• Pestilence

  • The Four Horsemen, Book 1
  • By: Laura Thalassa
  • Narrated by: Susannah Jones
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (1,750 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©Laura Thalassa Laura Thalassa (P)2018 Laura Thalassa

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Unbearably bad

She doused him in gasoline and burned him alive. He dragged her body from a rope tied to his horse. This is how they fell in love. Awww💩🤮

Oh, and speaking of barf, Sara literally pukes her guts out and 5 seconds later is the glorious moment the author decides to give her and Pestilence their first kiss. 🤮 Mmm, yummy! And that level of disgust right there sums up how I feel about this entire book.

382 pages of Sara’s unbearable inner dialogue stuck on repeat. “I hate him, he is an evil murderer, but god is he beautiful. What is wrong with me? He is such a despicable evil creature and I hate him so much but I think I’ll just have sex with him anyway for fun and oh my gosh we’re in love!!! But I still hate him. Sometimes we are riding the horse, and sometimes people try to kill us but we kill them, and sometimes people are nice to us even though they are dying because of us and I feel sooooo bad I can’t shut up about it for the entire book. And all the while he is such an evil merciless inhuman creature! But god is he gorgeous- those lips!- so I’ll overlook his evil because we’re in love because, well I don’t know why, we’re just suddenly so in love that nothing else matters. Not my life or anyone else’s. Just our undying love that is built on... well I have no idea what our love is built on since we were originally trying to kill each other and then spent the rest of our time getting to know each other by trying to punish each other and continuously arguing like immature brats and then being all broody forever. But we’re so in love!!!! Never mind all these rotting corpses surrounding us because he just murdered them all for refusing to save my life, just kiss me and tell me again that you love me!!!

But wait, while I was in bed recovering he went and killed millions of people! How could he do this, he loves me! Even though he has killed everyone everywhere he’s ever been I’m suddenly shocked he continues to kill all these people!!! He must not love me! He makes me sick so I’m leaving. Wait, what? He came back for me? I’m shocked! He does love me! And now, yay! We’re getting married! Everyone will be so happy for us!”

...oh wait. How is that going to work out since the whole world knows his face and wants to kill him? I guess we’ll never know, but at least there was time for one last pornographic scene right at the very end to tie up the story.

So you can take all of that plus chapter after chapter of Sara mulling over and over her very misplaced guilt, and you got it... I just saved you from having to read the book because that was pretty much it.

Oh yeah, and she’s supposedly a firefighter! Not a chance in hell such a foolish, whiny girl could ever be the badass that is a female firefighter and first responder. Nope. It’s not even trying to be believable!

It’s been a long time since I’ve had such a low opinion of a book. I think a high schooler could have written a more interesting book with far more creativity and depth.

76 people found this helpful

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  • KT
  • 05-30-18

what is this?.

so, this was a struggle for me. so much so that I ended up returning it by chapter 6.
the plot is just 100% unbelievable and the heroine was.. something else
first, we start out with 4 people drawing lots to determine who will stay behind and kill Pestilence. our heroine loses. and then we learn from her, she's a terrible shot. what? and she killed a pheasant once and it haunted her. why was she even in the running? honestly! if we're planning to sacrifice someone (which they were) why are we considering someone who will most likely fail in the mission
but, of course, she doesn't. she somehow hits him but it's not enough to kill this guy! so she heads back to her camp, grabs lighter fluid and matches, comes back, has a freak out, douses him, throws up, freaks out more, and finally gets him burning and then just sits there to watch. thankfully, this immortal was cool to just wait there for all this happen.
next, he finds her, binds her hands and makes her run behind his horse. and she does. for miles. thank God she's a well trained marathon runner! oh wait, she's not.
besides the plot infuriating me with just how unbelievable it is, the dialogue was grating and unnatural.
also, she's checking this guy out pretty much off the bat. I think it would have been better if she slowly realized he was good looking, like after he starts being nice or something? I'm not sure if that happens because I returned it but I'm just trying to consider what would really happen if I was captured by a bringer of the apocalypse
anyway, I guess if you're in the mood for this type of thing, with what I feel is a super Mary Jane heroine, go for it.

