***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Riders has been getting a lot of mixed reviews and I am here to tell you that your enjoyment of the book will depend heavily on your likes and dislikes when it comes to writing styles and narration. This book is narrated in a before and after and a good chunk of it is told in a summary like style so if that is something that is already turning you off, you might not want to read the book.
That writing style worked for me though and I thought it suited the book perfectly. I honestly don't think I would have enjoyed the book as much as I did were it NOT written this way.
I dove into the book with almost no knowledge of how others were reacting to the book and I barely remembered the blurb since all I knew was that it was by Veronica Rossi and that I wanted to read this book more than I wanted to do anything else.
Was it worth it? That is a really hard question because I absolutely love this book because it is such a me book but at the same time, there were little its and bits that bothered the crap out of me.
For starters this book has diversity but the way Marcus (who is black) is portrayed as dangerous and at times unhinged, really bothered me. That did change over the course of the book as the main character got to know him better but this initial characterization of Marcus did bother me. There were also some characteristics about Bas (who was latino) that seemed a little awkward but it wasn’t nearly as problematic as the way the main character initially saw Marcus.
A lot of your enjoyment of the book will depend on whether or not you like Gideon. I did for the most part. He is actually hilarious and honestly, we are similar in so many ways that I couldn’t help but relate to him. ALSO his leadership skills are great. Except when he gets ragey but he is war so it is a thing that happens unfortunately. His characterization is also very 'not like the other boys' and that--I imagine--can get old REAL fast.
This book is chock full of amazing characters who are ready to win your heart over with their amazingness. I will say though, Jode is one character I wish was fleshed out more. Because I could see myself loving him but I wasn’t attached enough to him to appreciate his character. Daryn is also an amazing character but I hated her as a love interest. I shipped Gideon with ANYONE ELSE. It’s just something about their dynamic. I liked them better as master and sensei than I did as l-o-v-e-r-s (okay so they technically aren’t that yet but they are in a weird relationship because neither of them wants to do anything about feels.)
The reason why this is a Rashika book though is all the adventure in the book. I AM RASHIKA. I like my adventures and especially love it when they come with a side of paranormal. I love how the plot is set up in terms of rising action and the world building in this book definitely helps set up that feeling of adventure (although still not okay with the religion bits but that is a rant for another day.)
So to recommend or not to recommend? I say look at that pretty cover and let that be answer enough for you because that book will look gorgeous on all shelves if I do say so myself. Also, I really really really liked it and my body is ready for book 2.
Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review