I was hooked.
What I love about this series is how Kessler takes sensitive subjects like cutting and food disorders and weaves in a paranormal element. In Rage's case it's a girl who cuts herself. She's visited by Death who takes on the appearance of deceased rock legend Kurt Corbain who gives her the job of War. Death is not only hot but has a dry sense of humor too. Even the horses assigned to each apocalypse rider has it's own personality.
Missy feels by cutting herself. The descriptions at times are graphic and rather intense but help the reader get into the mind of Missy. I can see how Death would want to give Missy this job or rather why the sword would chose her. Missy is standoffish and doesn't want to be noticed. Then something happens at a party with Adam, her ex-boyfriend, which sets off a string of events. What happens is horrific and I couldn't help but really feel for Missy.
Another huge plus in this series is how the wounded characters not only have to deal with their new 'jobs' but have to come face to face with their deepest fears. They find they have the choice to either embrace destruction or use their new found ability for another purpose. Missy goes on her own journey which is dark and very real. She has to figure out exactly what her role is as War and whether or not she wants to have complete destruction or have balance.
Dark but very real, Rage shows us a character who needs to face her own demons. This story isn't sugar coated at all and at times some of the scenes are uncomfortable. Still I felt this tale is shown in a raw and very honest way. Also it shows that yes, things can be hard but there also can be compromise. I especially loved the very last paragraph of this book. I won't tell as that would spoil it but for sure I was satisfied and can't wait to read the next book which comes out in 2012.
Though vivid and at times graphic, the story doesn't speak down to teens but rather shows that Missy has the choice to either use her new ability for destruction or for good.