Review: Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

November 8, 2014 1 star, Book Review 14

Review: Messenger of Fear by Michael GrantMessenger of Fear by Michael Grant
Series: Messenger of Fear #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on September 23, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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


Who knows if it’s just me, but I’m the first person to slap Messenger of Fear a fat 1 star. I’m sorry, I have to stick to my guns on this one. This was a read that felt like a chore and you never wanna feel that way when you’re reading something. EVER.

I knew it was going to be a problem for me when I didn’t like the writing style from the beginning. People have praised it though!! So if you are into this authors previous work, then I would give it a shot. I wasn’t and quite frankly, the style drove me absolutely bonkers. Here’s a few quotes picked AT COMPLETELY RANDOM…I’m literally just going to open the book and pick out some:

”But he was no longer there. I was in a bed. The covers were pulled up to my neck. My head rested on a soft pillow. And sleep took me.”

“Love, yes, the love I no doubt felt for my parents and half-remembered brother, but this was a different thing. This was not a long-burning candle; it was a roaring fire. This was desire and need and a willing surrender that empowered.”

“No one would ever be able to stand to look at me. I would have to spend the rest of my life covered, concealed, ashamed. I wouldn’t be able to look in the mirror. I would never have a boyfriend, never get married.”

The style was super choppy and the imagery didn’t really save it for me. I have no problems with choppy writing. In fact, I write like that and some of my favorite books are written like that (i.e. The Perks of Being a Wallflower). But in order to be successful in that style, you have to let the readers have a clear idea of the worldbuilding and the characters.

And I didn’t give any crap about either. Here’s why…

What can I tell you about Mara? Nothing, except that she has amnesia, and…well that’s it really. She’s dull. Reading about her was like watching paint dry.

I was waiting for something exciting to happen the entire time.

Some “Messenger of Fear” teaches her the ways of justice by going through several events featuring more characters that I don’t care about. Samantha, who has OCD and she’s being bullied by some chick named Kayla (the bitch who thinks she’s queen of the universe). Umm…a couple who love each other that accidently killed a dog. Annnd some others that pop up here and there for reasons that I still don’t understand. Anyway, there’s an underlying theme of bullying and whatnot, but didn’t meet my expectations enough for me to overlook all the bads (basically everything else)
This was my thought process throughout the entire story:


There were way too many questions that were left unanswered. To delve into all the questions I had would spoil the reader and one thing I don’t do is spoil, but let me tell you…don’t expect answers. Don’t expect worldbuilding. And don’t expect characters that wow you. I really hate rating low on ARCs, but all these thoughts are MY OWN OPINION. And this one was a bore for me in every way possible.

14 Responses to “Review: Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant”

    • Kat

      Hmm…yes and no. I mean yes, because there’s a purpose for each of them for her to go through her “trial” basically of becoming a messenger. No, because they have barely or no relevance to one another.

      Y’know, actually a lot of people enjoyed this one that have read his previous work so I’m not sure what to tell you. I haven’t read them so I can’t compare, but for my experience…this was a doosey.

  1. Valerie

    Oh nooooo, unanswered questions are really going to bother me, and I’ve been looking forward to reading this one too BECAUSE of the whole death aspect of it! I think I’m still going to read it one day, but not anytime soon-ish. Thanks for the honest review Kat!
    Valerie recently posted…Review: WarbreakerMy Profile

    • Kat

      Well good to see you’re still going to try it out. I’m always uncomfortable when someone doesn’t want to read a book just because of my review. I mean we all have different opinions and sometimes I actually add books that my friends hate because of that. The death aspect is there though, so it may be more enjoyable for you 🙂

  2. Molly Mortensen

    Wow, I’d heard good things about this book. I understand though sometimes a book just doesn’t work for me. I’m sorry you were bored, but at least you finished it. (even if you didn’t get answers…) I struggle with negative reviews, but I enjoyed reading yours. 🙂
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    • Kat

      I struggle with writing them. I barely give out 1s because well…I just don’t like giving them. I know how hard it is to be motivated to write and finish something. But, sometimes it happens and I still encourage people to try for themselves.

  3. Kirsty-Marie

    I did like the writing style, but I couldn’t finish it, the whole mysteriousness about it wore off after the first 10% and I got bored. Now I’m glad I didn’t because it doesn’t sound worth it, dodged that snore fest.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Gracefully GraysonMy Profile

    • Kat

      Totally get the boredom, 90% of the time I was waiting for stuff to actually happen and the last 10% everything unfolds and she finishes this test of hers…that’s it really. It really read more as a prequel than anything, which should have been much shorter.

  4. Anya

    Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear that! I had decided to pass on this one since it didn’t sound like a me book, and I think that was a very good choice. I can’t even tell you what the premise means!
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