Breath, the story of Death, is the final installment in the Riders of the Apocalypse Quartet and by far my very favorite of the series.
Throughout the first three books you get glimpses of Death’s story but in this book Jackie Morse Kessler lays out the whole history and mythology of Death and his place in our world. This is a bold move because done badly and the whole thing can fail spectacularly, but Kessler pulls it off beautifully and her Death as embodied in his current incarnation by Kurt Cobain is wise, sad, lonely and ultimately weary of this world. We learn his creation story and how and why he created the original Horseman. The four Horseman keep the world in balance and after watching humans for millennium Death is suicidal. If Death dies then so does the world and this is the framework on which this story is built.
Breath is also the story of Xander Atwood who believes in true love with his whole being and believes he has found the one girl for him–Riley Jones. After crushing on her from afar, Xander and Riley are finally a couple, but there is something not quite right. Something Xander can’t quite remember. Or doesn’t want to remember. And he is the one person who can talk Death out of taking the whole world down in flames.
Why Xander you ask, well-he was nice to Death once without expecting anything in return so Death owes him a boon or favor so before he dies he must pay.
This was a great ending to a great series with all the loose ends tied up as nicely as you please. So many books that deal with “issues” practically beat you over the head but all four were handled with grace and the author relating her own personal experiences with the topics she explored made me love the series even more. Bonus for money from the book going to http://twloha.com/.