by Lois Lowry
Published: April 26, 2004
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Format: eBook (192 pages)
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.
Spoiler free even if you haven’t read the first books in this series.
Messenger is one of those books that I feel like went over my head. Or that I missed something important while reading it. I felt that way mostly because of the end. It was abrupt, strange, and extremely open-ended (Lois Lowry seems to like those). The end didn’t seem to have much to do with the rest of the book.
I really liked the first part of Messenger. I liked the idea of the Village full of people who had come from bad governments so they all agreed that there would be no secrets since that was the source of the corruption from the places they came from. The trading in the marketplace brought up some really interesting ideas. There are people in the novel who trade something of worth, like their health, for something superficial, like games. Seems absurd except for the fact that we all do it. But when the trade is displayed with the price upfront in such blunt terms, it made me really think why I do that sometimes. Why DO I trade my sleep for a pointless TV show? The book doesn’t really answer that, it just brings up these questions for me to ponder. I like it when books do that.
Then the book shifts its focus to the Forrest which is where I got confused. I didn’t understand the symbolism of the Forrest (if there even is any) and why the resolution had to do with the Forrest and not the selfish people making these trades. The resolution felt too convenient and relied too much on a magical solution.
So far the Giver Series feels like they are all companion novels more than a series. Each book has had a different main character. Messenger is about a side character from Gathering Blue named Matty. I loved the character of Matty. I was glad to see that he got his own story. There are brief mentions of the characters from The Giver so you can see what happened to them since The Giver had an open ending.
Overall, it brought up some interesting ideas and I liked knowing the fate of the characters from The Giver, but I didn’t like the strange ending.
Content Rating: Everyone. Clean read.
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