Sunday, February 8, 2015

Messenger by Lois Lowry

Messenger is a companion novel for The Giver and Gathering blue - and it is highly recommended that you read The Giver and Gathering blue before you read Messenger.

Six years ago Matty left behind the village of his birth and traveled through the Forest to the Village with Seer.  It was a huge change, not only was Matty accepted with open arms in the Village, but he also had the opportunity to learn and to grow.  Something is changing though, people who were once warm and inviting are now distant and selfish.  The people of Village are not the only thing changing though, Forest is also changing.  For years Matty has navigated the paths of Forest without fear and with the knowledge that he knows the paths, but now Forest seems darker, and thicker, and more sinister.  

When the people of Village vote to close their borders to outsiders Matty must make one final journey into Forest to spread the message, and to try and bring Seers daughter Kira back to the Village before it is too late.  But it may already be too late, and a blooming gift inside of Matty may ask for more than he is willing to give - or does it?

Messenger is the third book in The Giver series, the events happening several years after The Giver and Gathering blue and I have to confess that I found it quite a weak story compared to the others in the series, it was like Lowry felt she had to write it.  One of the most obvious differences between Messenger and the other books in the series is that it is a much shorter book, feeling more like a novella rather than a true novel.  The length makes it feel as though the story is rushed, especially compared to the world building and character crafting that happened in The Giver and Gathering blue.  It felt like Matty wasn't really given a chance to tell his story, that he was rushed along and that he was just a tool to explain what happened to Village rather than having a voice in his own right.

I have jumped straight into reading the final book in the series - Son - and it will be interesting to see if Matty is mentioned in Son or if Messenger is an important part of the series.  If I had known how short the story was and how rushed the story would feel, I would not have picked up and read Messenger at all.  This was a bitterly disappointing read, especially after reading the gems that were The Giver and Gathering blue.  It is possible that my disappointment comes from being an adult reading the novel, and I hope that parents or young people reading this review do keep that in mind - sometimes adults just don't "get" or "enjoy" novels for children the same way the target audience does so please don't let me put you off too badly.

If you like this story then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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