILoveBooks
    2018-12-07 13:30

    This is one of those books that deals with a difficult topic, but manages to make that topic applicable in such a way that teens/young adults will maintain interest and understand. Billy Ballard is bullied. The former sentence is alliterative and incredibly sad. He doesn't fight back or defend himself, but takes most of the bullying in stride. Adults are even sometimes around when he is bullied, but do nothing...an unfortunate fact in many cases. The reader will connect to Billy and feel terrible on his behalf. He doesn't have the easiest time at home either. His grandfather is slowly succumbing to Alzheimer's disease and the effects of the disease often hurt Billy as well. When Billy learns he has been more or less tricked into being the White Rider, he has no choice but to accept his fate yet again. However, the more Billy delves into his new role, including his sudden ability to experience certain events in the far past, the more Billy gains his own strength and inner voice. He also learns that he balances out the other Riders. Balance is a strong theme in this book and may play a valuable lesson for the reader if the reader pays close attention. Billy's character is wonderfully developed. The reader will form and maintain a connection to his character throughout the novel. The other characters, though mainly secondary, are interesting as well. The author has that knack that makes the reader interested in the other characters as well. The author distributes background information at just the right moments in the novel as well. For example, right when the reader is beginning to feel less than sympathetic to the White Rider, she gives the reader a glimpse into his sad past. The Riders of the Apocalypse is a wonderful series that covers difficult and often hidden topics that young adults/adults/teens would enjoy.

  • Attila Cthulhuson
    2018-11-18 14:46

    Each book in this series deals with an issue relevant to teens, and the teen’s struggle culminates in his or her opportunity to become one of the four horsemen. I was unsure which direction Kessler would take with this one. I figured she'd go the modern route and have the white rider be Pestilence. I was pleasantly surprised when she found a way to have the rider be both Pestilence and the Conqueror. The main teen issue was bullying, with Billy Ballard, a kid who is so used to being beaten up he does not even fight anymore against the bullies at school. One can see how this might tie in with him potentially becoming the Conqueror. When Billy travels through the past of the White rider, he sees the destructive nature of pestilence, and finds the power to conquer what he can.The segments dealing with bullying did not strike me as much as the bits where he cares for his grandfather. This is the Pestilence tie-in. Billy's grandfather has wasted away due to Alzheimer’s and is now Gramps, not the grandfather Billy knew. Gramps becomes abusive physically and mentally in his confusion. Unlike the abuse from his schoolmates, this is not something Billy can conquer, and is well in the realm of Pestilence.For someone who has watched someone deteriorate from Alzheimer’s, Billy’s feelings of loss, hopelessness, and disconnect from someone who does not feel familiar anymore is heartbreaking and all too apt.Again this series deals with teen topics in a non-preachy way, with enough fantasy and random references to make me happy. I love not being told who some of the past riders were, but having enough historical references to be able to guess. I appreciate crap like that. And the non-preachiness.

  • Stephanie
    2018-11-30 14:42

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.My Summary: Billy's always been the kid that gets picked on by the biggest, stupidest bullies around. All the poor kid wants is to walk home without getting beaten to a pulp...Then Billy meets Death - literally, not figuratively - and learns he is set to become the White Rider of the Apocalypse. Now, armed with power beyond his comprehension, Billy lashes out at the people who made his life a living hell (pun intended). But things don't go as planned, and the after-affects of Billy's actions spread further than he ever dreamed they would, leaving him only one option: he must find the real White Rider and give up his power.My Thoughts: You guys have no idea how happy I was when I opened up my mailbox and found Loss waiting for me. I loved the first two books in the series - they were amazing - and I knew this third installment would not disappoint. First off, Billy was a great character. I loved his growth throughout the novel, and that he learned to stand up for himself after his whole ordeal. Although I will admit, I was a little confused in the beginning as to how Billy's story fit in with the theme of Pestilence.What I also really enjoyed was the adventure-like aspect of the book when Billy tries to track down Pestilence and ends up chasing him around the world. That element definitely made the book more surreal and helped pull me into the story.Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of darker paranormal YA and anything to do with angels and demons. My fellow Supernatural lovers will definitely enjoy it!

