Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Published: 18th October 2010 (Harcourt Graphia)
“Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.”
Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?
Anorexic Lisabeth is visited by Death after taking an overdose of her mother's pills. He offers her a chance of not dying by becoming one of the Horsemen of the Apocolypse. Lisabeth doesn't really remember any of this when she comes round but slowly it comes back to her, thanks to a set of scales, a horse no one else can see and further appearances from Death and a couple of the other Horsemen.
Hunger has an unusual, non-preachy way of looking at eating disorders; choosing to look at how Lisabeth deals with it and her thoughts and feelings, rather than focusing on the "OMG it's bad, don't do it" apect. It's an interesting insight.
For a short book, the characters are well developed. You really get to understand why Lisa feels the need to be in control of her body. Death is the best character though with witty comments that gave a bit of light relief to the subject matter.
My only real complaint about the book was that I felt it was a little too short. I would have liked a bit more in some parts. What is there is good though and I'm looking forward to reading Rage, the second book in the series.