Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: Messenger of Fear

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: September 23rd, 2014
Source: Library
Date Read: 3/27/15 to 3/27/15
272 pages
Rating: 1/2

I remembered my name – Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, faced with the solemn young man in the black coat with silver skulls for buttons, I could recall nothing else about myself.

And then the games began.

The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear.

But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out . .

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Ahhh, I'm a little bummed out at how this turned out. Picking up Messenger of Fear, something I have been anticipating since, oh, last year, I expected a more complex plot with mysterious characters and fabulous world-building. And although I got the mysterious aspect of it all, nothing else came close. 

This is what I was expecting:

What I got instead:

Mara wakes up in this strange place, believing that she's dead. But she remembers nothing else other than her name. Then, she comes across the Messenger, who refuses to reveal to her exactly what is going on. Only that 1) He punishes the people who are guilty of something but aren't caught, and 2) there's something significant about the suicide of Samantha Early. 

So cool, we meet a bunch of cool characters. Mara, who's apparently the apprentice, the Messenger, who makes the guilty play a game of life and death, and then Oriax and Daniel, who I wish I knew who they were really. The reason why this novel didn't turn out as expected was because it only followed the flashback of Samantha and how she came to commit suicide. There wasn't anything about how the Messenger came to be, or who Oriax and Daniel were, and why and how they can do such things. I would forgive the book if it was a series, BUT NO, this is a standalone. I'm pretty sure.

Though with that said, I did not see that twist at the end. I mean I should've, but I didn't. 

So as I said, I had no idea that the emphasis would be on bullying, which I never really like to read about because it pains me. But it did have a very good message, kind of. I mean in the way that bullying isn't something that should be tolerated because it can push someone to suicide. Which is sad. And it needs to stop. But when it comes to this book, I wasn't expecting so much on Samantha Early. I just wanted more on everyone else.

This was a very fast read that although I enjoyed, didn't meet all my expectations. Honestly I was expecting something similar to A Darker Shade of Magic, but we can't all get what we want. This is a hard book to rate, because it's well written yet lacking in some aspects, but it's not necessarily bad either. I definitely suggest reading this and forming your own opinion. (I actually was persuaded by Cait to read this, who gave it 5 stars.)
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