  • Megs
    2018-11-17 15:48

    I was super intrigued by the concept of this series: normal, imperfect people becoming Horsemen of the Apocalypse. While I haven't read Hunger or Rage, I would definitely like to. Maybe because as well as a bookworm, I'm also a horse-girl, but if I had to be something evil-ish, it would totally be a Horseman of the Apocalypse!One of my favourite parts of the book for Kessler's portrayal of Death. He was perfect! Calm, intelligent, uncaring and unbiased. Such an awesome character and definitely my favourite.I also enjoyed the layers in Loss. As if finding out you must act as a Horseman of the Apocalypse wasn't enough, Billy is also dealing with some serious bullies, not to mention his grandfather's battle with Alzheimer's Disease. Bullying is a huge issue and I'm glad there are books like Loss that give it a voice without being boring or preachy. Hooray for an awesome message.Unfortunately, the middle of the book held some issues for me. The plot felt like it slowed to a crawl and things jumped around a lot, leaving me confused and not sure what was significant to the story. However, I still enjoyed the book and will definitely keep an eye out for Hunger and Rage.Also, I didn't feel like the title packed the same punch as Hunger and Rage.

  • Kristen
    2018-11-25 15:40

    First Impression: I've always found this an interesting series with the mix of supernatural elements with teen issues. I was curious to see where this one was going.While Reading: This one started off slow for me. I couldn't quite relate to Billy and honestly did not find him to be an interesting characters, especially compared to the previous main characters in the other books. But when the action picked up towards the middle of the book, I found myself entranced in the plot. I loved the way the past is interweaved in this book to explain a bit more of the dynamics between the Conqueror and Death and a glimpse into why all of this is happening in the first place. I was concerned this book wouldn't move the plot further enough for me to be happy, but I was wrong and happily so. I'm still not quite sure where this series is moving towards but will be looking forward to seeing what happens next.Final Verdict: Definitely a slower novel for me, but it picked up quite a bit. Some may relate to this character more than myself.

  • Darcy
    2018-11-29 15:48

    I would have liked this one better if the book would have been all about Billy. I think bullying is a problem with kids today and I hated to see what was happening to him, especially when adults were around and they ignored it. So when Billy started to act out to get back at the bullies I was cheering him on.I understand why there was so much with Mita, Billy needed to see that to learn what could go wrong so that he would be able to handle the job. But it made the story a little boring for me.I loved Billy and his interactions with his Gramps. Alzheimer's is such a horrible disease, one that hurts those left behind more than the one it is happening to. Billy was great with his Gramps, even all the while mourning the Gramps he knew. I think that Billy made the right choice at the end and will do a great job balancing things. I also loved that he experience made him stronger, someone who can't or won't be bullied anymore.

  • Ashley Thompson
    2018-11-29 14:35

    spoilersOkay. I'm not gonna lie... this one was tough to get through. Firstly, let's backtrack a bit, right? Hunger was a beautifully tragic tale about a girl with anorexia, and that story was bound together by her becoming Famine, the Black Rider of the Apocalypse. Rage was about the journey of a young girl and her tendency to self-harm, all highlighted by the fact that she was chosen to be War, the Red Rider. Loss, however, fell very, very flat on the meaningful message stage.I don't know if this is going to sound harsh or not, but I came to this series because I expected to be moved and captivated at the same time. For example, Hunger opened my eyes to the reality of eating disorders. Though I knew of them, that book offered a first person perspective on what it's like to be anorexic. The main character becoming a Horseman of the Apocalypse was just an interesting way to present the topic of anorexia, a way to use metaphor and irony to better the reader's understanding of that disorder. It was the same with the next book, so I expected a theme with the rest of the series.Unfortunately, I wasn't so lucky. Here's the thing: if I had come to these novels to read about the Four Horsemen, I would've loved this book. But that's not why I came here. Loss started off promising by introducing the main character, Billy, as someone being bullied in school. I was hoping that that would somehow tie into the role of Pestilence, the White Rider, and the overall point of the book would be to expose the issues around bullying and what it can do mentally to students. That didn't pan out, however, as the bullying only served a purpose in the plot because it fueled Billy's rage, his want for revenge, which resulted in him misusing his new abilities as Pestilence. Then, I thought the book would be about mental illness because Billy's grandfather is presumed to have Alzheimer's. In fact, I think that's what the original plan of the author was, but it was scrapped. It would've been a slightly different view from the first two novels as the first two novels dealt with issues within the main character and not without, but I was willing to role with it. Working from the POV of a caregiver to someone who's mentally disabled would feed easily into the role of Pestilence. But, again, the only real purpose it served was to give Billy a reason to refuse the job of the White Rider. Which leads me into my next point.So, there wasn't a strong enough message. Jackie Morse Kessler decided to focus more on the actual Four Horsemen story instead. But, for me, that kind of turned out horribly as well. Nearly eighty pages--and these books aren't very long--were taken up by Billy trying to bring the original White Rider back to his duty as a Horseman so he wouldn't have to do it himself. Again, if I had been interested in the story first and foremost, I might have found it interesting, but instead I found it dull and irritating. The only parts I found that were peaking my interest were the parts where Billy talked--through the memory of Pestilence--to the other three Horseman. But that was pretty much it. The rest of the time, I was extremely bored. Because the book isn't about the original White Rider, it's about Billy.My final couple of thoughts about this novel include Marianne and the overall tone of the book. So, Marianne seemed to be a huge motivator for Billy, right? He didn't want to ride because of her, he didn't want to be afraid of the bullies because of her, he wanted to be with her, etc. But we get literally two scenes with her. So? As far as the tone of the book, I just want to point out that what it was, was big picture. What I would've liked it to be is simplistic. Simply the character, the issue they're having, and the prospect of being a Rider. That's it. No big, mind-sucking journeys, no legends of the lore of the Horsemen, no background stories of the other Horsemen. I just wanted simplicity.Now, because of how this novel went, I'm apprehensive to read Breath. I thought originally that the book about Death, the Pale Rider, would involve someone who was suicidal, because it makes sense, right? But now I'm thinking it's going to end up being all about the story, that it'll be about the Death we've seen for the past three books and how he came to be Death. After that, I don't know. It could end up going all the way to the end of the world. Which, again, would be fine if I had been reading that story from the beginning... but I haven't been.I'm trying to think of good notes to tack onto the end here to try and make this novel seem better than this review sounds, but I can't pull any out. All I can say is: it was still a good enough read for me to give it three stars. So..."Go thee out unto the world."

