Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Review: The Tattooed Heart by Michael Grant

Title: The Tattooed Heart (Messenger of Fear #2)
Author: Michael Grant

Release date: September 22nd 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 212

Source: Edelweiss

The games continue in New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant’s sequel to Messenger of Fear: a haunting tale for fans of Stephen King that combines fantasy with real-world horror stories.

Mara has learned to punish the wicked as the Messenger’s apprentice. Those who act out of selfishness and greed, and others who become violent because of prejudice and hate, pay the ultimate price. But Mara is constantly reminded that Messengers are serving their own kind of punishment—for every person who is offered justice, they wear a tattoo that symbolizes the heart of the crime. As Mara delves deeper into her harsh reality, she will discover that in spite of all the terror she and Messenger inflict, caring in this world is the hardest part of all.

The Tattooed Heart is a lot more substantial than the first book, and we finally get some backstory on Messenger. The issues brought up here are on a larger scale than we've seen before, and I think are also more serious. I really liked that we get to know the characters more, and though it's still a short novel, it was very satisfying.

Mara and Messenger are following new people, trying to give them the justice they deserve. Mara's grown to accept what she is and who she will become, but it's still really hard on her. She knows now who she used to be, and she's not proud of that. But she's trying her best to make up for it. Mara knows what her responsibilities will be, but she's just begun to realize the consequences of all the rules - especially the one that says Messengers are not to be touched.

I really admire how Michael Grant brings up so many things that are wrong with this world through this YA series. And it makes me wish that Messenger was real, so that the wrongdoers could actually be brought to justice. It's terrible how so many of these people go free, and the victims' lives are ruined forever. This is one of those books that really makes you think, and I don't see that very often in YA, so I'm really happy about that aspect.

Mara isn't as desensitized as Messenger is, not yet. But she's getting there. Messenger still feels emotions but he just doesn't show them as much as Mara does. He's kind and compassionate and he really cares about Mara. I sympathized with him a lot regarding his lost love, Ariadne. We also get to find out more about her, by the way. And how she and Messenger got dealt the cards they ended up with.

I adored the way the book ended, and I'm really curious to see what happens next. Mara's been given a lot more responsibility, and I'm eager to see how she deals with it. As for the minor characters, Oriax and Daniel, they're still a bit enigmatic. Well, we find out a lot more about Oriax. But Daniel is still a mystery, and I hope we get to see more of him in the next book.

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

Rating: 4/5

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