Messenger of Fear (Messenger of Fear #1)

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Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 23, 2014
ISBN
9780062207401
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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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Overall rating 
 
3.0
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Characters 
 
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What I Loved:
I devoured Michael Grant's Gone series, so when I heard he was publishing a new one, I was very excited to read it. MESSENGER OF FEAR is a promising start to a new fantasy/paranormal story. The story grab's the reader's attention and keeps one turning the pages to find out what the next crime will be and how that character's story will play out.

Grant really excels at portraying the grayness of morality. The people Mara encounter do terrible things, but aren't necessarily terrible people. This novel shows just how difficult it is to judge others' actions and to decide what punishment they deserve for their crimes. No choice in this story is easy and all choices have consequences.

I'm highly interested in the mythology of this new world. Messenger serves a higher power and I can't wait to find out more.

What Left Me Wanting More:
This novel is very much the first in a series and it opens up a lot of questions. The reader gets a taste of this world, but I can tell that there's much more to discover. Because of this, it doesn't quite feel like a fully fleshed-out world. I also didn't feel a very strong connection to any of the characters, which I believe is a result of the same issue. I felt the same way with GONE, though, so I have faith that Grant will deliver with the rest of the series.

The Final Verdict:
Told with Grant's signature blunt and at times terrifying narration, MESSENGER OF FEAR is a solid start to a new series.
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Unexpected and Oddly Real
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
MY THOUGHTS
This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, mostly because I loved Michael Grant's Gone series, but I only thought that this sounded like such an interesting book!
I was sort of mislead, though, because I was under the impression that this would be at least a little bit scary. But, no, it's about teaching those who've done wrong a lesson. I was okay with this. I actually thought it had a very intriguing idea. Basically, it's the Messenger of Fear's job to give those who have done wrong a test. If they fail or if they decide not to take the test, they face the consequences.

I thought the test were interesting, though I did have a few issues. One: The people who face the test, do they remember it? Because I would think that the Messenger of Fear would be more well known if that were the case. Two: People can basically disappear because of this. What do the people back home think about the person?
A lot of these might be answered in the next book, as well as many others, but they were bothering me during the book.

Oddly enough, I was more interested in Mara and not because of the mystery surrounding her. I figured out the mystery early on in the book, but I was very curious about how Mara would react to the information I knew.


IN CONCLUSION
This book was not what I expected, but I still enjoyed it! It had creepy, paranormal aspects as well as very realistic aspects. It gets kind of weird at times and I kind of wanted more answers, but it was a very interesting and original read. Michael Grant continues to be one of my favorite authors!
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