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BOOK REVIEW – Riders (Riders #1) by Veronica Rossi

BOOK REVIEW – Riders (Riders #1) by Veronica RossiRiders (Riders #1)
by Veronica Rossi
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can't remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen--Conquest, Famine, and Death--are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now--bound, bloodied, and drugged--Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he's fallen for--not to mention all of humankind--he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

Review:

Riders was enthralling, addicting and I fell madly in love with this story.  A story where death created a journey that was filled with new-found powers and struggles at every turn. I couldn’t help falling for the main male character and his fellow horsemen.  I also adored a girl who seemed to hold all of the answers to their questions.  All of these elements together created a fabulous book that landed right on my favorites shelf!  Riders is definitely a must read!

What are you looking at, Gideon?
You.  I’m looking at you.
How am I looking?
Perfect, I should’ve said.  But I didn’t.

I loved how the story of Riders unfolded.  It was brilliant!  We started in the present, where Gideon Blake, who was just bound and gagged, was being interrogated by the people who rescued him.  And he had to recount the last six weeks of his life, from when he died and woke up with a cuff on his arm, to what lead him to this point in time now.  The present gave us clues to people and situations that Gidion faced and how he felt about them, and the past filled in his fascinating journey to join with the three other horsemen.  I happily transitioned from the past to the present with ease.  In truth, I became obsessed with both time frames!

“Special Agent Daryn Martin.  Come in please, Ms. Martin.  This is War.  Over.”
Over the drone of the engines, I couldn’t hear my message register on her radio, but she did.  I saw her digging around in her bag.  A few seconds later, her voice came through my radio.
“Yes, Gideon?”
I pressed the talk button. “You will?”
“I will what?”
“I just asked you to come over here and you said yes.”
“You didn’t ask that.”
“But you answered anyway.  Come here.”
“No.”
“You’re messing up the balance of the plane.  We’re going to fly in circles unless you come here.”
“Your ego’s weighing that side down just fine.”
I laughed. “Is that another no?”
“Affirmative.”

Not only did I love the story that was told, but the characters too.  We got to meet each of the characters, one by one, which made me become attached to each of them.  Even ones I didn’t expect to at first.  But for the horsemen, I loved how they were their own person, unique from each other.  They included a friendly boy next door whose speech was hilarious and made me laugh so many times, a quiet bad-ass who I secretly crushed on because I like the challenging and difficult ones, and a good guy who came from a privileged life whose memory was astounding.  Each of them helped round out their group.  But my favorite by far was Blake.  He could be a hothead than practical, or sarcastic one moment and heartfelt the next, ohhhh or swoon worthy and then an ass.   And those swoon worthy moments filled my stomach with butterflies!  Blake was the boy who I desperately wanted to help fix, especially getting to hear some of the thoughts in his head.  But alas we also got to meet a very secretive girl who I really can’t say that much about, other than I adored her!  Especially seeing her through Blake’s eyes!

She smiled.  With the desert glowing gold and amber all around, so much like her, it was a perfect smile.  No secrets.  No hesitation.  Like she’d laid the full measure of herself on me.
It leveled me.
I reached for her hand, which was surprising to both of us.  What was I doing?  But I was already committed so I wove my fingers through hers, keeping it smooth.  Under control.

I feel as though there is so much that I can’t say, but I have to mention that lead up to the ending.  Those perilous situations continued on longer than I thought was possible, and I loved every heart stopping moment of it!  Riders was a rich, imaginative story that I highly recommend!  And while it’s part of a dualogy, and I’m desperately waiting for that 2nd book to be released already, I am in a good holding pattern where it ended.  Well, kind of not really haha!  What I mean is that enough answers are revealed so I found some relief, but that last page has me dying to read the final book.  I can’t wait to see how Gideon’s journey ends!

*ARC kindly provided by Veronica Rossi via a Twitter Giveaway in exchange for an honest review*

PS I have to say that I am ecstatic that this story had scenes in places that are near my heart!  Some scenes were in Half Moon Bay, California which I use to visit in my teenage years and another part took place on the Cal Poly campus in San Luis Obispo, CA where I went to college!  While I loved all of the locations in this book, I definitely loved those the most! ♥

BOOK REVIEW – Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi

BOOK REVIEW – Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) by Veronica RossiUnder the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1)
by Veronica Rossi
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

*4.5 Amazing Stars*

Thank God. Thank God I have found another dystopian worthy of falling in love with. I found out this year that while I love most genres with romance, dystopian makes my blood pump the most and makes me the happiest. There is just something so appealing about finding love while a world is crumbling around you-having to fight for your survival everyday and protect this person that you are slowly falling in love with. I don’t know why this scenario resonates with me, seeing as how I’ve never had to live this way, but it just pulls me in so completely and excites me more than I could ever explain. I love it.

