Title: Messenger of Fear
Author: Michael Grant
Series: Messenger of Fear #1
Publication: September 23rd 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult ~ Paranormal ~ Mystery
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
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 . . .
To be honest, I hadn’t expected to like Messenger of Fear this much due to some negative reviews I have read. I actually ended up really liking this book and having a lot of fun reading it.
So this book is unlike anything I’ve read before. I never ever read a book like it so it gets a lot of originality points from me. I also really enjoyed the writing. I actually loved it.
The story starts with Mara waking up, surrounded by mist, not knowing who or where she is. It’s a pretty nice start. Though, I wasn’t a huge fan of Mara as a character, I loved the mystery surrounding her and wanted to know what was going on.
It really gets interesting when a boy shows up and tells her he’s the messenger of fear. From that moment on he’s known just as Messenger. I loved him. He’s also surrounded by mystery and yeah, he intrigues me. There’s no romance whatsoever between him and Mara, I should add. Not yet anyway. And though, I’m a fan of romance, it was actually kind of refreshing not having a book that was filled with dramatic romance.
There was a pretty big shock at the end, where we find out who Mara really is and I hadn’t expected this at all. I felt like I should’ve expected it, but I just didn’t. That was pretty awesome.
Messenger of Fear was my first Michael Grant book and I loved it. It wasn’t perfect by any rate but it was a very enjoyable and really quick read. I’m looking forward to read more by him!
“The world, Mara, the world you knew, that I knew, the world we saw as the only world, rests on the edge of a knife extended out over a sea of flame. Tilt to one direction, and fall into the flame. Tilt the other direction, and the same fate awaits. Lose our balance even a little, and slip onto the blade itself and be eviscerated.”
“The balance between good and evil, between true and false, between pain and pleasure, between love and loss, hatred and indifference. However you name them, these balances are all that keep the world spinning.”
Okay, no he wasn’t. And that was a stupid thing to say. There was no manger. It was a log cabin. A log cabin in Los Angeles.
Or possibly a trailer.
And then while defending his country (technically it was his father, he was just an Army brat,) he moved all over the country and to France and became the incredibly well-educated, well-rounded, well-adjusted . . .
Yeah, okay that last part’s a lie, too. The moving everywhere thing is true. But the sad reality is that Michael’s a rootless, disconnected, indifferently-educated, sullen, obnoxious, disaffected misanthrope. With no hair. I mean seriously: look at the man’s head. Do you see hair? No.
Where was I? I mean he.
Michael Grant is married to Katherine (K.A.) Applegate. They’ve been together for 30 years. Which doesn’t say much for Katherine’s judgment does it? And they’ve been writing for 20 years, sometimes as partners — BOYFRIENDS/GIRLFRIENDS, ANIMORPHS, EVERWORLD — and sometimes on their own.
Michael and Katherine have two kids, Jake 12 and Julia 9. (Feet tall. Get it? 12 feet tall? Ah hah hah. Yeah, okay: not funny.) Anyway, the point is that Michael Grant is the author or co-author of 150 books. Yeah: 150. Most recently the critically-acclaimed GONE and HUNGER.
No, really: critically-acclaimed by VOYA, Booklist, School Library Journal, KLIATT and Publishers Weekly. And best of all by Stephen Freaking KIng himself! Oh, yeah: THE Stephen King. Of course Kirkus dumped on him, but Michael would like to make it clear that Kirkus is in no way a collection of illiterate halfwits. No! Never would Michael say such a thing.