Series: Messenger of Fear, #1
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont Australia
Release Date: September 1, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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...
Back from my hiatus but alas, the first book I read just had to be a disappointing read .-.
I think it’s quite apparent that I am a black sheep for Michael Grant’s latest novel. I haven’t actually read anything by this guy before, so I wasn’t absolutely sure what to expect–what I knew was that his Gone series is crazy popular–so I hoped that this one would be just as amazing. Perhaps, it is just as amazing as his Gone series but clearly this book is not my cup of tea.
A girl wakes up in the mist and can only remember one thing: her name, Mara. Not long after, she meets a young man in a big coat. The story line only becomes more twisted when he reveals that he is Messenger–he targets young teens that get away with wicked doings, he offers them a game: win, and they can leave like it never happened, and should they lose, they must live out their greatest fear. See, I loved this concept, but that’s where my adoration for this book ended.
We start with a few questions: what happened to Mara and why is she here? What does she have anything to do with the Messenger? These questions are answered, but what I didn’t expect was for them to be all answered at the end of the novel. I was expecting that these questions were going to be answered earlier on in the novel so we could get to some actual plot and movement, but that didn’t happen. In other words, my sole complaint was that the story was too simple. One plain (and rather predictable) story line with not much else. 320 pages. Seriously? You can tell that this is just the first instalment because all it did was set up the world and let us into the character’s heads. Personally, I felt cheated. I dived into this book thinking that there was going to be a lot going on and a lot of substance but realistically, I just got a predictable story that really did not need to take up an entire novel.
Moreover, I didn’t feel any connection between me and the characters. There was diversity, which was nice (main character is Asian) but that doesn’t make up for the fact that Mara felt awfully bland to me. Maybe I’m lacking some empathy lately but it really all goes back to the simplicity of the plot. Nothing exciting or even interesting happened for me to think greatly of the characters because all the really did was sit around.
However, I like the writing. It was really descriptive and probably the only reason why I still bothered with this book. Some of the creepier scenes really stood out because of Grant’s fantastic writing style and in the retrospect, I can see why a lot of people love his work.
Bonus: ROMANCE FREE! Even though there was a boy/young man and girl as the main characters.
In all, I did appreciate this book for a few small things but it could not suffice for the mundane and predictable story line as well as the bland characters. I’m not sure I’ll be continuing on with this series, to be honest, but I am probably still going to give Gone a go.
~Thank you Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for sending me this copy!~
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