In his glinting eyes, she saw tears of gratitude and trust. She also saw the shadow of what neither of them would dare say to each other, with only days left together. But for now, for tonight, they were done with words.

What appeals to me the most about UTNS, though, is the lack of ‘like’ for one another from the very beginning. No, this is no friends to lovers romance, nor is it an insta-love connection-they practically hate one another upon first sight. Yes, it’s hate at first sight.

She looked up. “A world of nevers under a never sky.”
She fit in well then, he thought. A girl who never shut up.

Born into totally different worlds, one a Mole, one dubbed savage, they have lived completely different lives; Aria, a child of privileges, Perry born in the outside world. Aria’s lavish, Not so real life is set in Reverie, a world of virtual realms where you never feel pain and being in the woods is merely sitting in your own living room, being transported virtually to the place you desire-in other words, you aren’t really in the woods, you are practically imagining it until you decide you’re done with that ‘realm’. Then, on one fateful day, Aria and a group of friends break into the Agriculture room where food is grown and pain CAN be felt, and everything changes forever.

For days he’d had a shifty, anxious feeling in his gut. A feeling like the instant after a cut, before the pain came. He knew when the hurt would hit him. Three more days and they’d reach Bliss. And she’d go back to her mother. He didn’t know what he’d do if they didn’t find Lumina. Bring her to the Tides? Take her back to Marron’s? He couldn’t imagine doing either. He tightened his arms around her. Brought in her scent, breathing deep, letting it mellow him. She was here now.

Kicked out of Reverie after breaking into the Ag 6 room, Aria is left to defend herself in the outside world where death for a ‘Mole’ or ‘Dweller’ is inevitable. There is so much more that happens that I could never possibly explain without giving you a play by play and eventually ruining the story, so I will make it simple: Perry and Aria HAD met before when he broke into Reverie. He HAD saved her life in her earlier altercation in the Ag 6 room. And this whole altercation WAS the catalyst that got the ball rolling on everything negative that happens to Perry’s tribe and family immediately after (or were we just led to believe that?). So when Perry and Aria meet again, tensions are high.

One of the most unique things about this story/series is the abilities of outsiders….Perry for instance. He can, like, smell your emotions and see better and farther than just a normal person like you and me. Okay, okay, I know that sounds so, so stupid, and I thought so too when I initially read the reviews. And, hey, if I’m being completely truthful here, it’s the reason I’ve waited two months to read this series. But, and I can’t stress this enough, OH MY GOSH it is what made Perry so sweet, vulnerable, and caring. I kid you not. This guy is the sweetest thing, and he is always doing for others. He cares immensely and would do anything for the people he loves-he is never insincere in his actions and never puts himself first. This sense is what makes Perry, Perry. Sweet, endearing Perry.

“I’ve been watching you with Roar. Wanting it to be me training with you.” His shoulders came up. “I don’t want to do it now.”
“Why?” Aria’s voice was high and thin.
He smiled, a flash of shyness, before he leaned close. “There are other things I’d rather do when I’m alone with you.”

The journey that Aria and Perry take is so fun, risky, and addicting. They grow from being stubborn, weak allies to people who would die to protect one another without a second thought. Unsure of where it can lead, being from different worlds, they try to make the most of their time together as the time winds down on their journey and the realization that they might never see one another again becomes a likely outcome. I absolutely loved the progression of the story and there was never a dull moment. If you have any qualms about this story and the out-there elements that revolve around the book, I suggest you forget them and give it a chance. It’s dangerously addictive and obsessively appealing-I finished both books in a matter of three days without even trying, and with Christmas this week, that’s a HUGE feat. ‘Nuff said.

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
under the never sky veronica rossi
Under the Never Sky #1
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
roar-and-live-veronica-rossi
Roar and Liv #0.1
Review:
Jen
through the ever night veronica rossi
Through the Ever Night #2
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
brooke-veronica-rossi
Brooke #2.5
Review:
Jen
into the still blue veronica rossi
Into the Still Blue #3
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea

BOOK REVIEW – Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi

BOOK REVIEW – Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica RossiThrough the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2)
by Veronica Rossi
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


Aria laughed. That was attractive. She smelled like a horse. “Do you ever miss anything?
Perry smiled. “You, all the time.”