  • Tamora Pierce
    2018-11-24 12:24

    A bit more magical/abstract than the first two books--a bullied kid is pulled in to take the crown and bow of Pestilence while dealing with his crush on his best friend, the school thugs, and his grandfather's Alzheimer's.

  • Stacia (the 2010 club)
    2018-11-12 16:48

    Loving the new cover!

  • Sophie Jordan
    2018-11-19 08:27

    Um. WOW. A page-turner. Gritty and honest with an empathetic boy-protagonist.

  • Kelly Brennan
    2018-12-08 12:28

    The best in the series so far! I loved this. Review to come.

  • Rinda Elliott
    2018-12-13 15:29

    Looking forward to this book! Rating it high for expectations. ;)

  • Shiku
    2018-11-14 12:43

    3,5__________________________Für Billy Ballard fing es eigentlich wie ein ganz normaler Tag an: Er wurde von Mitschülern schikaniert und getreten, er ließ seine beste Freundin sitzen aus Angst, die Aufmerksamkeit seiner Peiniger auf sich zu ziehen, wenn er die Pizzeria betritt. Der Tag soll allerdings noch schlimmer werden, als sein an Alzheimer erkrankter Großvater die Wohnung verlässt und allein in den Straßen umherirrt. Billy ahnt noch nicht, dass der komische Musiker, den er auf seiner Suche nach seinem Großvater trifft, Death ist … oder doch? Aus irgendeinem Grund scheint er es zu ahnen und sich nicht darüber zu wundern. Doch warum? Was auch immer es ist, eines kann Billy noch nicht wissen: Wie sehr sein Mut und seine Kraft in nächster Zeit gefordert werden und wie sehr er endlich für sich selbst einstehen muss, wie er zurückkämpfen muss; das, was er in all den Jahren verlernt hat.Natürlich gibt es auch im dritten Band der Reihe wieder kleine Gemeinsamkeiten: Die Initialen des Protagonisten beginnen mit dem gleichen Buchstaben, während der Name eigentlich nur eine Kurzvariante des eigentlichen Namen ist. Der Protagonist hat ein privates Problem, das in der einen oder anderen Weise mit seinem künftigen Amt zu tun hat, das er aus bestimmten Gründen übernehmen muss, womit er anfangs durchaus Probleme hat.Soviel zu den Gemeinsamkeiten, denn zum einen ist Billy etwas jünger als die anderen beiden, zum anderen hat er gleich zwei Probleme, ist natürlich ein Junge und – was besonders wichtig ist – reagiert nicht genau so wie seine Vorgängerinnen. Hinzu kommt, dass es dieses Mal nicht Death war, der Billy erwählte, sondern Pestilence selbst, nur dass Billy in diesem Fall kein wirkliches Mitspracherecht hatte.Billy scheint keine sonderlich großen Probleme mit dem Gedanken zu haben, dass die Reiter existieren, was mich anfangs in der Tat ein wenig irritiert hat. Wie kann man so etwas einfach so hinnehmen? Allerdings war zu diesem Zeitpunkt schon deutlich, dass da noch mehr ist und dieses Versprechen soll nicht übertrieben gewesen sein: Da ist noch mehr und es erklärt auch, warum Billy nicht so überrascht ist, wie man es vielleicht erwarten könnte.Er selbst ist ein durchaus sympathischer Charakter, der in gewisser Hinsicht verständlich ist, auch wenn das Buch nie sagt, dass seine mangelnde Selbstverteidigung „richtig“ ist – eben wie auch beim Thema Magersucht oder selbstverletzendes Verhalten. Ich gebe zu, ich wurde nie ernsthaft gemobbt und hatte deswegen Probleme, mich 100%ig einzufühlen. Es ist ein Thema, bei dem ich glaube, dass man es erlebt haben muss, um es wirklich nachvollziehen zu können. Bei mir gab es zwar Mitschüler, die mich mit ungewollten Namen ärgerten und später beim Schulwechsel jene netten Herren, die alles daran taten, dass ich mich unwohl fühlte, indem sie mich hauptsächlich mit sexuellen Fragen löcherten. Aber ich war schon immer gut darin, solche Idioten auszublenden und schlichtweg zu ignorieren, was