Thursday 28 August 2014

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant review

Title: Messenger of Fear
Author: Michael Grant
Published: 26th August 2014
Publisher: Electric Monkey

Summary: 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.

Review: I came to this book in a slightly strange fashion. My locker at work had been completely empty and then the next time I opened it there was a book sat in it. The cover bore a message "Play or Pay". First I was pulled in by the typography (because you all know by now how much I love covers!), then I was pulled in by the challenge of the game, I was intrigued. This was one of the first times when I've understood someone saying they read a book and had not been able to put it down. I picked it up and kept going.  When I wasn't reading I could feel it tick...tick...ticking in my desk and at the end...I had to remember to breath out and said "damn".  

And what I had read was fast-pace, moralistic tale that's not necessarily for the faint hearted, but one that we can all take something from. It has an almost cinematic quality to the imagery that flowed between the different realms. This is one of those books where you end up thinking 'what you would do' and one you can really put yourself into. This is something I feel is important in literature, so its not just another book, its actually something relate-able that we can take and discuss, which I hope a lot of people will be doing. 

 There was a fantastic mix of reality and fantasy, and the way that information was slowly given to you kept you a)hooked on the book but also b) constantly go 'oooo' (OK maybe that was just me on the train...and the office...and in my room). 

The Messenger was a great character, built on a mix of qualities and emotions that helped you to understand his position and character even more. It will be interesting to see how Mara takes what she's learn within this book and learns and adapts. Her perspective was interesting because you didn't know so much about her so you learnt together and this, at least for me, affected how you saw the character.  I also hope that we get to see more of the other supernatural characters (like Daniel and  the manipulative Oriax) that we were introduced to here. The matter of religion was also briefly touched on as would need be in such a narrative and I look forward to learning more about the governing Gods. 

The book asked me to pay or play, I played, and I'm still playing. 



Unknown said...

Wow sounds like a very intriguing book! Might have to check this one out!
I love your blog and youtube channel so much that I have nominated you for the Liebster Award! For more details check out my blog post! Keep up the good work!

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