Wow. Just wow. A heartbeat-quickening, pulse-pounding second installment that completely knocked me off my feet. I immediately started TTEN after finishing the first book and I had no idea what was to come. Boy was I surprised. Romance so sweet it gave me an ache, action that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and the idea that you never know who you should trust-how much more could you ask for???

Perry held her against him. “I missed you,” he whispered in her ear. He couldn’t hold her close enough. “I should never have let you go. I missed you so much.”

In the first installment, we got to experience a relationship unfold from enemies, to reluctant allies, to lovers, but we never really got the chance to see where it could go because their days were numbered and they both knew they had to take separate paths at the end of their journey. In this one, though, Perry and Aria show just how much they adore each other with every look, touch, and secret embrace. I was smiling like a goofball every time they were together and couldn’t seem to stop no matter how hard I tried.

Before he could finish, her arms closed around his neck and they were kissing-a clumsy, hasty kiss. They were both breathing too hard. Smiling too much. Perry wanted to slow down and savor everything, but he couldn’t find a scrap of patience. He wasn’t sure if he started laughing first or if she did.

The magnitude in which Perry has grown to care for her has such an intensity that you can’t help but to fall in love with him more and more and root for them to make it as a couple, even if it isn’t acceptable in their mixed society. You get drawn in and feel yourself being swept away by their feelings for one another while everything falls apart around them.

She’d been seeking the comfort of a place. Of walls. A roof. A pillow to rest her head on. Now she realized that the people she loved were what gave her life shape, and comfort, and meaning. Perry and Roar were home.

The aether storms are happening frequently and becoming fiercer, causing unsafe living conditions and upset among the Tides (Perry’s tribe). Not only that, but Perry has welcomed Aria into the tribe and people are not happy-they don’t think that a Dweller should be living among them and they start to question Perry’s judgement.

Soon, Perry isn’t sure who he can trust any longer and he starts to question his own beliefs-but he never once questions his feelings for Aria. She is the one thing he is absolutely sure of-she’s the only person (aside from Talon) that makes him truly happy. When he’s sad he wants to see her face, it’s her voice he wants to hear, and no one’s opinion can alter that.

“We’re together now,” he whispered against her forehead. “The way we should be.”
She closed her eyes and relaxed her breathing, seeking calm. He was rendered to her. Maybe he’d feel it too. “Sleep, Perry.”
“I will,” he said. “With you right here, I will.”

I can’t even begin to explain how hard it is to express how much I loved this book. I feel like everything I’ve written above is so inadequate as to how strong my affections are for TTEN. It was dramatic, it was sad, it was lovely, it was fierce, and, ultimately, it was much, much more. Every character is so great no matter whether they are good or evil, which is part of the reason I have enjoyed this series so much. Like Roar, for instance-he is an amazing friend and ally, and his loyalty shows no bounds. He protects Perry and Aria with everything he has, and he really stepped up in this novel. I grew to love him just as much as the dynamic duo, making for an even more addicting read.

…”It was my idea. It’s the safest way, but it’s strange pretending to be something different. It’s like there’s a glass wall between us. Like I can’t touch him or…reach him. I don’t like the way it feels.”
Roar wiggled his knee, upsetting her sand pile. “Does his voice still sound like smoke and fire?”
Aria rolled her eyes. “I don’t know why I told you that.”

Perry and Aria still have a long way to go-I can’t say how it will all end and whether they will find the still blue or not. What I do know is that I can’t stand the thought of not having the final installment within my fingertips yet. It absolutely kills me to know that I have to wait a month to see what happens and how it all ends. I felt what they felt, I grew melancholy when they became depressed and my heart broke alongside them as their world tumbled in around them. I love all these characters dearly, and I love that some got a chance at redemption. Now, I will wait eagerly for book three, hoping only for the best.

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
under the never sky veronica rossi
Under the Never Sky #1
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
roar-and-live-veronica-rossi
Roar and Liv #0.1
Review:
Jen
through the ever night veronica rossi
Through the Ever Night #2
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
brooke-veronica-rossi
Brooke #2.5
Review:
Jen
into the still blue veronica rossi
Into the Still Blue #3
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea

BOOK REVIEW – Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi

BOOK REVIEW – Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica RossiInto the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)
by Veronica Rossi
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads


“What I was trying to say,” he whispered, “is that I see you in everything. There isn’t a word for you that means enough, because you’re everything to me.

