April 17, 2013

Blog Tour: Breath (Riders of the Apocalypse #4) by Jackie Morse Kessler – Review, Interview, and G!veaway

Thanks for stopping by for our Tour Stop for

Breath (Riders of the Apocalypse #4) by Jackie Morse Kessler

presented by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt!

We are so excited to have Jackie stop by the blog for a quick Q&A
where she shares some of her Top Favs with you!

One random commenter will receive a complete set of the books and posters!



Contrary to popular belief, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse aren’t just harbingers of doom—they actually keep life in balance. But what happens when their leader and creator, Death, becomes suicidal?

Before the first living thing drew its first gasping breath, he was there. He has watched humanity for millennia. And he has finally decided that humanity is not worth the price he has paid time and again. When Death himself gives up on life, a teenager named Xander Atwood is the world’s only hope. But Xander bears a secret, one that may bring about the end of everything.

This heart-pounding final installment of the Riders of the Apocalypse series looks at the value of life, the strength of love, and how a small voice can change everything . . . forever.

add to goodreadsBreath (Riders of the Apocalypse #4)
by Jackie Morse Kessler
Publication Date:  April 16, 2013
Publisher:  Graphia

Available for Purchase:
Chapter-Indigo | amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song mentioned by Jackie!
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** This title was provided by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

MaryAnn NewI absolutely loved reading the first three books in this series by Jackie Morse Kessler.  All three blew me away, and every time I finished one book, I craved to read the next.  I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for Breath to come out!  I was so excited to read the book that was Death’s story.  And omg I was not disappointed at all!

While reading Hunger, Rage, and Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler, I always wanted to know more about Death who looked like Kurt Cobain, who was the front man for Nirvana.  And how excited was I when I saw the news that book 4 in this series was dedicated to Death himself.

In Breath, Death knows that something feels off, and he comes to the realization that his time is coming to an end.  And so how does he go about trying to resolve his predicament?  He decides that he’s going to commit suicide, where the belief is that when Death dies, the world dies.

Xander Atwood seems to have everything he’s wanted.  Good grades, a great girl, and awesome friends.  What he didn’t expect was to come face to face with Death himself, and comes to the realization that the fate of all mankind rests on his teenage shoulders.  But will Xander be able to do what needs to be done, or will a secret that’s been hidden surface and change Xander’s life forever.

The twist!  OMG you guys, the twist in this story was such a mind warp.  The events played out easily in my mind, and I could see the different scenes so clearly.  Author, Jackie Morse Kessler does such an amazing job of building the story up to such a climax.  She truly is such an amazing writer.  I’m so sad that it’s all over!

I really enjoyed reading about how Death came about, and what it took to get him where he is.  It also talks about how he created his Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  What was really interesting to me was how we were able to witness the various souls that Death came to collect!  The different conversations that he has with this spirits as they prepare to say goodbye to the life that they no longer have.

And it was so great to be able to witness Death’s personality again.  His dry and dark humor is one of the reasons that I loved his character, and the author does such a great job breathing life into him.  Not only with Death though.  With all the characters.  We get to see all the horsemen interact with each other, as they try to figure out a way to stop Death from doing what he plans.  We are also treated to hearing about a few of the past people who were chosen to be one of the horsemen.

There’s so much more that I could elaborate on, but in doing so, I would totally and completely ruin this amazing read for you.  Fans of the first three books in this series will totally devour Breath by Jackie Morse Kessler.  If you were curious about how Death and the horsemen of the Apocalypse came about, you definitely don’t want to miss out on this read.

You can check out our review of book 1, Hunger, HERE!

You can check out our review of book 2, Rage, HERE!

You can check out our review book 3, Loss, HERE!


Top Favs with Jackie Morse Kessler

Top 3 Favorite authors (dead or alive) and why:


Neil Gaiman, because he’s amazing. I started with his Sandman comic book series, and got blown away by Good Omens, and then American Gods and Neverwhere and Coroline…the list goes on. Plus he scripted one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes, and he sings! (I saw him and Amanda Palmer last week – fabulous!)