definitiv hilft. Man reagiert nicht, zeigt somit auch keine Schwäche und irgendwann verlieren sie die Lust. Allerdings ist das bei weitem nicht, was Billy durchmachen muss, der zu Boden geschlagen und getreten wird. Die ganze Zeit über hab ich gehofft, dass er doch endlich seiner Wut nachgibt und zurückschlägt, und ihnen zeigt, dass sie so nicht mit ihm umgehen können. Seine Wandlung, die er im Laufe des Buches durchmacht, ist bisweilen ein bisschen „jumpy“, aber auch nicht so sehr, dass es mich besonders gestört hätte. Es fiel mir nur auf. Es legt sich auch zum Ende hin, so dass ich dort nichts mehr in dieser Hinsicht zu bemängeln hätte.Neben Billy tauchen natürlich noch andere wichtige Charaktere auf, der prominenteste unter ihnen dürfte wohl Death sein. Ich hab es vermutlich schon oft genug in den vorherigen Rezensionen erwähnt, aber ich liebe den Kerl, so selbstmörderisch das auch klingen mag. Einzig von den Pferden wird ihm die Show gestohlen. Sie sind eben ein bisschen mehr als normale Tiere und die Interaktion untereinander wird selten genug gezeigt, aber wenn, dann ist es richtig herzig. Ich würde ja so weit gehen und behaupten, dass sie die heimlichen Stars der Bücher sind!Wichtiger ist allerdings, dass es in diesem Buch ein paar mehr Hintergrundinformationen gibt. Weniger zu den Reitern allgemein – auch wenn es da ebenfalls den einen oder anderen Hinweis gibt –, sondern vielmehr zu Pestilence, seiner Vergangenheit und Geschichte. Ich gebe zu, nicht alles davon erschien mir ganz schlüssig. Außerdem erwähnt die Autorin im Nachwort, dass sie zu Beginn einige Ideen hatte, die nicht so recht passten und von denen nur eine als Element erhalten blieb – interessanterweise ist es genau dieses Element, das mir überflüssig vorkam. Sie selbst sagt, dass die Idee recht lose zur Geschichte verknüpft ist – es liegt einfach daran, dass Pestilence‘ Waffe ein Bogen ist. Das ist wirklich ein bisschen wenig und mir wäre es lieber gewesen, sie hätte da mehr hineingesteckt oder es einfach weggelassen.Sei es, wie es sei, wir bekommen mehr Einsicht in Pestilence‘ Leben, das wirklich lang genug war. In der Zeit lernen wir natürlich auch ihn ein bisschen besser kennen und demnach auch seine Motive; wer ein Herz für tragische Liebesgeschichten hat, darf auch auf ein bisschen mehr hoffen, denn die Geschichte von Pestilence und Famine hier ist genau das: ein bisschen tragisch und vor allem ziemlich traurig.Lediglich am Ende hatte ich wieder einige Probleme mit dem Auslöser für Pestilence‘ finale Handlungen, einfach weil er so banal wirkte. Zwar hat Pestilence im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes den Verstand verloren, aber aus diesem einen Grund zu tun, was er am Ende tut, schien mir doch ein bisschen zu sehr an den Haaren herbeigezogen zu sein.Am Ende ist „Loss“ ein bisschen mehr als nur die Geschichte eines Jungen, der lernen muss, für sich selbst einzustehen. Trotzdem ist dies der Hauptpunkt des Buches, der mit ein bisschen Tragik, genauso aber Witz gespickt wurde. Besonders gut gefiel mir ja das Ende, bei dem ich mir wirklich nicht sicher bin, ob es nun eindeutig ist oder nicht. Ich glaube zu wissen, wie es ausgeht, aber dann gibt es wieder den einen oder anderen Satz, der mich unsicher werden lässt. Was auch immer die Wahrheit ist: Es ist ein passendes Ende.Wer in den vorherigen Bänden Death und die Pferde mochte, kommt hier definitiv wieder auf seine Kosten, aber auch Billys Geschichte ist einen Blick wert. Es mag nicht alles immer ganz schlüssig wirken, aber das sind nur einige Punkte. Wichtig ist: „Loss“ unterscheidet sich wieder von „Hunger“ und „Rage“ und Billy macht seine eigene Entwicklung durch.

