Monday, 11 August 2014

Review: Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Title: Messenger of Fear (Messenger of Fear #1)
Author: Michael Grant

Release date: September 23rd 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 146

Source: Edelweiss

Michael Grant, author of the New York Times bestselling Gone series, has created a powerful and brilliant narrative that examines the nature of good and evil in every human.

Mara wakes in a field of dead grass, a heavy mist pressing down on her. She is terrified, afraid that she is dead. Then a beautiful young man dressed in black appears. He calls himself Messenger of Fear.

This boy is able to move effortlessly through space and time. He also sees the darkness in human hearts. He sees the evils done: the destructive lies, the cruelty, the bullying, the violence. And if the world does not bring justice to those who do evil, he will. He offers the wicked a game. If they win, they go free. If they lose, they will live their greatest fear. Either way, their sanity will be challenged.

It is a world of fair but harsh justice. Of retribution and redemption. And mystery. Why was Mara chosen to be the Messenger’s apprentice? What has she done to deserve this terrible fate? She won’t find out until three of the wicked receive justice. And when she does, she will be shattered.

Messenger of Fear is a really vague book. That's the best word I can use to describe it. The premise is original - I've never read anything like it before. But we also don't get many answers. I adored Grant's Gone series, and the writing in this book is just as good. But I'll need the next book before I can figure out what exactly I think of this series.

Our protagonist, Mara, wakes up in a place she's never been before, with no idea of her past or her own identity, except for her name. The Messenger appears to her, which should probably calm her a little, except he's even more mysterious than her surroundings. Soon Mara is told that he is the Messenger of Fear, and deals out justice to wrongdoers. Mara is his apprentice, although she has no memories and so cannot remember why she agreed to such a thing. Mara accompanies the Messenger as he goes about his job, discovering more and more about her new world. And simultaneously fearing it even more.

We really don't get to know much in this book. And it's a lot shorter than most novels, so it was basically an introduction into the world. I can't even decide whether I like Mara or not, because I don't know her well enough. She's really compassionate though, and sensible. We know a little more about what the Messenger is like, because of Mara's curiosity. He, too, was given the job of Messenger as a sort of punishment. Though he's just as compassionate as Mara, and really kind, he has to push all the emotion away to focus on his job. I really hope we find out more about who he is in the next book! But from what I've seen, I like this guy.

There are a few pretty violent scenes that I don't normally see in YA, and those were a bit hard to read but it's not too bad. This book definitely has a lot of darkness in it, though, so be prepared for that. No rainbows or butterflies here. I liked seeing a side of human nature that we don't normally see - the damaged and bad ones but not truly evil, as well as the ones with no compassion at all.

There's a twist towards the end that was actually pretty obvious earlier on, so I was disappointed by the predictability. Hopefully the next book stays away from that kind of mystery, because I'd like to know more about the characters. Not just Mara and the Messenger, but Daniel, who's kind of like their boss. As well as Oriax, a girl who works for another side. We don't even know what exactly that side is! So yeah, I want answers.

It's definitely intriguing, the plot. We have no idea about this world so experiencing it along with Mara is pretty cool. I'd have liked it to be longer, with at least some more background knowledge, and also some more about the Messenger. But I guess that's all being left to future books. Either way, this was a cool read, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5


  1. I'm a huge fan of Michael Grant; and having read most of his books, I can sort of tell how disturbing this one is. So I'm prepared. :)

  2. I'm a crazy fan of Michael Grant's books and I can't wait to try this. I loved the Gone series myself, and would reread it and read it as much as I possibly can. And Bzrk was good too! I want this so bad :D It sounds like a cool idea.


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