The 13th Horseman by Barry Hutchison

Drake is surprised to find three horsemen of the apocalypse playing snakes and ladders in his garden shed. He’s even more surprised when they insist that he is one of them. They’re missing a Horseman, having gone through several Deaths and they think that Drake is the boy for the job. At first he’s reluctant to usher in Armageddon but does being in charge of Armageddon have to spell the end of the world?

An apocalyptic blend of riotous comedy, heart-stopping action and a richly imagined fantasy adventure.

Other books by the author
The Invisible Fiends series
The Book of Doom

Book trailer links


Interviews:

http://www.bigbooklittlebook.com/2012/03/author-interview-barry-hutchison/
http://kidsreadbooks.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/interview-with-barry-hutchison-writer-of-invisible-fiends-and-the-13th-horseman/

Author website link
http://www.the13thhorseman.com/
http://www.barryhutchison.com/

If you liked this, why not try…

Goblins by Philip Reeve
The Bromeliad / The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
The Demon’s Watch by Conrad Mason
The Bartimaeus sequence by Jonathan Stroud
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

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36 thoughts on “The 13th Horseman by Barry Hutchison

  1. Even though the 13th Horseman was very predictable and a little bit cheesy I still really liked it because of the funny descriptions of the horsemen. I especially liked Famine!

  2. When Drake Finn is expelled from school, he expects life to be quiet…until he’s chosen to be Death! He’s thrown into a series of tasks to prove himself but if he fails, he is dead! Struggling between school and training, Drake has to find out what the old Death is planning and stop it.
    I enjoyed this book because it has an interesting plot and the funny bits stopped me getting bored. Despite the grimness of the subject – the apocalypse – this is a thrilling book with lots of surprises and I would definitely recommend it.

  3. The 13th Horseman is not the type of book I would ever pick out for myself. The cover and blurb didn’t sell it to me at all. It’s about a boy who wanders into the garden of his new house and finds a shed inhabited by three strange characters: Famine, War and Pestilence – three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Drake is, according to these lunatics, the remaining horseman and rider of the pale horse – Death! Certainly an imaginative plot!
    I’ve got to say I was not too keen on this book, mainly because it suspends belief. I didn’t feel that I was there with the characters, more like I was just reading about them. The whole idea of this book is ingenious – it really is – but Drake’s feelings should have come across better to make it more credible. The plot is complex but not too difficult to follow and understand and I did like the characters but the book had a slow beginning and took some determination to read!
    I have one last criticism and it’s about the writing style. In my opinion, it doesn’t suit the plot. If you judged the book on plot alone, it may suit KS2/3 but the writing style is definitely for KS2. Hutchison uses magnificent vocabulary when he describes this mysterious figure on the plains of another world but an almost boring style for the rest of the book.
    It was clever and I respect the author for putting his all into it but it didn’t really interest me.

  4. I found this book very funny but I didn’t like the front cover which is too childish for the style of writing.
    This book starts with Drake Finn exploring the garden of his new house. He finds a shed and inside are three characters called War, Pestilence and Famine who tell him that they are three Horsemen of the Apocalypse and he is going to be the fourth. The last Rider – Death – got fed up waiting for the end of the world and left.
    The story follows Drake as he juggles training to be Death, going to school and a new friendship. It all leads upto a momentous battle with the last Death who’s become human as a punishment for quitting.
    It’s a very imaginative plot and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  5. It’s quite weird so far,but I really enjoy it. I wish that it didn’t have the main characters on the front cover as I would love to imagine it if there was more character description. This book is very different to ones I’ve read before and is quite predictable near halfway but I can’t wait for the next book! Ria, Dame Allans

  6. Drake Finn is mowing his lawn when he finds a shed inhabited by the Three Horseman of the Apocalypse. These characters claim that Drake is the fourth Horseman – Death. He accepts the job when he realises that the previous Death (who got tired of waiting for the end of the world) is going to make it happen soon!
    I thought that this book had an enjoyable and imaginative plot but was really predictable and that annoyed me. It’s a bit like ‘Marmite’ because people seem to like it or hate it but I think I’m somewhere in between. I took one look at the cover, thought I was going to hate it and chose it as my first book to read from the shortlist to get it out of the way. By the time I’d read a few chapters, I was reading for pleasure.
    It was funny, interesting and enjoyable but I think the cover is targeted at a younger audience than the text, which contains language inappropriate for Y5 and 6.

