Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Messenger of Fear

“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.”

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 . . .

Personal Thoughts:

Michael Grant is one those authors whose works I’ve been meaning to read since his Gone series was released. I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from book lovers friends about that series which I’ve been trying to complete with the plan to marathon them once I have copies of all books. So when Dianne offered Messenger of Fear for blog tour I grab the opportunity to read Micheal Grant’s latest book to at least have a bite of his writing style.

After reading Messenger of Fear, I realized I made a wrong move of visiting this new series with so much expectations. The hype surrounding his Gone series leave me with high hopes for Grant works and unfortunately Messenger of Fear is a let down. For most part it is a quick and flowing read since I’ve finished the book in a couple of hours but other than a good pacing, I don’t get much from the book.

Main problem is the characters, unfortunately they all fell flat and dull for me. I want to like them, I really do but they bored me to death. They didn’t get my curiosity at all. If the name of the main character isn’t “Mara” which is my last name, I’m sure I will totally forget her, just like I’m forgetting details of the story now after reading the book early this month. I can’t even remember the name of the other characters. I know there’s the messenger but I can’t remember if he has a name. Excuse me and my poor memory, but one thing stay true for me, if the book I read is really good, the characters and story stays with me for so long. They stick in my memory like glue. I have their images in my mind even after I leave their stories. As if I really encountered them in real life. So forgetting the characters of the story I’ve read simply means they didn’t make an impact for me to care or even remember them.

Then we have the plot or the non-existence of it. I mean sure there’s the reaper showing Mara his job as a messenger of fear and some realization for Mara which is quite obvious in the early part of the story, but beside those nothing really happened. The story is not moving much, I want to see progress in my reading other the number of pages I’m turning. I know this only the first installment of a series, and that I should not expect a full story but what I’ve read is lacking of things that I think should make a good novel.

If I have to dissect this book and try to find something worth reading, maybe it’s the realization that Mara has in the end, that’s if you haven’t guessed it

Overall, Messenger of Fear is a quick read with an interesting premise that carry lots of potential but unfortunately didn’t cut through. I’m not sure if I still want to try Grant’s other works now but if this novel is the indication, I guess it’s safe to have lower expectations next time.

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