Book Review: Messenger of Fear

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Messenger of Fear is a morbid yet captivating new young adult novel by Michael Grant. The story’s main character wakes up in a cemetery, shrouded in fog and able to remember that her name is Mara—nothing more. She is left questioning not only how she came to the cemetery in the first place, but also why a strange man is watching her. In a sudden spiral of events, Mara learns that she has become an apprentice to the Messenger of Fear, and nothing can prepare her for the twisted acts of “justice” she is asked to witness and ultimately perform.

I read Messenger of Fear in a single sitting, unable to put the book down. While reading, I couldn’t decide what genre Grant’s newest novel fits into: horror, mythology, paranormal, fantasy? Messenger of Fear is a little of all of them.  As usual, Grant’s writing style is utterly engrossing and nightmarish. I winced at the novel’s many gruesome parts, and my jaw dropped at the surprises. After finishing the book, I was left thinking about the balance of justice and punishment—the balance between what is ethical and what isn’t. If you like books that keep your eyes glued to the page and the wheels in your mind spinning, if you don’t mind a bit of gore and spine-tingling writing, pick up Messenger of Fear at the first chance you get.