  7. The 13th Horseman was an extravaganza! The description was amazing and the plot was good. It was extremely funny and I couldn’t put it down. There was nothing I didn’t like and I would highly recommend it.

  8. Drake Finn is mowing his lawn when he finds a shed inhabited by the Three Horseman of the Apocalypse. These characters claim that Drake is the fourth Horseman – Death. He accepts the job when he realises that the previous Death (who got tired of waiting for the end of the world) is going to make it happen soon!
    I thought that this book had an enjoyable and imaginative plot but was really predictable and that annoyed me. It’s a bit like ‘Marmite’ because people seem to like it or hate it but I think I’m somewhere in between. I took one look at the cover, thought I was going to hate it and chose it as my first book to read from the shortlist to get it out of the way. By the time I’d read a few chapters, I was reading for pleasure.
    It was funny, interesting and enjoyable but I think the cover is targeted at a younger audience than the text which contains language inappropriate for Y5 and 6.

  9. I’m a bit confused by the title of this book because I’m sure there were supposed to be only four Horsemen of the Apocalypse but I haven’t read it yet!

  10. This book had an interesting plot but the writing style was too childish for my liking.
    I thought it was rather predictable in places and the cover did it no favours.

  11. Skim read: beginning, middle and end. Quite enjoyed it. Engaged by the characters and liked the fast pace. Enjoyed the writer’s witty style. Nothing could convince me to believe in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse but I suppose the author is using them in a funny, ridiculous way.

  12. It took me until about chapter 10 to get into this book then I started to quite enjoy the plot. I liked the funny bits like when the Horsemen were explaining what Drake had to do and one of them ticked off on his fingers what had happened to all the previous Deaths. This isn’t the sort of book I would choose to read because it was so slow but it was quite funny in places. 6/10

  13. I’d never have chosen this book for myself because the cover looks like it’s for 7-8 year old boys but I enjoyed it a lot, even though it was very slow and the action only started around Chapter 25.
    Whilst I was reading, I thought the random chapters describing scenes that appeared to be irrelevant to the story were rather weird but, after reading the epilogue, I realised how they fitted in and thought it had a very clever twist. These short chapters have the most amazing descri0ption I’ve read in a long time.

  14. I really enjoyed The 13th Horseman. I think the author did a good job of making such a humorous and unputdownable book about the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I hadn’t been looking forward to it that much, because the cover is so childish, but I was pleasantly surprised.

  15. I had mixed thoughts about 13th Horseman. I liked the plot and the characters. The author described it well so I got a good picture in my head of what was happening but I found it hard to get into and only got upto page 90, probably because it was a bit old for me. I was a bit annoyed when Drake didn’t tell us how he was feeling when he found the 3 Horsemen in his shed and couldn’t get away from them. I expected him to be surprised or frightened but he wasn’t which was odd.

  16. I haven’t read this yet and I don’t really want to because the cover puts me off.

  17. I found it hard to get into this book at first because there was no expression, no ‘wow’ or excitingness but as I carried on I found I was beginning to enjoy myself. I really liked the end because it was all action and there were lots of surprises. I didn’t really see the point of Mel Monday but overall, it’s a good book.

  18. Firstly, I have to say that, like lots of other people, I thought the cover was unappealing but I found the plot, and the majority of the way it was written, quite good.
    Although stories about the end of the world are hardly unique, I thought the idea of using the Horsemen of the Apocalypse was. I liked having the two teachers thrown in together so you could have a guess at which one was the bad guy. I had my suspicions about Mr Franks – he was too good to be true – but I liked the way I was kept guessing.
    I was surprised that the attitudes and personalities of both Drake and Mel Monday changed. It was understandable that Drake became different but Mel changed from quirky and strange to being very bland and girly which didn’t seem right to me. There weren’t many female characters generally.
    I feel quite strongly that the frequent use of a particular word, regardless of genre and plot, was inappropriate for the readers that this book is aimed at.
    I disagree with most of the comments I’ve heard on this book! First, that the beginning was slow. How is a garden shed containing 3 Horsemen of the Apocalypse that have travelled to Limbo and back a slow start!? It wasn’t slow! Also, I was sure I’d agree that the plot was predictable, but it wasn’t. Finally, lots of people have said that I’d get some laughs out of this book, but I haven’t. I think it has the potential to be hilarious but it didn’t quite get there for me.
    Despite all this, I did enjoy 13th Horseman and am looking forward to reading the sequel.

