Rage (The Rider’s Quartet #2) by Jackie Morse Kessler
Source: netGalley / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Rage is a follow-up to the author’s first novel, Hunger, which tells the story about an anorexic teenager becoming Famine, one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This time around, the story’s about War.
I’m not sure how I feel about Rage. I really liked the basic ideas behind the novel and the execution was excellent. The characters are all interesting, as well, but I found the book very difficult to read. I think this stems from the fact that Jackie Morse Kessler deals with such a sensitive topic: cutting. It’s a heavy topic and reading Rage left me in a really somber mood. Cutting’s also so far out of the realm of my experience, though I know that it’s a very real and very serious problem, and so reading about it made me uncomfortable. But that’s a good thing. It’s not a topic to be discussed lightly and the author does a great job of making it work in the story while giving it the gravity it deserves. It’s really hard for me to write about other aspects of Rage because of Missy’s suffering and the way she handles it. Her anger and frustration and sadness are so all-consuming for the reader; I just don’t know how Jackie Morse Kessler could stay in that head space long enough to produce a whole novel. I’m glad she did, though, because Rage is a powerful story. I’m definitely going to pick up Hunger at some point but it won’t be when I’m looking for light reading if Rage is anything to go by.
Before I sign off, there was one line that I just loved, coming from a linguistics background, and I had to share it with you:
Their relationship was past tense. Pluperfect even.