Author: Michael Grant
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.
Rating: 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: Fantasy/pnr/everything untoward, Hot like meh
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 . . .
Take your *insert whoever* to work day, is it???
Because, it seems, that’s all Michael Grant deals with in Messenger of Fear. Our protagonist is introduced to a great deal of passive torment, and then some she herself doles out.
That is all there is to this book. All you need to know. And as such, the story doesn’t really make much progress from the initial point. Just lessons learned, I guess? Who the fuck cares “aboot” that?
The tale is narrated to us in the voice of an amnesiac teenage girl who wakes up in a world bending to laws of another, creatures that seem thoroughly fascinated by her(despite their derision, contempt, exasperation); which doesn’t seem like the voice of a teenage girl, of which I’m certainly no authority, but a party.
One of the few saving graces of this story is the scrutiny paid to the writing, palpable in just a few chapters. It is wholly mature, refined, careful in the ways of diplomats(I think) and ergo, bearing little semblance to the tone of a teenage girl. While that maybe so, in and of itself it’s not such a bad thing, if one cares/manages to forget her, since it doesn’t drive you away or at worst, make you hungry on account of all the energy you’ve wasted rolling your eyes.
The story reduces Mara(the MC) to a capacity in which she talks less, does lesser, becomes horrified all the more easily. And so she is boring.
The story is boring because all she does is observe the ways of Messenger and his version of justice. There are hints and outright statements throughout of tough lessons, times and observations over a loooooooong period of time, but rather thoughtlessly, there is none but one that we witness. We get to know fuck-all about the other characters, or hell, the Messenger besides that he is stone-faced but there be compassion in his eyes.
I personally can derive much more from emoticons’ eyes than stupid, fickle, unreadable humans. -_- They’re easier for sending across of covert feelings, too. Saves a whole lotta time and misunderstanding.
Fantasy elements incorporated, coupled with the writing that described them, retained my interest for the short duration of the story. However, the actual myths come into play obstinately late, ridiculously little. Add to that, there are simple, obvious questions that should have answered the moment Mara learns of who/what/why she is: what up with her mother? what up with her life? what up with those seemingly obscure lines that I shall not mention?
The way I see it, Messenger of Fear would have been better off as a prequel,-albeit a huge-ass one-instead of an introduction to a story as it sets out to be because based on the couple hours I spent on it, I’m not going back for more.
Grant and I are just meant to “bei.”
Review copy provided by publishers.