Michael Grant – Messenger of Fear (Messenger of Fear #1)

20419044Messenger of Fear
Author: Michael Grant
Series: Messenger of Fear
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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 . . .

Okaaaaaay, this book had me hyped as hell! The summary + tagline had me raging to go at this book because the premise of it just blew me the heck up! I was a liiiiitle wary because Michael Grant’s Gone series which I’ve only read one book of was not exactly my cup of tea. But man oh man, this was the type of stuff I wanna see! It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough. Also, apparently I found out later that it was rated Horror but little old me, who can’t sleep for three nights straight after watching a horror movie, didn’t find this terrifying, much.

Alright, so basically the Messenger of Fear is this guy who’s like your average, dark haired, silent, broody, angel of hell type of teenager looking person except he’s not. Not human, I mean. So, if you’d committed a crime of some sort, the Messenger comes and you either choose to play his game, and if you refused/lost, you’d be forced to live your greatest fear and it is B R U T A L.

The story is narrated by the girl, Mara, and she has -0.00000% of her memories. She’s your average strong-willed girl who’s constantly like ‘what the hell is going on’ rational type person. Turns out, she’s the apprentice to the Messenger even though she doesn’t remember agreeing to it. He takes her jumping through a bunch of scenes in the life of a girl in order for Mara to judge whether or not to punish her. {Small premise: A popular, smart, mean, girl teased this other girl so bad until she committed suicide.} The judgement for this mean girl is the backbone of the story and the Messenger takes her to several other judgements throughout while she tries to remember her previous life.

We get to see one instance of someone playing the Messenger’s game and winning and an instance of someone refusing the Messenger’s game and having to experience his greatest fear which was terrifying. Of course, since Grant is planning this to be a trilogy he needed something else in his story and ta-da he throws in supernatural beings, colleagues of the Messenger kinda. One torments the Messenger with his past and inadequacy and hints that there’s another side in whatever’s going and the other is the mild, never-angered, wise friend of the Messenger who’s pretty chill. They both hint that the Messenger is a newbie compared to them and there’s some supernatural war type thing going on so that’ll be interesting but also amazingly easy to screw up so watch yourself, Grant.

The pacing in this book is to be applauded. It places the heartrate-raising scenes strategically, so it’s not out of nowhere but it still gets you that edge-of-your-seat experience. But the plot points and everything else is still interesting. And the characters are not flat AT ALL. Mara’s background is K I L L E R and her relationship with Messenger grows into this ‘guess we’re forced to work together’ thing which is always good when developed properly.

Now like I said, it wasn’t perfect. The other two supernatural beings had haphazard purposes in the story and just kinda came out of the left field. I’m sure they’re there to build up the plot for the next two books but for now, they’re not exactly welcome additions right now. Also, some of the dream-like scenes threw me off, but they weren’t often so I’ll live. My biggest problem is, where the hell is this story going to go? There’s not really much of a cliffhanger and the only thing dragging me into the next two books is how WOWZA this book was so we will see.


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