Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Breath, by Jackie Morse Kessler

What happens to the world when Death becomes suicidal?  After creating the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and several centuries' worth of dying and being reborn like a phoenix, Death has finally had enough.  What could have driven him to his breaking point?  What will this mean for humanity?  And how does Xander Atwood figure in to it?

Let me start by suggesting that if you are interested in this book, it would be best if you read the first 3 books in the Riders of the Apocalypse series.  It will help it make so much more sense.  I cannot even imagine trying to comprehend this book without having read the others (which are fantastic).  This book tackles so seriously heavy, esoteric subject matter.  First we are dealing with the concept of death, as well as the being of Death.  Death is incredibly complex to comprehend and deal with, for people of all ages.  This book delves into a unique mythos regarding Death's role in creation, and life as a whole.  It gets pretty philosophical and deep at many points, as Death personally contemplates his own being.  Add on top of it the subject of suicide, not to mention that Death is contemplating suicide, and you have a very intense story.

Then we have the character of Xander.  We are not sure, at first how he fits in to it all.  Death has taken an interest in him, because of one small act of kindness Xander performed as a child.  Unlike the previous stories, where the teen characters were being tapped to replace a horseman, it seems as if Xander may have been selected to be the savior.  I think this paints a powerful message for young adult readers.  You never know how your goodness and kindness will impact those around you.

I was simply blown away, not just by this book, but by the entire series.  It was a unique concept, and beautifully executed.  This is the kind of young adult literature I wished for as a kid.

I received a review copy courtesy of Amazon Vine in exchange for my honest review.




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