  • Bissfan
    2018-11-17 14:43

    3,5__________________________Für Billy Ballard fing es eigentlich wie ein ganz normaler Tag an: Er wurde von Mitschülern schikaniert und getreten, er ließ seine beste Freundin sitzen aus Angst, die Aufmerksamkeit seiner Peiniger auf sich zu ziehen, wenn er die Pizzeria betritt. Der Tag soll allerdings noch schlimmer werden, als sein an Alzheimer erkrankter Großvater die Wohnung verlässt und allein in den Straßen umherirrt. Billy ahnt noch nicht, dass der komische Musiker, den er auf seiner Suche nach seinem Großvater trifft, Death ist … oder doch? Aus irgendeinem Grund scheint er es zu ahnen und sich nicht darüber zu wundern. Doch warum? Was auch immer es ist, eines kann Billy noch nicht wissen: Wie sehr sein Mut und seine Kraft in nächster Zeit gefordert werden und wie sehr er endlich für sich selbst einstehen muss, wie er zurückkämpfen muss; das, was er in all den Jahren verlernt hat.Natürlich gibt es auch im dritten Band der Reihe wieder kleine Gemeinsamkeiten: Die Initialen des Protagonisten beginnen mit dem gleichen Buchstaben, während der Name eigentlich nur eine Kurzvariante des eigentlichen Namen ist. Der Protagonist hat ein privates Problem, das in der einen oder anderen Weise mit seinem künftigen Amt zu tun hat, das er aus bestimmten Gründen übernehmen muss, womit er anfangs durchaus Probleme hat.Soviel zu den Gemeinsamkeiten, denn zum einen ist Billy etwas jünger als die anderen beiden, zum anderen hat er gleich zwei Probleme, ist natürlich ein Junge und – was besonders wichtig ist – reagiert nicht genau so wie seine Vorgängerinnen. Hinzu kommt, dass es dieses Mal nicht Death war, der Billy erwählte, sondern Pestilence selbst, nur dass Billy in diesem Fall kein wirkliches Mitspracherecht hatte.Billy scheint keine sonderlich großen Probleme mit dem Gedanken zu haben, dass die Reiter existieren, was mich anfangs in der Tat ein wenig irritiert hat. Wie kann man so etwas einfach so hinnehmen? Allerdings war zu diesem Zeitpunkt schon deutlich, dass da noch mehr ist und dieses Versprechen soll nicht übertrieben gewesen sein: Da ist noch mehr und es erklärt auch, warum Billy nicht so überrascht ist, wie man es vielleicht erwarten könnte.Er selbst ist ein durchaus sympathischer Charakter, der in gewisser Hinsicht verständlich ist, auch wenn das Buch nie sagt, dass seine mangelnde Selbstverteidigung „richtig“ ist – eben wie auch beim Thema Magersucht oder selbstverletzendes Verhalten. Ich gebe zu, ich wurde nie ernsthaft gemobbt und hatte deswegen Probleme, mich 100%ig einzufühlen. Es ist ein Thema, bei dem ich glaube, dass man es erlebt haben muss, um es wirklich nachvollziehen zu können. Bei mir gab es zwar Mitschüler, die mich mit ungewollten Namen ärgerten und später beim Schulwechsel jene netten Herren, die alles daran taten, dass ich mich unwohl fühlte, indem sie mich hauptsächlich mit sexuellen Fragen löcherten. Aber ich war schon immer gut darin, solche Idioten auszublenden und schlichtweg zu ignorieren, was definitiv hilft. Man reagiert nicht, zeigt somit auch keine Schwäche und irgendwann verlieren sie die Lust. Allerdings ist das bei weitem nicht, was Billy durchmachen muss, der zu Boden geschlagen und getreten wird. Die ganze Zeit über hab ich gehofft, dass er doch endlich seiner Wut nachgibt und zurückschlägt, und ihnen zeigt, dass