Messenger Of Fear by Michael Grant | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Messenger Of Fear by Michael Grant | Book ReviewMessenger of Fear by Michael Grant
Series: Messenger Of Fear #1
Also in this series:
Also by this author: The Magnificent 12: The Call, , Front Lines
Published by Harper Collins on 2014-09-23
Genres: Bullying, Horror & Ghost Stories, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Michael Grant’s Messenger of Fear is a haunting narrative that examines the nature of good and evil in every human. Fans of Michelle Hodkin’s Mara Dyer trilogy and Stephen King will love this satisfyingly twisted series.Mara Todd wakes in a field of dead grass, a heavy mist pressing down on her. She is terrified, afraid that she is dead. She can’t remember who she is or anything about her past. Is it because of the boy that appears? He calls himself the Messenger of Fear. If the world does not bring justice to those who do evil, the Messenger will. He offers the wicked a game. If they win, they go free. If they lose, they will live their greatest fear. Either way, their sanity will be challenged.It is a world of fair but harsh justice. Of retribution and redemption. And mystery. Why was Mara chosen to be the Messenger’s apprentice? What has she done to deserve this terrible fate? She won’t find out until three of the wicked receive justice. And when she does, she will be shattered.

I am kind of dreading writing this review, my friends. Here is the thing, I had super high hopes for Messenger Of Fear by Michael Grant. The concept sounded completely awesome — supernatural beings delivering retribution for misdeeds through use of a twisted game. I was anticipating getting into this book and examining good and evil and how we define both. I mean, is it situational? Or is it more black and white and clearly laid out? However, I just did not get that into what I read, to go into deep philosophical thought over those large concepts, because let’s be real here, the idea of morals and good and evil is a super huge concept and one that lol, I am not going to ever be able to properly convey in a review. So, okay, yes, back to my thoughts on the book at hand.

So, first off, here is what Messenger Of Fear by Michael Grant is about: there’s this girl named Mara who wakes up in a field some place, in her vicinity is this really good looking boy with some magical time travel powers. No, not Doctor Who (am I using that reference correctly?). This boy is known as The Messenger, that’s his title and name, I guess. So anyways, he goes around to different wicked people and looks at their misdeeds and is all WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY A GAME, kind of like that guy in Saw. The game is way scary and people have to do things that would make you go mad. If they lose, they have to live their worst fear over and over and over again, it becomes their life. If they win, they can just live their lives. Mara is about to be The Messenger’s apprentice and she’s not really sure why. Only that is a punishment.  Meanwhile there is this parallel storyline with this bullied girl and a popular girl and there’s some writing too, that Mara keeps examining and looking at.

Okay, so Mara the main character might be a part of my non-love for Messenger of Fear. I read this book in September and honestly I am not remembering much about her. Well, except that she doesn’t really have a lot of memories. She is horrified by The Messenger’s job and game. She seems to have a stronger capacity for empathy and for forgiveness of “evil”, or at least examination of what is really evil than The Messenger does. That is actually kind of interesting, how she provides a more ambiguous counterpoint to The Messenger. I like when a character does not immediately accept something, but puts critical thought behind her decision making process. I will say though that as her memories are revealed, I wasn’t as into her, but it does add a certain layer to her character. Although, it’s one that I kind of predicted early on. By this — I mean who Mara actually is could have gone either way, but it wasn’t a huge surprise to me.

Frankly, the biggest reason for my rating and feelings toward Messenger Of Fear is entirely subjective. It’s entirely me. When I read this book, I had so much going on in my life and it was really the wrong book at the wrong time. This is a book that is under 300 pages but took me 10 days to read. I can usually whip through a 300 page book in a day or two if it’s during the week. Unfortunately, I had been going through a lot of stress and anxiety and well, this book just was not catching my attention at all. So, you guys, chalk the experience up to me and not the book. I hope that if you read it, you are able to give it more of a fair shake than I was. It certainly deserves one, but yeah, I am a human and I think that this review reflects that I am unfortunately not a perfect reading machine.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. The premise is definitely interesting. I totally get how life gets in the way of enjoying a book. Many times I’ve been disappointed in a book and then realized that maybe it was more me than the book.

  2. Why would you rate the book down because of what was happening to you in real life? You’re supposed to be reviewing the book itself, how is it the author’s fault what happened to you? It’s like rating a movie low because you were too stressed with real life to enjoy it, or rating a videogame low because your hand was broken so you couldn’t play it properly. I give your review 1 star.