124 people found this helpful

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I'm so glad I ignored reviews.

I was so worried about reviews here... but it sounded so unique. But this book was a guilty pleasure... And I wanted to stop half way to give it 5 stars... I can't wait to read the rest. don't believe the hype if you like cheesy good romance it's just right. loved it. unique storyline.

5 people found this helpful

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Beautiful cover, corny dialog

Yep I got enticed by a beautiful cover so sue me. You ever just get in the mood for a trashy read? Rhetorical question you wouldn't be here if you didn't. This plot to me was highly interesting but the execution of course was below par.

Let's start with the main character Sarah. False modesty seemed to sweat off of her. Please tell me of a more annoying trope than someone acting like they haven't done a good deed when they have 100 times over. "You saved a man." "No I was just there and it happened it's nothing no no no don't thank me." *blush* And come on is she really ignorant enough to think no one else has tried to kill Pestilence? And oh the inner ramblings. A little immature and eye rollingly annoying at times. I gawked at one scene were Sarah gets hurt and instead of soaking up every second she can so the rest of the world doesn't parish she's like "I'm healed let's go take out the rest of the world."

The book had a nice atmosphere which was nice for the cold fall weather. A little world building which is always my favorite. I loved Tricksy even his silly name. Pestilence character was over all well done. Of course I have my gripes but he was curious and timeless. Though the talking during, and I'm finger quoting here, love making was weird. But in all honesty I couldn't imagine the weight on his shoulders to be put into being to destroy the world. It must be very lonely.

I felt very uneasy about them throwing God into some things. It sound off hand and in poor taste. I am in no way wildly religious but it's unnerving when you mention God in trashy books like it was his plan all along for you to bone her.... So to end this rambling I was just disappointed at the main character. This was also a strange subject to write about riddled with mine fields and to me the Author wasn't careful enough to get around most of them. The cheesy inner monolog probably is what ruined it most for me. Oh and the talk about #lovemaking sometimes while in the middle of the act. Trashy books for me are always balanced on a ledge and it takes one corny conversion to tip it over.

5 people found this helpful

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Give this book a shot. Despite the poor reviews, here’s my thoughts on the book/series.

Okay I’m sure you’ve seen the bad reviews for this book “blah blah so unrealistic blah blah stupid narrator” and to those people I just need to posit the question - what were you expecting from a story about a love story with a biblical entity in a post apocalyptic world? Like unrealistic is sort of the gist of fiction. Suspend your disbelief and just enjoy the story. The book does have a somewhat slow exposition but I still find it an enjoyable read/listen.

On the reviews mentioning the MC is stupid- literally so is Harry Potter. That boy is as dense as all get out and we all know it. And I love Harry Potter.

Now I’m not saying this book should join the great literary canon, it does have some really intriguing facets. (Literature can be interpreted many different ways and there is no one “right” way but here are my thoughts spoiler free ish and colored with my 7 years of Catholic schooling)
Yes this is a love story. And it’s a love story written from Sara’s perspective, but in my opinion it isn’t about HER falling in love; it’s about Pestilence. Specifically, I believe that thematically this series focuses on whether humanity deserves to be saved, and God sends the 4 horsemen to decide if we do. But I think some nuance that may be lost on readers (who either didn’t finish the book or the series) is that this is as much of a judgment of the horsemen as it is humanity. Because if these divine beings are commanded by God to cast judgement (in the form of pestilence/war/famine/death) on humanity can be moved enough by one character, flaws and all, to go against their very nature, then surely there is something about humanity worth saving.

Perhaps it’s because I read this in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic, but the book really hits home when it talks about how even in the worst times and situations, there are still good people out there. Yes there are bad and hateful people right along side of them, but there is still good. And if a harbinger of the end times can see that, then we are worth saving.

