Review: Messenger – Lois Lowry

Title: Messenger
Author: Lois Lowry
Series: The Giver Quartet #3
Published: April 26, 2004
Opening Sentence: “Matty was impatient to have the supper preparations over and done with.”
Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon

For the past six years, Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man, known for his special sight. Village was a place that 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 make one last journey through the treacherous forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.

Okay, so here we go. I was going to try not to compare this book to the first two in the series, but it’s so hard considering they’re connected. The books are all in the same series, sure, but I feel like they’re in different subcategories from one another. They’re all dystopian, but the first one (The Giver) is more realistic than the second one, (Gathering Blue), which ushers in more magical elements, and then Messenger is some sort of full-blown fantasy.

I’m still trying to understand the magical elements. There were so few magical things happening in The Giver that when Gathering Blue started taking on that tone I was a little surprised. Now, Messenger has gone full on fantasy with people who have special “talents”, forests that fight back (no, really), and the ability to sell off the most precious intangibles individuals have.

Alas, I don’t understand it, but perhaps that’s a good thing. No one in the story understood how any of this could happen, but they flowed with it. It brought me closer to the characters because I felt like I was just as clueless as everyone else. How does someone sell his or her “deepest self”? No idea, but apparently it’s possible.

I love the story of Village. It’s wonderful grounds for a story on morals. Once upon a time the people of Village fled from their cruel, unfair, et cetera cities and found themselves in a Utopia dedicated to kindness and helping people with anything and everything they may need. Village was a safe place where you could go to start over and be happy. But something started to happen. The happy people saw what they had and decided they wanted more. So they got crazy, sold a bunch of stuff, and the forest freaked out and started killing people. The End.

But of course that’s not the end. The story of Village and Forest is just one part of Matty’s story. His happens to be one I appreciate more than Kira’s (Gathering Blue) or even Jonas’s (The Giver). I’ve been staring at my ceiling for, like, ten minutes trying to figure out how to explain how much I love Matty’s character. He was once something of a menace, but in this book he grew so much. He always had a very caring personality, but it quadrupled and I don’t think he even realized it. He was always thinking about using his gift to help people without batting an eyelash at how it would inconvenience him. God, I love Matty.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It totally made up for whatever Gathering Blue was lacking and it made me pretty excited to read the last book in the quartet. You should totes (totes?) read it… or don’t. (Your loss!)

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviews from the rest of the series:
Gathering Blue (#2)


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