by Laura Thalassa
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on March 21, 2018
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Buy on Amazon//Barnes & Noble
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 Burn'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.
Review of Pestilence
Pestilence is the first novel in the Four Horsemen series by Laura Thalassa. The story follows Sara Burn, a young woman who literally draws the “short straw” and must stay behind when her town evacuates due to the impending arrival of the horseman known as Pestilence. Every town and city that Pestilence has ridden through has resulted in a mass number of people perishing from the pervasive and deadly disease- the plague. Sara’s main task is to shoot and kill Pestilence as he enters her hometown- a task she both dreads and anticipates as she believes it is her parents’ only chance for survival.
Naturally, her plan goes awry, and Pestilence not only doesn’t die (despite the horrific way she ended him and his horse), but he kidnaps Sara in revenge and keeps her as his reluctant prisoner. What follows is a haunting adventure plagued (pun intended) with disease, heartache, betrayal, hope, redemption, and love.
There was a surprising amount of cruelty involved in this story. I will admit to being shocked by the actions of Sara when she attempted to kill Pestilence (though I understood her motivation). I couldn’t blame Pestilence for his anger at being attacked in such a way (and it made me cringe a bit when he even implored her for mercy). However, Pestilence more than receives his revenge by his brutal handling of Sara (being dragged by a horse, starved, shot with an arrow, and forced to watch others die slowly from the plague)- honestly, I half wondered if it was even possible for both characters to look past such events, forgive one another, and even fall in love.
While I understood why Sara felt the need to end Pestilence (he was causing widespread disease which was killing off thousands of people), it took me a bit to understand Pestilence. As the story progressed, I began to understand his character a bit more. Pestilence’s actions are divinely perceived as orders from God because of humans’ destructive behavior. In his mind, he believes his actions just. In addition, he isn’t human…he’s lived thousands of years as a “higher being”, so he does not truly understand human love, compassion, and all the emotions and actions that make people truly “great”. While Pestilence began to see a more beautiful side to humanity- through Sara’s eyes and actions, his burgeoning feelings for her, and the compassion in a few of the humans they cross- Sara begins to see parts of humanity that are truly troubling.
One thing that did bother me was the fact that Sara did not think, prior to initially attacking Pestilence, that someone had not thought to do so before. In fact, she didn’t dwell on this possibility until halfway through the novel.
Amid all the conflict, heartache, and turmoil, Pestilence and Sara begin to develop a stronger understanding of one another, and through that, feelings begin to develop into something pure and beautiful.
Pestilence was a deep, thought-provoking, passionate story about two people with vastly different points of view who find ways to overcome adversity and misunderstandings to not only save the world, but find love in the process.
Four stars for Pestilence!