4 people found this helpful

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Stockholm Syndrome

This books is what Stockholm Syndrome looks like, "Do what I say or you be severely punished". There's a point where she has the chance to run from him but is terrified that once he recovers he's just going to find her and punish her even worse than he already has, but convinces herself it's out of concern for his immortal recovery. I honestly don't understand how it has such high ratings. The plot was interesting and I thought it would be more of a 'Beauty and the Beast' theme, but it was so horrible with its plot holes, lack of character development aside from sexual attraction, and dialogue was so forced. If it weren't for the narrator, who helps jazz it up, I would have dumped this book sooner.

Supremely disappointed.

34 people found this helpful

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If you like cheesy sexy and constant reminders..

of his body. This book is for you..for the rest of us that was looking for a plot...move along. end of world? no problem...he has sexy body....all good. meh.

13 people found this helpful

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Ridiculously good!

I am utterly in love with this book, and the excellent job done reading it. I honestly don't know who did the better job. Get it. Listen to it. It's so worth it. It was funny, it was tragic, it had an amazing ending. I'm so happy I subscribed to the romance package or I may never have found this!

16 people found this helpful

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Narrator Pronounces It “Pestulins”

The narrator kept pronouncing “Pestilence” as “Pestulins.” Like a combination of “pustule” and “pestilence.” I know that sounds really nit picky of me, but the word comes up 845 times in the book (I looked it up on Kindle), so it really grated on my nerves.

The story itself was unsettling. Pestilence really does seem cruel, but then for no apparent reason he changes. I didn’t see him reach any moment of epiphany, he just stops killing. There didn’t seem to be much character development.

I’ve really enjoyed Laura Thalassa’s books in the past, but I won’t bother any more with this series.

26 people found this helpful

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Sorry but this was an awful storyline.

I loved the writing style, but this main guy is unredeemable. A kidnapped woman who started out being a hero is fine joking around with and becoming attracted to a beautiful man who has tortured her and kills children slowly with disease in front of her.. sorry that's a little too far.

40 people found this helpful

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  • Enellyia
  • 10-07-18

Enjoyed.

Spoilers.

Despite it being dark and very sad at times, I really enjoyed this book. I'm glad I didn't listen to all the negative reviews I've seen. Pestilence is cold and at the beginning really does treat Sarah bad after she tried to kill him, but he isn't human and doesn't see that her trying to kill him was a sign of good and that she only did it to try and protect humanity. Pestilence has one purpose, and that is to punish humanity for being cruel, greedy and unworthy by spreading a killing plague. He doesn't even like doing it, but is driven to do so by the will of a higher power and what he believes is his only purpose. He wasn't even a man before this, and was only given an human, yet undying, form to do his job, so he has a lot to experience. It takes a lot to change him and all the while Sarah has to witness the worst of the plague that he spreads by seeing people die. Even children. Seeing her care for the sick and show them kindness is a big part of his change, as is seeing a lovely old couple show him kindness despite the fact that they know they are going to die and that he is the cause. Sarah shouldn't love him, considering all the people that have died because of him, but love is what it is. It isn't prejudice. And in the end it's her love that changes him, and potentially saves millions of other people. I say potentially because there are three more horsemen to come. I'm looking forward to the next ones.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Emma
  • 07-05-18

Very obvious

If you are looking for some trashy end of the world supernatural romance this is the book for you. Think twilight with plague. It is ok. Sometimes steamy. Often problematic.
I think we all know what happens in the end

2 people found this helpful

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  • susan mckenzie
  • 02-05-21

Apocalyptic, dark romance and much more.

