Monday, 4 August 2014

Review: Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Messenger of Fear (Messenger of Fear #1)
Released: 1 September 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Science Fiction
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont
At the Other End:
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 . . 

Author Bio:
Michael Grant was born in California. From there he's lived pretty much everywhere in the US, plus three years in France and most of a year in Italy and the Azores. He spent most of his life being a lazy screw-up before finally deciding to be a writer. Because his wife, (K.A. Applegate) told him he had to grow up and get a career.
Since then, Michael and his wife have written roughly 150 books. No, that's not a typo. 150. He started late, but then he worked extra hard to catch up. What can we say? He's kind of a slow starter. Maybe he's just not very bright, you know?
Find Michael
Website  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter
Sum Up:
Horrifying, gruesome, truthful and gripping... all in the best way possible. Messenger of Fear is going to be as big as the Gone series.

Behind the 320 Pages
Let me just say first of all, that I absolutely loved this book. It was so different, and so brutally honest in that Michael Grant sort of way, that's equally horrifying and gruesome. 

I'm going to be honest, some bits in this book reminded me of things from the Gone books (I've only read Gone and Hunger as part of my buddy read with Kelly from Diva Booknerd). First, was here that reminded me of Gone:

'Daniel was gone. No poof, no flash of light, no explosion, just, suddenly, gone.'

Then again, this bit reminded me of the first chapter of Hunger:

'...seen there the fleshy, swollen worms that gorged upon the... humans.'

See what I mean? I haven't read the other books in the series to be able to make it an actual 'thing', but I just really noticed it. Not that I have anything against it, it didn't bring the book down, or bring it any higher for me, it was just there.

Ok, so to an actual review......

So, I can't really tell you much about the Messenger of Fear because it will probably just ruin it all for you. Just like Mara, you go into the book, basically, knowing nothing. Nothing about the situation you are in, nothing about Mara herself (who actually knows nothing of herself, her memory is wiped), and are confused as to what is actually happening. But honestly, just go with it... it's worth it once you get to the end.

This book is actually really really honest. It makes you see just three of the terrors in our world, because of what people actually do. This is a book about suffering with bullying, and with making the right choice in horrible situations. It makes you realize as you're learning with Mara about everything that is going on, what is right and what is wrong. 

The only thing that I didn't really like, was just something that I found really weird. Yes, it's a spoiler. *highlight to read spoiler. If you dare*
I didn't really get the fact that, because Mara is now a Messenger of Fear, that there would be a purpose now for them to be able to get hungry, or tired, or even use the bathroom. They are basically spiritual guidance kind of beings, they shouldn't need to use these normal things, they should just.... exist. I know it's not anything major, but it just feels really weird to me, and in the book, it doesn't exactly fit. It feels awkward, it feels like it shouldn't be there. Like being a Messenger of Fear is a job, not a punishment. They are messengers of their Gods, they are not human anymore. They do not get seen (unless sentencing a punishment/game, they cannot touch any object, they cannot alter time in any way, only observe.

Going through the book with Mara, I could see that there were times that her emotions were fading away, then they sprang back up at full force again, then went back down. I could see that she was becoming emotionless like the Messenger of Fear, yet certain situations brought them all back. It made her more real, in that sense, because she was reacting to things that I reacted to. The horrifying and gruesome things, the painful things and the fearful things. She stood up for the right thing, and she also learnt that there are two side to everything. We learn with her, and we are on the same page as her every step of the way. I connected to her easily, and she was an easy character to like and want to continue the story with.

And then we get to the end... WTFFFFFFF. There are no words for that ending. I'm shocked at the end and the truth that is revealed. It doesn't even have time to sink in, when you get that hint before it's all confirmed. Just.... WHAT!!!

Can't tell you much else than that! It's a surprise :D But be warned, this book will pull at you and make you squirm, it will hook you in and you won't be able to stop reading. I think I like this better than the Gone series... just saying.

I can't wait until the next book in the series comes out. You don't get a cliffhanger, but it's just a sense of longing to read the next book, and to see what happens, now that Mara knows the truth about herself.

This novel was received for review via HardieGrant Egmont Australia. This review is entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway this review or change my personal opinion of the novel.