Christopher Moore, because I love every damn thing that he writes. Utterly brilliant. If you haven’t read a Chris Moore book, go pick up FOOL or LAMB right now! And THE STUPIDEST ANGEL had me almost peeing my pants from laughing so hard!

Jim Butcher, because he writes the Dresden Files, and Harry Dresden is my hero. (I even have the button to prove it!)

Top 3 Favorite snacks while writing and why:


Chocolate, because hey, it’s chocolate

(There are other foods?)

Top 3 favorite songs to listen to while writing and why:


Different songs for different books. The Top 3 songs that influenced me when writing BREATH are:

“Snuff” by Slipknot – There’s a line in there, “Angels lie to keep control,” which started giving me the idea for Death’s origin

“I Will Not Bow” by Breaking Benjamin – This entire song really speaks to me about Death. (But in a tuneful way!)

Most songs from Nirvana’s Unplugged in New York album (I cheated!) – So many here really, really work for this book, most especially “Oh Me.”

Top 3 favorite techniques to overcome writers block and why:


Take a shower – There’s something about the flowing water that gets the creativity going. (And you also get clean.)

Take a drive – Not that I advocate mindless driving, but I find that being behind the wheel is a great place to unknot ideas. (Just avoid other cars.)

Take a nap – At least, rest. Lay down and visualize the scene, and just see where your mind takes you.

Top 3 musicians/bands/groups and why:


Pink – A relatively new favorite. Her performance at the Music Awards for “Try” blew me away. So much passion (and fun!) in her songs.

Nirvana – Because seriously? Death in my books looks, sounds and sings like Kurt Cobain.

Linkin Park – The older stuff is so brilliantly angry and passionate. God. How can you not feel something when you listen to “Breaking The Habit”?

Top 3 favorite gadgets and why:


My iPhone. I can’t imagine my life without it. MUST BE ABLE TO CHECK EMAIL AND KEEP THE INTERNET IN MY POCKET!!!

My Keurig coffee maker. It’s so cute! One cup at a time! And now my boys can make me coffee, and it always comes out perfect (since I drink it black).

My earbuds. They hook over my ears, which is good, because regular buds just fall right out. Sigh.


About the Author:



Jackie Morse Kessler grew up in Brooklyn, NY, with a cranky cat and overflowing shelves filled with dolls and books. Now she’s in Upstate NY with another cranky cat, a loving husband, two sons, and overflowing shelves filled with dragons and books (except when her sons steal her dragons). She has a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature, and yet she’s never read any Jane Austen (with or without zombies). She also has a master’s degree in media ecology. (The living study of technology and culture. Which is cool, but she still can’t figure out how to use Tweetdeck.)

Jackie spends a lot of time writing, reading, and getting distracted by bright and shiny new ideas. (She just came up with a new idea right now.) She has a weakness for chocolate and a tendency to let her cat take over her office chair.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in the tour
for more chances to win!
You can check them all out HERE!


Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

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  1. bill elliott

    They sound like they are intriguing and interesting to read. Hoping I win. Thank yopu

  2. Barrie

    I want this series for my teenager. She is an avid reader, like her mama, and reads faster than I can or she can keep her in books! This is a series that I know she would love and would keep her busy for a few days or so:)

  3. This is one series that I really need to start and soon. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  4. Carmen B.

    I really need to continue the series! Hunger really spoke to me – so much so that it was difficult to read at times. And I love that Death is basically Kurt Cobain ^^
    I love the interview! Great taste in music :)
    I wish I lived in the US and could enter the giveaway *sigh* Good luck, everyone!

  5. Joy F

    I like reading about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

  6. Alicia Batista

    I haven’t read the series YET, but I’ve heard GREAT things about it and have been wanting to read it for a while now. It sounds so good and like something I would enjoy! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  7. Mer

    i hadn’t seen this series before, but I’ll have to check it out as it sounds very interesting.

  8. Jenn

    I love apocalyptic novels. There simply aren’t enough book being published in this genre.

