by Jackie Morse Kessler
Description from Amazon.com: 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.
Missy is a rather difficult character to like. She's a teenage girl who obviously made some bad choices, and as a result her life has spiraled out of control. Her life is just one issue after another: harassment from her peers, strained relationship with her sister, failed romance, and serious anger management issues. She is so intent on eliminating her emotions that she can no longer control them, and her only release is cutting her own skin. I found it ironic, therefore, that the 'good' way she could use her War powers was by 'cutting' the heightened emotions away from people in war zones, reducing the need to fight. What doesn't work on a personal level apparently works on a global stage. That's not the message I'd expect...what the author intended to point out was the need for balance, and that one should neither freeze out all emotions or give into fiery rage. It just wasn't executed very well.
As with Hunger, I was disappointed that the author didn't spend more time developing the fantasy elements of the story. Once more, the various Horsemen rarely interact, which was a pity. I'm pretty sure Famine was a different person than in the previous book – it would have been nice to learn a little bit more about her. Death does little more than slip in and out to remind the readers, “Hey, don't forget me! I have the face of Kurt Cobain!!”
Rage was a rather weak addition to Kessler's series. It's over the top and preachy. The message gets in the way of the story, to the point that the epilogue sounds exactly like the final moments at the end of a Lifetime movie when you're the main character got her life together and is now a productive member of society.
Hopefully Loss, the third book in the series, will be executed more effectively.
2 out of 5 stars