Title: Pestilence (The Four Horseman #1)
Author: Laura Thalassa
Release Date: March 20th, 2018
Genre: Adult Fiction – Romance – Post-Apocalyptic
My rating in stars:
My rating in words:
Really liked it!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
They came to earth–Pestilence, War, Famine, Death–four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.
When Pestilence comes for Sara Burns’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed.
Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed.
Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him.
And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she’ll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.
MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):
“Getting angry at one of the horsemen of the apocalypse for bringing about the end of man is like getting angry at ice for being cold.”
Pestilence by Laura Thalassa is one of those books that has been on my radar for a while and now that I finally read it, I’m wondering why I didn’t start it sooner.
Five years ago, The Horseman arrived and started the end of the world. After their disastrous arrival though, no one has seen them for years. Until now, when Pestilence is riding and spreading the plague wherever he goes. Sara Burns is a firefighter who is one of the last people left in her town because she helped evacuate everyone else first. She and her fellow firefighters draw matches to decide which one of them will stay behind and try to kill Pestilence. Sara is the one, so she stays and when Pestilence rides into view, she shoots him and then burns him alive. Except, he can’t die and now he’s pissed off. Instead of killing her there and then, he decides to keep her alive and take her with him to prolong her suffering. But the longer they ride together, the more a bond grows between the two of them. But how can they ever be together, when Pestilence is there to end all of humanity?
Now let me just say, this was a dark, bleak book. Of course, it’s about the end of the world and we follow around Pestilence and we see him spread his plague. Yes, we do see him grow to care about Sara and find his humanity throughout the story. But it’s still a rough ride because we also see him infect entire families including children and letting Sara take care of them while they die a painful death. So be warned, it’s a deeply unsettling read and also an intriguing exploration into what mankind is capable of, both the horrors and the kindness.
And yet, I got into the romance, even if I thought at first it would be too dark for me. But Laura Thalassa does a good job at writing Pestilence as a divine being set to destroy mankind, but also someone who is feeling all of it for the first time, someone who does not enjoy what he does but does so because it is his task, and someone who is learning that humanity has some good in them yet. And as such, I could feel Sara’s connection with him as well, I ate up their banter and I ended up rooting for these two just as much as wondering how I could ever root for them. But I did. The romance is very slow-burn and I thought it was built up well.
I sped through this story in a matter of 2-3 days, as I was obsessed with reading on and finding out what would happen next. That said, it does get a little repetitive near the end and I think it could have been a little shorter to avoid some of that repetitiveness. I also felt like I still had so many questions at the end, but then those will probably be explained in the next few books. Which I’m definitely reading soon because I can’t wait to find out what’ll happen with War, Famine and Death.
Overall, I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a dark, post-apocalyptic paranormal romance series with a spunky, fierce heroine and a dark and powerful ‘villain’. The story can be quite bleak, but there is hope and love and humor in there too. And steaminess, let’s not forget the steaminess. I’m intrigued and will definitely continue the series.
“A woman should not be oddly pleasing. She should be a ball-busting, skull-crushing, badass motherfucker who is impossible to forget.”
“Were you born with all your organs intact?” he responds.
I can’t see his face, so I have no way of knowing where he’s going with this question.
“Yes …” I say cautiously.
“Good,” he responds, “then I expect you to use the one beneath your skull.”
Damn. That insult burned a little.”
“I need to attend to my steed. Entertain yourselves in my absence.”
Said like he’s the fucking king of the castle and not what the cat dragged in.”
“Last night I could not decide which you were—a tonic or a toxin,” he says. “Today I’ve discovered you’re both.”