  9. Beatriz

    I’ve read the first book, and really liked it. I definitely want to read the rest of the books, which I’m sure as just as good as Hunger, if not better! Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. leannessf

    I’ve read the first book, Hunger, and really enjoyed it! I liked the premise of the book and am intrigued to see what happens with the other Riders!


  11. Rose Milligan

    I’ve never read books like this, so it would be interesting to try them. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  12. Chelsea B.

    Because this series sounds all kinds of awesome.

  13. Lisa Vazquezanzua

    WOW!! This series sounds AWESOME!! I’ve never read anything like this before. I love this type of books. What I’m looking forward to reading this is how it all fits together. Regular people that are also one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I haven’t heard of this series before but I am SO HAPPY that I found it! I’m going to have to get this series and it’s going on my TBR and wish list!! Thank you so much for having an awesome giveaway!!! Fingers Crossed!!

  14. Meghan Stith

    Post apocalyptic literature is one of my favs! Thanks for the giveaway!

    mestith at gmail dot com

  15. danielle james

    seems good!

  16. Sherry J

    It sounds interesting.Thanks for the chance to win.


  17. bn100

    Sounds interesting

  18. HollyB

    I want to read this series so badly!! Since “coming back” to YA lit at the beginning of last year, I have heard some great things about this series (some of it probably right here!), but I haven’t had a chance to start the series. However, that may be a good thing, because I am the kind of person who LOVES to read books in a series back-to-back when possible. Now that book 4 is out, I can do just that! I really would love to read the books because they are absolutely positively the kind of lit I would have wanted to read growing up, and my tastes haven’t changed that much despite being waaaayyyyyy past the target age for YA books :) But let me tell you, we didn’t have any books like this that were contemporary to my growing-up years when I WAS in that target age range. So I am super excited to get started with this series … and to be lucky enough to win all 4 of the books would be amazing.

    Also, Jackie, just wanted to say I’m totally with you on the top 3 snacks being chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate : ) and on the top 3 musicians/bands (love all of them!). Also am a HUGE fan of Neil Gaiman and Christopher Moore (Lamb was SUCH a great book), but I shudder to admit I’ve never read any of the Dresden Files books!! I know, it’s an oversight that must be remedied!

    Well, lovely ladies, great post as always, you know I read every day. Thanks for the great interview and for the chance to win!!

  19. Caroline

    I have a digital copy of hunger and have read it and LOVED it. I have read a couple of her adult books as well. She’s a fabulous writer and the idea behind this series is so unique. It’s hard to find good YA paranormal fiction that addresses real issues.

  20. Betty McBroom

    One of Jackie’s books in on my nightstand! Would love this new one too!

  21. Betty McBroom

    I want to read the final book because I adored Hunger and another book of Jackie’s is on my nightstand! She’s such a creative writer!

  22. Coral

    I have to remember to read this series. Sounds absolutely amazing and it was nice to know that someone has taste in music like me. Everyone normally just thinks its weird that a small little girl who writes would listen to this stuff.

  23. January

    I really love post apocalyptic books! And this just seems… unique and so unlike the others!

  24. Twisty J

    I have heard such great things about this series, but have somehow neglected to pick the books up. They sound like a fantastic adventure. Thanks for the chance!

  25. Amber Hsu

    I love the whole concept of this series, and the whole idea of “DEATH” and how it is represented in this series. Really original storyline. Sounds really interesting and it’s been on my tbr list since forever… :)

  26. Tiffany Falick

    this series sounds right up my alley! wow! what an awesome sounding series! and those COVERS! WOW! stunning! Loved the interview! I love these tours, finding new authors to LOVE, and getting to know them through the interviews! so fun!

  27. Kamla L.

    It sounds like a riveting series with great character and a suspenseful plot.

  28. Imelda

    I really hope I win this! I’ve been wanting to read this series. I hope it as great as everyone says it is!

  29. Ashley Snyder

    um. because it sounds amazing. I love twists on old stories or concepts. The horsemen of the apocalypse? That sounds like it would make a great story. Plus I have heard some amazing things about it. (:

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