  1. I AM EXCITED. XD I'm sooo excited to read this I CAN'T EVEN. Michael Grant! Gone series! Like, that is one of my most favourite series of all, I just need a moment....not sure how I feel about those repetition lines, though. Maybe it's kind of like a signature? Or else he was having a mental blank that moment? ;) Hehe. Either way, I'm super excited.

    1. YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED!!! It's sooo good :D It was ok, it just felt a bit weird with it being there, but it's nothing that would spoil the book for you.... unless there is a repetition line from every book in the Gone series. Maybe..... it was noticeable though. Can't wait to see what you think!

  2. Oh man, I have this one for review and you're making me so terribly excited for it! I've read a bit of Gone before, but I haven't finished it yet (which I really, really need to, I know. *hides*) but this one intrigues me so much more than that, despite the apparent similarities. I can't wait to read it soon! I hope I get to feel and see and taste its horrifics as much as you did and squirm just as much (is it weird I actually relish those? HAHA It only means to say the book was effective!!)

    I've never read anything by this author before but I do admit I am intrigued by her concept of her SUPERLATIVES series. It sounds amazing from the basic premise alone! It would truly be interesting to explore how characters would be changed based on their discovery of how other people perceive them. I have a feeling it can even be a case study somehow, lol. Thank you so much for featuring this author, Danielle! That was a fun interview XD

    Faye at The Social Potato

    1. haha I think the bottom paragraph was for someone else's blog!! Oh you should sooo be excited for it! It's ok, I only read Gone this year so I know what you mean :) In my opinion, this book was better than Gone, so you would probably like it more (and finish it!), oh I know that you will love the worm bit!! and a few other bits as well that I won't mention :D

  3. I have this for review at the moment and now I definitely can't wait to get started on it! It looks like a gritty read, and I love unexpected endings :)

    1. Awesome! I hope you like it as much as I did :D Oh yes, the ending is definitely unexpected, it will push you off the edge of your seat! Especially if you get really into the book, like I did

  4. I can't wait to read this one. I have wanted to read it since Michael put the opening up on Facebook. Great review, thanks for sharing.

    1. I hope you get to read it soon, it really is an amazing book! Thanks :)

  5. Oh gosh, it sounds a little like Hunger (the WORMS, really?) I'm thinking he enjoys mentioning flesh eating worms. Must make for some delightful dinner conversation. No words for the ending? I have to move this one up on my list. I'm actually really excited to read this, the Gone series is alllllright, but I think it's a bit young for me and very repetitive. Incredible review Gina <3

    1. Yeah, it reminded me of Hunger and Gone in those few lines, but nothing that will ruin the book. hahaha just torturing people..... pretty sure he would write a zombie novel one day with lots of flesh eating scenes. I'm thinking Michael Grant's take on The Walking Dead :D The ending will push you off the edge of your seat, especially when you get really focused on the book and get really into it, it just completely blows you out of the water. Well, it did for me anyway :) Thanks lovely <3

  6. Hah! I have to confess the "no poof" line was a deliberate wink to GONE fans. There's also a big nod to ANIMORPHS fans. I do that sometimes. Mostly to entertain myself.

    As for the "mythology" questions like why they're still hungry etc... , trust me, we get there. I don't like to give it all up at once, I kind of like to tease it out. A lot of people wondered after GONE whether I'd make sense of it all, but by the end of LIGHT they were pretty much agreed that I did.

    Thanks for the lovely review. As of now I have 3 planned plus two digital shorts. (I've already written Book 2 and one of the shorts). But if the early books do well I may add a 4th book. It's amazing fun for me to write.

    - Michael Grant
    (Yes, really. Who else could tell you about an ANIMORPHS link?)

    1. haha thank you soooo much for commenting!

      And thanks for clearing that up as well :D I still haven't read Light yet, but I'm getting there hahaha.

      Thanks again! I absolutely loved this book, and I can't wait for the next to come out :)

    2. OMG. OMG.
      Gina, I hate to alarm you, but that's MICHAEL GRANT!
      The Michael Grant.

      *faints and hits floor with flood*

    3. OMGGGGG I know right!! There was me, trying to act cool replying to THE Michael Grant.....


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