sie so nicht mit ihm umgehen können. Seine Wandlung, die er im Laufe des Buches durchmacht, ist bisweilen ein bisschen „jumpy“, aber auch nicht so sehr, dass es mich besonders gestört hätte. Es fiel mir nur auf. Es legt sich auch zum Ende hin, so dass ich dort nichts mehr in dieser Hinsicht zu bemängeln hätte.Neben Billy tauchen natürlich noch andere wichtige Charaktere auf, der prominenteste unter ihnen dürfte wohl Death sein. Ich hab es vermutlich schon oft genug in den vorherigen Rezensionen erwähnt, aber ich liebe den Kerl, so selbstmörderisch das auch klingen mag. Einzig von den Pferden wird ihm die Show gestohlen. Sie sind eben ein bisschen mehr als normale Tiere und die Interaktion untereinander wird selten genug gezeigt, aber wenn, dann ist es richtig herzig. Ich würde ja so weit gehen und behaupten, dass sie die heimlichen Stars der Bücher sind!Wichtiger ist allerdings, dass es in diesem Buch ein paar mehr Hintergrundinformationen gibt. Weniger zu den Reitern allgemein – auch wenn es da ebenfalls den einen oder anderen Hinweis gibt –, sondern vielmehr zu Pestilence, seiner Vergangenheit und Geschichte. Ich gebe zu, nicht alles davon erschien mir ganz schlüssig. Außerdem erwähnt die Autorin im Nachwort, dass sie zu Beginn einige Ideen hatte, die nicht so recht passten und von denen nur eine als Element erhalten blieb – interessanterweise ist es genau dieses Element, das mir überflüssig vorkam. Sie selbst sagt, dass die Idee recht lose zur Geschichte verknüpft ist – es liegt einfach daran, dass Pestilence‘ Waffe ein Bogen ist. Das ist wirklich ein bisschen wenig und mir wäre es lieber gewesen, sie hätte da mehr hineingesteckt oder es einfach weggelassen.Sei es, wie es sei, wir bekommen mehr Einsicht in Pestilence‘ Leben, das wirklich lang genug war. In der Zeit lernen wir natürlich auch ihn ein bisschen besser kennen und demnach auch seine Motive; wer ein Herz für tragische Liebesgeschichten hat, darf auch auf ein bisschen mehr hoffen, denn die Geschichte von Pestilence und Famine hier ist genau das: ein bisschen tragisch und vor allem ziemlich traurig.Lediglich am Ende hatte ich wieder einige Probleme mit dem Auslöser für Pestilence‘ finale Handlungen, einfach weil er so banal wirkte. Zwar hat Pestilence im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes den Verstand verloren, aber aus diesem einen Grund zu tun, was er am Ende tut, schien mir doch ein bisschen zu sehr an den Haaren herbeigezogen zu sein.Am Ende ist „Loss“ ein bisschen mehr als nur die Geschichte eines Jungen, der lernen muss, für sich selbst einzustehen. Trotzdem ist dies der Hauptpunkt des Buches, der mit ein bisschen Tragik, genauso aber Witz gespickt wurde. Besonders gut gefiel mir ja das Ende, bei dem ich mir wirklich nicht sicher bin, ob es nun eindeutig ist oder nicht. Ich glaube zu wissen, wie es ausgeht, aber dann gibt es wieder den einen oder anderen Satz, der mich unsicher werden lässt. Was auch immer die Wahrheit ist: Es ist ein passendes Ende.Wer in den vorherigen Bänden Death und die Pferde mochte, kommt hier definitiv wieder auf seine Kosten, aber auch Billys Geschichte ist einen Blick wert. Es mag nicht alles immer ganz schlüssig wirken, aber das sind nur einige Punkte. Wichtig ist: „Loss“ unterscheidet sich wieder von „Hunger“ und „Rage“ und Billy macht seine eigene Entwicklung durch.

