Review | Messenger of Fear - Michael Grant

Series: Messenger of Fear #1 
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Release Date: September 1, 2014
Page count: 308
Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal
Age bracket: Young Adult
Source: Received paperback as gift

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.

Mara awakens to find herself in an open space, surrounded by a sickly yellow mist. She has no idea of where she is and no recollection of how she ended up there; neither does she remember anything about herself other than her name. 
She finds herself facing Messenger, a man who can sense the wrongdoings and sins of young people. Messenger is the Messenger of Fear, and his sole purpose is to deliver justice and punishment for these wrongdoings by means of offering a game. Win the game and be free, or lose and face one's greatest fear.

 ~ • ~

*Just a quick warning; this book contains scenes that people sensitive to issues such as suicide, severe violence and cruelty may find triggering.*

I don't think I can say an awful lot about this book without being completely spoilery; it's best to go into this with no more than just the main gist of it.

Messenger of Fear is unlike any book I've read before. It's hard-hitting and it's brutal; it's realistic in the way it deals with teenagers - from those who are the victims of bullying, to those who feel remorse for the wrongs they've done,  and to the most brutal and unrepentant - and that is what makes it horribly real. Aside from the paranormal aspects, it's true to life - these are things that happen every day.

My feelings we so-so around the middle of the story but, as it picked up pace towards the end, I really started to get into it and refused to put it down this morning until I'd finished. It's got its twists and turns and one hell of a good conclusion, and looking back on story I can now appreciate that the bits I might've found a bit tedious were actually there for a reason.

Messenger of Fear reads like a YA contemporary A Christmas Carol with a bit of gore thrown in for good measure. This was my first time reading any of Michael Grant's work and I was truly captivated by his writing.
I feel that, with the gore and possible triggering content, this would be more suitable toward the older end of the YA bracket readers.
If you liked Patrick Ness's More Than This, I think this could very well be something you'd enjoy.

There are always choices, mini-Messenger. Not now, not today, not for you. But there are always choices. Sooner or later.

1 comment:

  1. I adored More Than This more than life itself (see what I there~), so this review has convinced me to put this on my to-read shelf. I'm glad you enjoyed it in the end!


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