Review: RAGE by Jackie Morse Kessler

RAGE by Jackie Morse Kessler
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Graphia (April 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780547445281
Source: Publisher
Rating: YYY 1/2

Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.

That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a new kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.

A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.

My Thoughts

Having been a long time fan of Jackie Kessler and familiar with her Four Horsemen series I knew that I would encounter a gripping and intriguing read with newest YA novel, RAGE.

Having read HUNGER I was more than curious to encounter how RAGE would play out and was surprised to have enjoyed it more than I would have believed. It is not to say that I did not enjoy this series and where it was going but I did feel that with the first novel that there was much pre-character development prior to her role as Famine. Now with RAGE I feel as if I have a better grasp and understanding of the newest member of the four Horsemen, Missy aka WAR. Missy is a cutter dealing with life's unbearable situations with the edge of a blade. One night things go to far and she is given a life altering choice, one that she does not relish until she is in the throes of WAR and then she is a force of nature to be feared.

What I valued in this story was the understanding and sympathy that I felt for Missy. I witnessed her pain and anguish, understood her need for the release from all the misery to self iniflicted injury and while I did not agree with her actions I was aware. Self mutilation is a very sensitive subject and Jackie Morse Kessler did a great job of relaying the emotions and actions of Missy's everyday life. While in the grasp of War Missy learns to control her anger and hatred and as the stories progresses you witness her grow and own up to her problems. It was refreshing to see although I have to admit there were moments that I would have liked to gone all Rambo on some of her classmates.

As with her first novel in this series I adored Death, sounds creepy I know but every time he appears on the page I get happy and as you will see I am not the only one. He has an aire about him that makes him all the more alluring despite his day-night job. Another character that jumped from the pages was Famine and I really enjoyed the hostile yet guiding banter that flowed between Famine and War.

Despite my praises Rage is not an easy book to digest. It deals with a very serious issue and some of the passages in this novel with leave you seething in anger and sad from inflicted pain, but in the end you will come to peace with how things work out. I know I did.


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