  19. I loved the humour and the unique characters but I didn’t like the cover much…

  20. I loved this book because I dont read many books but I am pleased that I read the 13th Horseman, It is a book that anybody could read. Iliked the start. It is a great book and I am looking forward to reading your next book that will be out

  21. I like this story because you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Like when Drake running from the ball with the blades. Also it seems like he is living a double life but he thinks no one would believe him if he told them.

  22. I enjoyed this book because it was a good story and well written. I thought the cover made it look like it was for smaller children which is a shame because it really isn’t.

  23. This book was really enjoyable but the cover put me off a bit because it looked rather childish. I found the book quite funny and laughed out loud in a few places.
    In some places I was shocked and, though the ending was a bit hard to believe, I liked the way I didn’t really know what would happen next.

  24. I think the cover promotes this book to boys and I found it was too complicated and confusing for my taste. I’m still a bit puzzled about the title when there are only supposed to be four Horsemen. I’m not really convinced by Drake. I don’t think I would have said ‘that’s a turn up for the books’ if I got told that I was Death by a bunch of strange men. I’d have run for my life!
    I also found the occasional one page chapters very confusing. Who is this person that has nothing to do with the plot? I didn’t enjoy this book at all.

  25. I think there is too much description at some points but it builds up a lot of tension. It’s a really funny story.

  26. I couldn’t get into this book. I gave up when I got to the bit where Drake starts his new school because I wasn’t really getting the story. Now I’ve listened to older people discussing the plot, I understand what’s happening and I really want to give it another go.

  27. I enjoyed this book because it was a good story and well written. I thought the cover made it look like it was for smaller children which is a shame because it really isn’t. It’s also quite funny as well.

  28. Cheer up its the end of the world. ha ha. lol.
    This book is possibly the funniest book I have ever read.

  29. I thought it was funny the way the book described the horsemen. It had a great plot line, though I did feel sorry for Drake a few times through out the plot line. It is a good book if you like ghosts and supernatural.

  30. I thought it was my type of book as soon as I saw the cover and title. I have to admit I wasn’t let down. It was a funny book despite the circumstances that were occurring. I enjoyed the book and I thought it was great.

  31. It was very easy to understand and very intense. It was funny at times too and I think that was what I liked about it. It’s completely different to any story I have ever read but that makes it better. I think my favourite part is the hilarious ending. It all leads up to fighting the big robot and I think the suspense is what kept me reading until the end.

  32. I thought this was a good book because the adventure never stops. I didn’t think it was too slow.

  33. This is the funniest book ever. I didn’t enjoy it when I tried it the first time but now I understand about the real Death who’s on his way, the humour is laugh out loud – I was giggling to myself all the way through. My mum said it sounded great when I was explaining the story to her. It gets my top vote!

  34. The 13th Horseman by Barry Hutchison
    At first I thought that I wouldn’t like this book – mainly because of the cover – but I found, as I read more and more, that I was really beginning to enjoy it.
    The cover put me off immediately as it’s rather childish and seems to be aimed at boys. If I’d seen this book in a bookshop, I wouldn’t have bothered to pick it up, which is a shame as I think the story works equally well for both sexes.
    I really enjoyed this book which is unlike anything else I’ve read and I’d certainly recommend it to others.

  35. This book was amazing. I thought it was probably aimed at boys but I enjoyed it all the same. A warning, though. The language is not suitable for younger readers.

  36. I would never pick this book off the shelves because it looks like a boy book by the front cover. I like the start bit where he gets expelled for killing frogs and finds a shed that is invisible. I couldn’t believe how many deaths there were altogether and I found it rather funny with all the reasons they used. It is enjoyable but includes inappropriate language.

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