  • Morgan
    2018-11-29 12:34

    Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Out of the the three books so far in this series, this one really hit home for me. It was dark, but full of light. Scary, but full of hope and bravery. You experience and delve into feelings that only exist in our very cores. Feelings and emotions that we never let see the light of day because of what would happen. It's terrifying. But by conquering that, it changes everything. It doesn't mean that those emotions that leave us curled up in a corner ever leave, but it does mean that you are able to stand taller and face those fears like a king. This book truly was a dance with words. I loved the intricacy and crossovers and connections. Can't wait to read book four.

  • Holly
    2018-11-16 10:26

    Okay I actually finished this book at the end of last year (2016...I think, oh god maybe 2015 looking at my start date *shame*). I'd always planned to write a review but this series is so good that I can't even do it justice. I have the last book but have been putting off reading because I know it will destroy me.*EDIT* okay totally lied, I finished it on June 15th, 2014...

  • Bonnie (A Backwards Story)
    2018-12-06 16:31

    Bookworms, don't forget to check out today's interview with Billy Ballard from LOSS, as well as previous reviews of both HUNGER and RAGE! I also interviewed Jackie last year on her RAGE Blog Tour. Earlier this week, I also talked about the Mythological Aspects of LOSS! Check it all out to find out more about this unique series!LOSS is the third book in Jackie Morse Kessler's Riders of the Apocalypse quartet, though you don't need to pick up the previous two novels in order to read it. Not only is it the longest book in the series to date, it's also my current favorite (though all bets are off when BREATH comes out because, um, I LOVE Death's character!). While both HUNGER and RAGE focus more on disorders, LOSS is more a story of circumstance. It also explores the history of Pestilence the Conqueror in ways not previously seen in the series.Unlike HUNGER and RAGE, which feature two girls harming themselves and in danger of dying, their disorders closely linked to their roles as Horsmen, Billy Ballard is tricked into becoming Pestilence. He makes a deal he doesn't understand early on that comes back to haunt him later as the current crown-bearing Horsemen Pestilence lays on his deathbed. That isn't to say that LOSS isn't without social issues at its heart. Billy is badly buried at school, sometimes so badly beaten that I could see him dying in an encounter one day. When he's first given Pestilence's bow with its quiver full of disease-laden arrows, Billy finds out that he can strike back at the bullies who have taunted him for so many years. The scene where he snaps and teeters on the edge reminds me of what a student on a killing spree at school might think. In particular, it brought Lionel Shriver's WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN to mind, a book with a scene so horrifying, I still try to forget it. At the same time, Kessler maintains balance and shows the goodness in humans despite all the trauma we go through in life, the resilience that brings us back from the edge. On top of the bullying issue, Kessler adds in an issue at home: Billy's grandfather has dementia and Alzheimer's, so Billy knows a thing or two about illness when asked to be Pestilence. People who have watched loved ones suffer from these diseases will connect with Billy, who both loves his grandfather and wishes he'd get well, but sometimes wishes he no longer suffered in such a fashion. In my opinion, LOSS has the deepest themes running through it of the three books in the series released so far.In addition, LOSS is heaviest on the mythology--and I don't mean Rider mythology. Pestilence is all about insanity, the way disease can creep in and turn your mind inside out until you can't tell left from right. When diving into the memories of the current Horseman, Billy must determine what is real and what is false, even as he feels himself going crazy in the process. The segment is a whirlwind that, at first, can be incredibly confusing, but is designed that way on purpose. Kessler deftly pulls the readers into Billy's mental frame of mind, which can be hard for author's to do. The White Rider has lived for centuries, ever since he lived as King Mita, the real-life form of the legendary King Midas. Rather than turning everything he touched to gold, however, the King can bestow life or death. The White Rider also spent time hiding from death and shirking his duties as Pestilence in the Greenwood as Robert Hode, whose tales would later become those of an outlaw named Robin Hood. A couple other scenarios, such as the Children’s Crusade in France, are mentioned as well, fleshing out the the fact that the Riders of the Apocalypse are not mere legend, but bound up in the stories of our everyday life. I was always so anxious to see what story Kessler would weave into LOSS next, and never disappointed by the results. Combined with a captivating story and a satisfying resolution, LOSS is my favorite book in the RIDERS OF THE APOCALYPSE series to date.A portion of the proceeds from the sale of LOSS will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association. If you are planning to purchase a copy of LOSS, thank you for helping to make a difference!COVER DESIGN:I always love the cover art for his series. For one thing, it's SHINY. I love shiny things (maybe I was a dragon in a past life...?). For another, the covers always feature the symbol of the novel's Horseman. In the case of LOSS, Pestilence has both a crown and a bow (with arrows full of disease). Finally, it's got a bit of grunge going on. the cover isn't perfect, even though it IS shiny. It shows that perfection doesn't exist, and adds grit, showcasing that the book has harder issues than what one might expect picking it up blind. The books manage to retain a glossy fantasy look.I can't wait to see what designer Sammy Yuen does next with BREATH!

