BOOKTALK// Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

17887631I 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 . .

Publisher: Electric Monkey

Publication Date: 26th August 2014

Pages: 416

Acquisition: Sent for review

Well here is a book I very much wasn’t expecting. When I found out about Messenger of Fear (which was mentioned very briefly at the launch of LIGHT at Waterstones Piccadilly) I was quite excited. For reasons that we shan’t explore in too much detail, I love the idea of reading a book with a grim reaper-esque character. Death & Co by D.J. McCune made me very excited for this very reason. But upon reading Messenger of Fear, I found myself pleasantly surprised to find that it was not what I was expecting at all.

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Think the UK cover says more about the book, but the US cover is so much darker and much more sinister…

We meet Mara as she meets the Messenger. We know as little as she does about where she is, what has happened and who Messenger is. And from this point on the plot races forward, taking you through the lives of people that need to be punished for what they have done, who need to feel the fear so they will change their ways, leading you to a conclusion that caused me to emit a rather loud gasp. It is an ending you won’t see coming and it is oh so satisfying and well crafted.

I think that’s the main thing I loved about this book. Everything that happens, from the beginning to the end, leads up to Mara finding out why she is with Messenger. It’s a story where you, the reader, has to work it out. Much like We Were Liars, the ending is something of a twist and something I urge people to not reveal. It made me want to go back and read the book again, looking out for all of the little clues Grant no doubt put along the way.

So I really liked this read, it was an unputdownable cracker from start to finish. My only issue, and this is a personal issue, it isn’t Gone. I know it’s a pretty feeble excuse to knock half a star off but hear me out. It’s not quite as addictive and relentless. It’s a slow burner. It is brilliant, and you won’t want to put it down, but it isn’t pace ridden. A completely different read for fans of Michael Grant. If you go into it thinking it’s going to be as rip-roaring and epic as the Gone series you will be disappointed. Treat it as something new and something special, because that’s what it is, the beginning fo a brand new adventure. I can’t wait for Book 2!

★★★★½

Waterstones//HIVE

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