I don't think I can put into words how great this book is, I've re-read it several times and listened to the audio version. The narrative is amazing, she brings Sara to life. The story is so heartbreaking, twisted in some parts. But by the time you get to the end, you're desperately praying for it to never end. This is by far my favourite Laura Thalassa book, I love the whole series, but pestilence will always be my absolute favourite. He captured my heart right from the beginning, I'll even admit that the narrator makes a perfect definition of him and makes him sound..... Well sexy, just like he's portrayed in the story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • xBethyboox
  • 06-17-22

Loved this!

I wasn’t sure at first but the character of Sara was just so wonderful! She was so funny and sassy and totally had my sense of humour too, so I just got her completely and I loved her! I love how her personality is so alive just through the style of writing, I read this book because of someone else’s review on here that completely sold me to it, it sounded interesting anyway and I was curious to read it but that review was the decider and I’m so glad I did read it, even the character of Pestilence was lovable, mostly due to his innocent naivety which was just so sweet and pure, there’s also a little old couple in the book too that are just so wonderful and such precious characters! I love how this book makes you question so many things too, I’m also a sucker for a love story! I hope the rest of the series is as good as this one!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-17-22

Funny!

I really likes how funny the main character is, she thinks in very humorous tone which is exactly what I have searched from books. Story itself ok, not super great but ok.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-09-21

Good Story

I have read this book several times and now listened to the audio in preparation for the forth book due for release soon. I loved the characters and their relationship build up, the battle of emotions from both Sarah and Pestilence. it is a good read.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • MR J R MOORE
  • 10-09-21

Don't waste your time

Genuinally awful. The idea is cool but the execution is horrible, the dialogue is cringey and badly written and they spend the whole book wandering around on a horse.

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  • Justyna
  • 09-20-21

loved it

Great book and good narrating. interesting and funny, with great characters and plot. loved it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joga
  • 07-09-21

Is it ok to enjoy Stockholm syndrome stories?

Did listen to this story a few months ago. Still enjoy reading cross reviews about it.

Listening to this story was an experience like no other. I felt wary the whole time and still enjoyed it. That there is a reason enough for me to recommend the book. It takes a good author and a good story to do that to you.

Listening to a story where the heroine sounds sound of mind and kind of kick ass in the beginning, and then falls in love with the mass murderer of the human race and she did begin the book trying to kill. And that love saves the human race from him at least? It sounds lame. Thanks to Laura Thalassa the story is far from it though. I have no idea how she does it. Might have something to do with the recurring idea of free will of the human race and the lack of it by other beings made by the god of the Bible. And I really enjoy mythical anything that makes me think about these things.

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  • Daisy
  • 05-12-21

Make sure you have your tissues ready

I dont think I've cried that hard at a book in a long long long time. Very emotive, and gets you thinking about humanity as a whole. Great read! can't wait for the next one

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-11-18

This was a great read. unexpected and enthralling

I loved it. narrator was easy to listen to and did both voices really well

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-10-22

Fantastic!!

Really made you think. Amazing characters, kept you on the edge of your seat and the performance was unreal.

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  • Sandra C
  • 02-20-22

Narration is on point

I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book so thoroughly. Susannah Jones narration took a pretty good story and took it to binge level 👌🏼
The story started quickly and I was engaged from the very beginning. The developing connection between Sara and Pestilence is tumultuous and savage in the early stages and develops into a sweet but troubled affection.
Now that I've started, I can't not read the rest of the series.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-14-21

Great story

loved it! I found myself grinning at times at Pestilance's innocence and tearing up at other times. the connection between the two characters was built up really well and was believable.

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  • Icey
  • 09-02-21

Splendid performance!

I have to write a review to show how much I like Susannah Jones's performance! You nailed it!
I add all other books narrated by her to my wishlist when I finished this book, she is a magician with her charming voice!

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  • DebraP
  • 09-10-20

Murder meets Love

Amazing how close this rings to today’s problems with COVID spreading throughout the world.

The author did a fabulous job with the story, hate to love and all the emotions between,, a journey.
Also the narrator bought it to life, it felt as if she lived it not just spoke or read, wonderful

Can’t wait to get to the next in the series.