  • Jackie
    2018-11-16 10:32

    For me this book severely dragged innthe middle. It felt like the author wanted to write something completely different and then changed her mind and went back to the story. The reason I gave this book three stars is because the last part of the book made up for it.

  • Em The Reading Challenge Challenge
    2018-11-20 10:23

    Loved this! I liked that this shook up the routine a bit - Hunger and Rage sort of followed the same formula but this was very different.Can't wait to see how it all ends in Breath :)

  • Mary Gerzema
    2018-12-01 13:25

    In the 3rd book of the series a bullied boy named Billy, is given the power to inflict pain in the world. Does he have the courage to save the world?

  • Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
    2018-11-30 16:28

    3.5 starsThe Riders of the Apocalypse Series is one of those gritty, honest and moving stories about a variety of real things that teens deal with. In Hunger we meet a girl who deals with an eating disorder and she her transform into the first rider of the Apocalypse, Famine. In Rage we met a teen who deals with bullying and cutting herself. During her story we watch her transform into the second rider of the Apocalypse, WAR, and see how she over comes her self mutilation. In LOSS Jackie again tackles the tough subject of bullying and ties in a teen who also has to deal with loss and a grandfather who is battling Alzheimer's and see his transformation into the third rider, Pestilence.Billy Ballard is a teen my heart broke for. He's a sweet kid who needed a big dose of self confidence and the inner battle to fight back, vs being a teenager who gets the crap kicked out of him by the ruthless school bully. It angered to watch how many students and teachers stood by and did nothing about the daily bullying and taunting he received. Not only that, he kept hiding his visible injuries from his mom, embarrassed at the fact he was getting beat up in high school. He didn't tell anyone about what was going on. Jackie created a kid that all of us can relate to in some way. He's the quiet kid who keeps his head hoping that no one will notice him (which never works). He's the kid that quietly allows his anger to build up inside him, who has no one to turn to and talk about what's going on. He's the kid that needs someone to stick up for him just once, to boost his self-esteem and to be the voice he doesn't have.I really enjoyed watching Billy grow from a character who lacks confidence at first, and is so sick and tired of being beat up on and over the course of the story to finally finding that inner voice who tells him to fight back. To be the better one and realize that is bully is nothing more than a coward. Billy's story is so much more than just dealing with bullying, it's also about helping someone you love battle Alzheimer's. Billy's transformation is one that takes him back through time through various points in history from ancient Phrygia, to Alexandria, the Sherwood Forest and to the Crusades in France. During each place he's learns to find his voice, fight back and embrace his new position as one of the riders of the Apocalypse. I love the way Jackie balances out the roles Famine, War, Pestilence and Death have in each other's lives, and how she allows each of them to interact through out the series.Though I've not yet read Hunger, I really enjoyed Rage, and I liked Loss. Each story is moving, powerful and brutally honest about tough subjects. I admire Jackie for creating a series about these different subject matters that should be discussed more. Her writing is gritty, but it's not overly done. It's raw without being in your face. Though I felt like I connected more with Rage, I did like Loss. I liked that she able to create a story using both bulling and Alzheimer's/terminal illness. That alone is something that I've read little about in YA books. This book, much like Rage is a realistic story line with a good doss of rich mythology and it's one I personal recommend to YA readers. I understand these subject matters aren't for everyone, and there may be some things that are tough for some readers to read, but I personally feel Jackie does a brilliant job at creating realistic characters who deal with real life situations and growing them into strong characters who are flawed, broken and learning to over come what ever it is they're fighting against. I'm looking forward to reading Breathe, the fourth book in this series.