Messenger of Fear
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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 who 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.
being so superficial.” That’s what she should have said. But instead she Messenger was beside me. I did not turn to look at him but said, “She’s a pretty good writer. I wonder what the story is about.” “Wonder,” he said. It wasn’t an echo, it was an instruction. So, I wondered, and gasped as the whole of it, the 72 pages that preceded that single screen, and the 241 pages that would come after it, were all suddenly known to me. As if I had read it all. No, not that, because even when you read
these two decent kids, kids my own age, not monsters, just kids who had made a very bad mistake. And yet . . . and yet did I not want to see still more? Did I not still wish that I was myself experiencing their intensity of feeling? There was a hunger in me that might be fed by gorging on borrowed emotion. Messenger said, “I can do many things, Mara. But you will learn nothing from my reading of your mind. To learn you must form your thoughts and emotions into expression. What. Of. The. Wrong?”
those baffling holes. I heard more clearly now the sounds of what seemed like desperate scuffling feet and even, perhaps, though I did want to believe it, fingernails scratching as if to escape, or to hold on. And the sounds of voices were ever more unmistakable as wheedling, begging, prayers almost, yes, and cries of despair. Then as the last of the mist unveiled the full obscenity before me, I saw that things—living things—crawled in those maze tunnels. Human things. No bigger than
cooler in the corner, a bathroom at the back, big chalkboard menus high on the wall behind the baristas. It was perhaps the clearest memory I had accessed, but it could hardly have been as familiar to me as my own home, none of which I could remember without confusing it with Kayla’s house. Certainly I should have recalled my mother’s face before I recalled a coffee shop. The dream came back to me, the dream of the beach down by Santa Cruz, and I struggled to put it all in context. Samantha
they seemed barely attached and maybe were not. Blood, in drops like sweat and in streams and in spouting fountains. Sharp objects, ropes, guns, drowning water and roasting flames, whips and chains and medieval instruments of arcane construction but manifestly foul purpose. All of it inscribed on his body. I stared and he allowed me to stare without comment, without explanation, without seeking to soften the blow. I knew this was what he had come to show me. He had known what would be done to