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Rashika, The Book Owl

So my name is Rashika and I am weird. I read a lot (duh) and I watch a lot of TV. I also like to review. Check out my blog (where I co-blog with awesome people).

Good but could have been better

Messenger Of Fear - Michael  Grant

When I finished this book, I had no idea how to rate it. I have no idea whether it was amazing, or meh or just plain old likeable and I think the reason for that is because while it deals with so many interesting things in such interesting ways, it also seems a little flat at times. Not as intense as one would imagine a book like this to be. But let me define what I mean when I say ‘a book like this’.

This is a book that deals with the idea of handing out justice. It deals with things like bullying and the affects it may have on a person. This book isn’t some silly little fluffy book, as it’s size might suggest. It’s actually pretty fricking serious and the problem I think was that even though it’s a serious book, I never took it as seriously as I should have. I was horrified but not in the way I *should* have been given the seriousness of the issues at hand.

Mara is an interesting character and I liked her. I predicted her role in this before hand and wasn’t surprised given the few details we got about her. Once my doubts were confirmed at the end of the novel, they definitely made some aspects of the story incredibly interesting.

Mara could be a little annoying when she refused to see the Messenger’s side of things but it was understandable. On top of that, I liked how even though she spend some time telling herself that this was all a dream, when it became evident that it actually wasn’t, she accepted the truth no matter how much it frightened her.

The Messenger was perhaps my favorite character. I am not sure what role he will play in the future instalments besides being a mentor figure but I liked getting glimpses into his character. We know he’s been doing this for a long time and at the same time, despite all the cruelty he dishes out or has to observe, he retains his humanity. He has a reason to hope. He has a reason to believe in himself and for that reason I cannot help but like him.

Before you all get excited or disappointed, so far, there is not even a hint of a romance and I am not sure I want that to change. I mean, the Messenger, at the moment, seems to be dedicated to someone else and I don’t know how one could possibly change that. Having said that, I definitely think they could be a great couple. So really, it’s all up to the author at this point and we can just stay here and wait for stuff to happen.

I adore the world Grant has built. I absolutely love some of the mythological aspects that were added but at the same time, we’re only teased with certain details of the world. The world building is very basic with us finding out very little aside from what we need to know for the story to make sense. It upsets me that we didn’t find out more but at the same time, I think Grant is saving the best for the next books considering how this book was about Mara adjusting to the world.

The plot wasn’t rah-rah amahzing but at the same time, I liked the moral ambiguity of what they were dealing with. What is justice really? Who should be avenged? Who should have to pay? Is there a way to separate ‘good’ people from the assholes? It explores all these kinds of ideas. One of the main stories dealt with a girl who killed herself as a result of excessive bullying and while the storyline wasn't perfect, I think Grant did a great job of dealing with certain issues.

I guess my main complain would be that in spite of everything that this book has going for it, it’s lacking some sort of ‘oomph’ factor, something that makes this book memorable instead of ‘just another book’ I read this year and I guess that’s why it’s so hard to rate the book.

If you’re wondering if this book was worth the hype or if you’re just curious, I’d say give it a shot even if you have doubts. It’s short and quick and you won’t regret it.

[This review was originally posted on Nick's Book Blog]

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