On The Cover: Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man known for his special sight. Village once welcomed newcomers, but something sinister has seeped into Village and the people have voted to close it to outsiders. Matty has been invaluable as a messenger. Now he must risk everything to make one last journey through the treacherous forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.
Why I Chose It: I wanted to continue The Giver Quartet series with this next installment.
Other Books In This Series:
This review contains mild spoilers.
What I really enjoyed about this book was that it was built upon the worlds that we saw in the first two books. Jonas and Kira, who were the focus of The Giver and Gathering Blue, are featured in this book as well. I like that while the first two books are so distant from each other, Messenger begins to bring everything together and shows how everything connects.
I was a little surprised at how this book approaches the topic of Matty’s power. While in the first two books, Jonas and Kira’s powers are openly discussed and very obvious, it seemed like Matty’s power was supposed to be the big mystery of the book. I have to admit, the mystery didn’t really capture my interest, and when the power was finally revealed, I wasn’t all that impressed. I do like that it was so different from the first two powers, but I wasn’t exactly wowed.
Finally, the setting in the book is really intriguing. Everyone keeps referencing how the woods are dangerous, and that people need to stop going into the woods. But the woods are referred to as a living entity, and it’s not that it’s hiding something dangerous, it’s that the forest itself is the threat. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the woods. I found them really rich and interesting, and I enjoyed reading about how it watches people and the threats it makes against them. I haven’t really encountered those types of descriptions before, so it was very refreshing for me.
While I did enjoy this book, I will say I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first two. I didn’t find the characters as interesting, and unfortunately wasn’t that impressed with Matty’s power. Thankfully, the forest brings interest to the story, and the world does continue to build upon the first two books. I do think that this is an important installment in the series, and I am very much looking forward to reading the final book.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
“[…] the schoolteacher, a good-hearted man with a deep red stain that covered half of his face. Birthmark, it was called. When Matty was new to Village, he had sometimes found himself staring at the man because he had never known anyone before with such a mark. Where Matty had come from, flaws like that were not allowed. People were put to death for less.” (OverDrive, 2004)
“There were no secrets in Village. It was one of the rules that Leader had proposed, and all of the people had voted in favor of it. Everyone who had come to Village from elsewhere, all of those who had not been born here, had come from places with secrets. Sometimes – not very often, for inevitably it caused sadness – people described their places of origin: places with cruel governments, harsh punishments, desperate poverty, or false comforts.” (OverDrive, 2004)