Mara has already witnessed more evil as the Messenger’s apprentice than most people do in their lifetime, but the games continue.
The Messenger leads Mara to the funeral of a Muslim boy named Aimal, who died standing up for his people, and then to an abandoned store, where they discover Graciella, a girl battling addiction. The all-knowing Messenger recognizes that they are victims of heinous crimes. Mara and Messenger will find the wicked—those who act out of selfishness and greed, and others who become violent because of prejudice and hate.
But Mara and Messenger pay a price too. For every person who is offered justice, they will wear a tattoo that symbolizes the heart of the crime. And as Mara delves deeper into her harsh reality, she is surprised to realize that part of her is drawn to the sometimes compassionate Messenger. In spite of all the terror she and Messenger inflict, Mara will discover that caring in this world is the hardest part of all.
Before reading this you might want to check out my review of the first book here.
The second book to the Messenger of Fear series was just as wonderful as its predecessor without a doubt. Simply in all different ways. I’m not even fully sure how to describe this book, it’s definitely a ‘read and find out for yourself’ type.
First and foremost, I will clarify one thing. This is not the typical genre for me to read. The combination of thriller, mystery and supernatural was a unique combination that I can’t help but love. The fact with the series itself is such a unique combination for me. The writing style, the descriptions all put together brought it into a story that I could love, despite parts that I didn’t fully care for.
In Tattooed Heart specifically, we meet once again with Mara as she continues her role as apprentice to Messenger, the boy in black. Mara admittedly is a very different character from what I’ve used to, no doubt because she is guilty and has done wrong. Through this book she is forced to face that in a way the first book didn’t get to. Mara sees her own hypocrisy and judgements clearly and true, realistic fashion; she can’t herself. It makes the story so relatable. Because we can’t help but look at people and assume things, it’s something I notice I do far too often for comfort. It forces you to take a look at yourself alongside Mara in a way that left me in shock. By the end of the book, Mara’s character comes to a conclusion with herself after struggle and temptation that…astounds me. It’s hard to not like her despite other things when moving along with her in the story. Not to mention in book #2 we get the chance to compare her to others in a wonderful contrast that stuns Mara, not just us. So without a doubt, the main character of this series continues to be someone I can’t help but like, despite not being able to agree with her in all things.
Then of course I HAVE to talk about Michael Grant and his writing. The thing that brings this series together. His descriptions are probably some of the best I’ve ever read and paired with an imagination like his; the story is so clear and, at times, vividly gruesome. It enhances the thriller and horror genre wonderfully. I will admit at times; they will become long-winded because the description seems unnecessary. Trust me, still beautifully written, but unnecessary when I just really wanted to get to the next part. That is the main thing that has me downgrading this review from full stars.
The best part about this book though was the story itself. Not exactly the plot, but simply the scenes chosen, the explanations and the characters put together in a way that I loved.I will also note this was mostly the cause of my beginning this book the other day at about 12pm at school and finishing it by 10 o’clock. Oopsies. I don’t believe I can properly explain this much more, as I said before it’s a book to read yourself and experience.
This book is high on my list of recommendations now along with its predecessor. It is a turn off the normal route of books. There is nothing quite like this, of that I’m sure. Grant blended in lessons of morals, mythology and personal struggle and realization in ways I dream of being able to do. I was very much book hung over after this and was questioning myself. It was hard, I was upset and curled up in a blanket, as is probably the best remedy for being book hungover, with some food of course too.
Until next time,