Messenger of Fear
Author: Michael Grant
Series: Messenger of Fear #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Mara wakes in a field of dead grass, a heavy mist pressing down on her. She is terrified, afraid that she is dead. There is a boy in that mist, a beautiful young man dressed in black and able to move effortlessly through space and time. He is the Messenger of Fear. And Mara is his new apprentice. The Messenger sees the darkness in human hearts – the destructive lies, the cruelty, the bullying, the violence. 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. If the world does not bring justice to those who do evil, the Messenger will. What has Mara done to deserve this terrible fate? She won’t find out until three of the wicked receive justice.
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.
First Sentence: My eyes opened.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
I’m not a fan of Michael Grant’s books. I’ve given Gone, the first book in Michael Grant’s Gone series, three chances: the first time, I read to about page 130 and DNF’d it, the second time I read up to page 60 something and DNF’d it again, and the last time I read Gone, I DNF’d it at page 30 something. From then on, I was very weary of all Michael Grant’s books. Flash forward to a week before BEA and I saw Messenger of Fear on goodreads. Despite my bad experience with Gone, I couldn’t help but want to read Messenger of Fear – the premise of Messenger of Fear sounded completely epic. However, after reading Messenger of Fear, I am sad to say that Messenger of Fear is anything but epic.
It is still a dream. What else could it be? I wake up in a field with a mist covering me, and then, all of this? (ARC 27)
Just like Gone, Michael Grant’s writing was just not for me. Michael Grant’s writing isn’t awkward per say, but his writing doesn’t flow well. The best way I can describe Michael Grant’s writing is that he mixes very short, simple sentences, such as “I had a name” (ARC 3) with long sentences full of commas. That sentence mixture just ruins the flow of his writing for me.
I felt so detached from Messenger of Fear while I was reading it. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters: Mara, the Messenger, Samantha, Kayla, or anybody else. When something horrible happened to one of the characters, I didn’t cringe for them or wonder why that had to happen; I just read about it and moved on. The main reason why I felt so detached from everything is probably because of the way Messenger of Fear was executed – it just didn’t grab in you, keep you entertained, nor did it keep you invested with the story and its characters.
I cautioned myself that however calm and controlled he seemed now, he was a creature whose mind was filled with dark scenes of unspeakable wickedness.
He was, in short, dangerous. (ARC 88)
Right after I finished Messenger of Fear, I immediately felt like the book was trying to teach us readers some kind of lesson, to send some kind of important message, but I just didn’t get it. I felt like Messenger of Fear was trying to teach us so many different concepts at once that it was hard to grasp the main one. The most sad part is, I didn’t care enough about Messenger of Fear to carefully think and analyze the book to figure out what Michael Grant’s main message was.
There is nothing more I can really say about Messenger of Fear. All I know is that Messenger of Fear had a lot of potential that wasn’t executed well; Messenger of Fear was simply underwhelming. Sadly, I think this is the last time I’ll ever read another one of Michael Grant’s books. His books just don’t work out for me.