The 13th Horseman by Barry Hutchison
Published: March 1st, 2012 (HarperCollins)
Source: for review from publisher
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Rating: ★★★☆☆ ½
In a darkly funny, action-packed adventure, fourteen year old Drake is surprised to discover the Horsemen of the Apocalypse hanging out in his garden shed. He’s even more surprised when they ask him to join them. The team is missing a Horseman, having gone through several Deaths, and they think Drake is the boy for the job.
Drake is a 14 year-old boy who discovers a shed in his back yard with three men in it who claim to be the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They claim he is the fourth, even though Drake thinks there has been a mistake in appointing him Death. With the other Horsemen, he goes on several adventures, trying to stop an bitter former Death, who seems to have set things in motion to get the Apocalypse started, even though he is no longer a Horseman.
The story was fast paced, full of adventure and tasks set for Drake to perform. Personally, I loved Pest - although War definitely has his charms, too. They really added to the story and I loved the scenes with them. I'm sorry Famine, you just didn't do it for me!
While I really enjoyed reading this book, I had one issue with it: Drake's voice. At one moment, I felt like Drake was older than he was, and a moment after that I felt he was a 9 year-old boy. I only discovered he was 14 after reading the back while I already started the book and felt he was younger than his stated age. It doesn't really matter for the story, but to me it matters for the character of Drake - he didn't act like his age, and I didn't think his toughts and actions fitted.
Having said that, it's a pretty intense story, with dark humor and I think that boys especially will really enjoy reading this book. It's exciting and I'm sure it will be able to pull even the most reluctant reader in.