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 … -goodreads.com
I would like to start off this review by saying my first reaction to the stories idea, and my final reaction after finishing it since it will explain my feelings a bit better.
I was so excited.
In a nutshell.
The Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant was a book full or promise but didn’t deliver for me. There was a lot I did not like about this book, but there was also some elements I did enjoy. NOTE I will try to do this with as little spoilers as humanly possible, so never fear! I will either avoid Spoilers all together or put ** around them ok? Good, now back to my review.
I will start with what I did like. First off, I loved the idea, like the picture from Despicable Me above. The idea of a Messenger of Fear who punishes those who do wrong, is awesome and unlike any thing else I have really ever heard of. The characters were a mix of good and bad, even The Messenger. They were unique and flawed, they really added to the story, but they also took away from it. One huge problem I had was the characters were never really explained, I hear there will be a second book so hopefully it will pick up and answer our questions. I was irritated by the lack of significance the characters presented, they came and went fast. They were flat, not very well written people.
I know that paragraph is supposed to be what I liked but I went on a mini rant up there. So I will just move on and talk about what I liked about the idea and continue my dislikes later.
The story was sad, sad in content and how real it could all be. Not the whole magic kind of stuff but the characters and how today we have people like them. That sounds rude, but what I mean is the bullies and the victims. Michael Grant brought to life something I never really see in many YA books. Characters with flaws, mean girls who could actually exist and their victims. It was good, I liked that. Every time I started the next chapter I wondered what lead up the the events in the beginning of the book and how a girl could be as cruel as she was.
Well I think that is about all I liked. Now on to the bad, please note this is my opinion and I don’t mean to offend or hurt anyone. I just hope my review doesn’t seem mean…
Lack of detail. Lack of detail. Lack of detail. The only time this book got descriptive was for maybe a page and a half, the times when the sort of gory and gross details came out. Our MC did give a few other details but none actually stood out to me, the ones that did stick were the gruesome ones because of their significance. Other than that the book was completely flat. It would have been better if it were written differently. Which leads me to my next topic, writing style. I HATED this Point of View so much, it took away from the story. It was flat, and boring. Which to me was 95% of the book.
Again the characters were…meh. They came and went so fast, you never really knew who they were. It NEVER explained all of the questions you had, it just kept going. No wonder the MC had a billion questions a chapter, no one would answer them.
So the huge part of this book that I was interested in was the Games those who did wrong would play. What are these games? Well they are a bit gruesome, and in the 260 pages this book was made up of, there was only, what, one game? The Game Master came in and left, never becoming important in the story, just poof like the rest of the characters. Here and gone, never to really be mentioned again.
Same with the powers Mara had, poof. She used them like never, it was just instinct to her. **Potential SPOILERS** in the end though when she found the fear of Derek I expected better. Oh yeah, and this didn’t even happen until like the last portion of the book. You would think that since the story is about her becoming the Messenger of Fear, you know there would be more of this whole Judgment deal, right? WRONG!**End Spoilers here!**
In short, this story had such potential yet was dry and lacked anything to really make me like it, other than that cool description from goodreads! I disliked how the story wasn’t even really in the book, and how it took so long for the actual idea of the Messenger of Fear to ACTUALLY come into place.
I am not sure if I would even recommend this book, but give it a try. You never know, you might even like it!
**Sorry if this a mean review, I was just very disappointed**