Not so long ago I picked up the first installment in this series and fell undeniably in love with Perry and Aria, and even Roar. Now it’s a little bit later and the finale is finally out. I can’t say that the gap I had to wait didn’t influence the rating of this book, because it did, but there were many more outside circumstances that played into it as well. I didn’t have any time, so when I did get to read, it was in choppy lengths. I couldn’t find any peace and quiet, which drives me mad when I’m trying to read lol. And I just was soooo tired that I could not completely engage-this novel was expertly written and I truly regret it came at such an exhausting, busy time.

“What brought you out here, Aria?” he asked.
She looked up, right into his eyes. “I needed to find you.”
“I know,” he said. “The second I left you, I felt the same way.”

Perry has done it again, came in and stole my heart with a single sentence proclaiming how much he loved Aria. Everytime I read about him, I melt into a puddle of goo, because really, how sweet is he? How loyal is Perry? He is fierce, protective, caring, kind, and let’s face it-he actually listens to Aria and values her opinons. He never tries to squash her thoughts or make her feel smaller, he puts her above the rest-her opinion means everything to him. And then there’s just his personality…he would put his whole tribe in front of himself, if only to get them another day to live. He is selfless and everything a leader should be, and I enjoyed reading about him dearly.

He was terrible at falling-Roar was right about that-but nothing ever kept him down.

Aria is an amazing heroine. She has flaws, but she is fierce and just as loyal as Perry. She isn’t a completely unbelievable heroine and it’s refreshing to see the realistic and brave lead female in a story. And then there’s Roar. He was still a favorite of mine, but he did grate on me at a certain point in the story. Unnecessary anger, misplaced judgement, and hasty actions almost caused more devastation than was necessary, and it was sad to see him in such a state after the events of book two. Other characters like Brooke, Soren, Talon, and Cinder all made the story that much better. I loved seeing some of them become tolerable and likeable-I ended up loving Brooke and Soren, two of the more annoying characters in previous books. Talon and Cinder were adorable and sweet and it was champ getting to know them on a deeper level.

“I feel like every story you tell me, he gets his nose broken.”
Roar raised an eyebrow. “You’ve seen it, haven’t you?”

So many emotions were pulled out of me-from a deep-hearted tenderness all the way to heartbreak and devastation that had me tearing up from the intensity of it. You won’t know who to trust, you will find yourself second guessing what you do know, and you will be surprised when you are proven wrong about someone’s character time and time again. Every emotion is covered in this story-you won’t be lacking on feeling.

“When I showed up at the cave, you couldn’t even stand to look at me.”
“That’s in your head.”
“It’s not. You’re hardly subtle.” Roar waved a hand. “About anything.”
“You vain bastard. I wasn’t avoiding you. You just sulk whenever you’re not the center of attention.”

The only thing that I think the story suffered from (FOR ME-SPECIFICALLY) was the alternating POVs. What worked flawlessly in books one and two completely hindred my reading in book three. Again-I loved this element in the former books, but I had so much time when I read those. It was beautiful and filled with seamless transitions, making the reader strive to be in either mind they were given. In ITSB, I would pick up the book and read for ten minutes and have to put it down, only to pick it back up two minutes later. What had once been effortless for me became disjointed and jumpy because I couldn’t give it the time of day. And finally, I guess I just never doubted what would happen. There was a bone-deep inevitability that things would happen, and I wasn’t surprised by much. I loved the story, I just didn’t find it altogether unpredictable.

“You think Soren and I saved your life by getting you out of Reverie? We didn’t. We gave you a chance. You have to choose whether you want to live or die, not me.”

Reviews and opinions on books are speculative-remember this. I know with absolute certainty that if I had a good couple hours at a time to read, this would have been five stars and knocked out of the park. But as it is, I didn’t have that time, and the story suffered severely. So even if I SHOULD have been mindlessly in love with it, I wasn’t. It is what it is. I still love this series and will always consider it a favorite. I will come back someday and read the trilogy in a chunk when I have time and re-acquaint myself with Perry, Aria, and Roar. I am sad to see them go, but any more problems and I don’t know that many more people could survive. I am so glad I read this series and gave it a chance-it oozed excellence and individuality.


So that we’re clear,” Perry said, “I don’t care if it means everyone on this earth loses any chance of surviving. If you mention her to me again, I will take your head off and watch your blood pool at my feet.”

Mmmmm protective Perry 😛 ♥

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
under the never sky veronica rossi
Under the Never Sky #1
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
roar-and-live-veronica-rossi
Roar and Liv #0.1
Review:
Jen
through the ever night veronica rossi
Through the Ever Night #2
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
brooke-veronica-rossi
Brooke #2.5
Review:
Jen
into the still blue veronica rossi
Into the Still Blue #3
Reviews:

Jen
Chelsea
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