By: Melanie | August 16, 2014 | (23) Comments

Review: Messenger of Fear by Michael GrantMessenger of Fear by Michael Grant
Series: Messenger of Fear, #1
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont Australia
Release Date: September 1, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
Pages: 320
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...

stickers-my-review (1)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!~

2 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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23 Responses to Review: Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

  1. Kelly says:

    So sorry you didn’t enjoy this one more Mel, I just finished it last week and can completely agree with a few of the issues you had with it too. It was definitely laying the ground work for a series, but it didn’t grab me the way I thought it would have. I actually didn’t understand several points towards the end, the explanations were a little too heavy considering the lack of descriptions of what was going on throughout. Gina (from Behind The Pages) and I are buddy reading our way through the Gone series, and although this was better than Hunger (book two), it wasn’t nearly as engaging as Gone.

    Great review Mel, hope your next read knocks your socks off 🙂
    Kelly recently posted…Ugly Love by Colleen HooverMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I’m glad that you agree, Kelly 😀 It felt way too simple and barely anything interesting was happening to keep me interested. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Elida says:

        di&pobst;:Gnod web site you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

  2. *cries quietly in the corner* I literally read this last night (I am so getting organised on my TBR woot go me. xD) and…and I LOVED IT. But I’ve basically stamped my brain with love-Michael-Grant’s-books, so he can basically do no wrong. lol I get that his writing isn’t for everybody though. I just couldn’t stop loving this book. I read it in like 2 sittings. BUT OKAY OKAY. SHUT ME UP. I WON’T GUSH. I did love that the book actually focused on plot and not romance. That was refreshing. ^_^
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #28 || 500 Follower Giveaway!!My Profile

  3. Melliane says:

    Oh I didn’t know about this one but now I think it’s not really important. I’m sorry it wasn’t for you, it’s always sad when a book isn’t what we were expecting.
    Melliane recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #105My Profile

  4. Tanja says:

    First Mel it’s good to see you again 🙂 I really hope you enjoyed on your vacation.
    I haven’t seen this book before but I have heard so much about Grant’s stories and my good friend really loves them. But then again this does sound like a great idea but like you said it seems too predictable, somehow. I’m actually glad that there is no romance but if the plot is not that interesting it’s not likely that I’ll enjoy this one. I really hope that your next read is much better. Great review, Mel <3
    Tanja recently posted…Silver Shadows by Richelle MeadMy Profile

  5. ASIAN?! Wow, that’s cool (I am saying this mainly because, yes, I am Asian as well 😛 REJOICE!), but I’m saddened the characters didn’t grip you as much 🙁 I’ve always wanted to read this (I do have it as an eARC) but the mixed reviews it has been getting is making me wary.
    Faye D’Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco + Asian Horror RecommendationsMy Profile

  6. kindlemom1 says:

    I had a really hard time getting into this one, maybe I should have stuck it out more? Anyways I am so glad you loved it!

  7. Oh darn!! First book back, and it’s a dud. Sorry to see that, Mel. But yay for no romance! LOL! Hope your next read wows you!! <3
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…Lisa’s Stacking the Shelves & Weekly Recap ~ 8.16.14My Profile

  8. Eh? The story seems so dragging…it’s like the author just wanted to write a book for the money, he didn’t even think about it…ugh! I hate it when authors write lazy, you can really sense it in a book once you’ve realised how it was formed, you can actually find out the author processed all this. HAHA Knowing that he answered all your questions at the end, made it look so unprofessionally written. LOL
    Chyna @ Lite-Rate-Ture recently posted…Another book written by Kiera Cass entitled as The Heir (The Selection #4)My Profile

  9. Wow, really great honest review Mel, I totally know that feeling when you don’t expect the book to drag on for that long on a singular concept. Sounds frustrating! At least there was no romance to make it annoying.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Read Play Blog #2 – Favourite Gaming GenreMy Profile

  10. I have yet to pick up a Michael Grant book, but I think I might hold off for now, and maybe start with the Gone series rather than this one.
    I am sorry to hear your return from blogging has been met with a book you did not like so much!
    Liv_TheAbsentHistorian recently posted…Series Review (1-3): Morganville VampiresMy Profile

  11. Thanks for your honesty Mel. I’ve read the first book in the Gone series and was amazed by Grant’s writing and style. They’re freaking huge books though so I have yet to continue them just yet. Then I picked up The Eye of Minds or something like that (forgot the title) and was SO disappointed because of the same reasons you just listed in this review. He went from a 5 star author to like 2.5 stars…maybe he ran out of character ideas? :/ Who knows. Hope your next read is better! xx
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…My Escapade to Europe!My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Oh yes that’s so true! I saw them at the book store and I was like OH DAAAAMN. Yeah, it’s a mystery to me as why this one sucked so much-maybe it was just me 😐

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