Friday, October 9, 2015

The Tattooed Heart by Michael Grant

Series: Messenger of Fear (bk. 2)

Genera(s): Paranormal/Horror

Subjects: supernatural, good vs. evil, apprentices, games, death, fear, bullying

Setting: Various places, including Iowa and Nashville, TN

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Mara

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 389 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen: Katherine Tegan

Summary/ product description: “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 suprirsed 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.

The second book in New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant’s Messenger of Fear series, The Tattooed Heart combines fantasy with real-world horror stories to create a satisfying conclusion.”

My Review:  The Tattooed Heart is the sequel to The Messenger of Fear. Mara is still the Messenger’s apprentice. She’s viewing people’s lives, finding the ones who are causing pain and punishing them. There’s a racist jerk that is mean to a Muslim girl and there’s people who screwed over a girl who writes country song and made her become a drug addict. The Messenger of Fear’s purpose is to punish those who spread hate and cause pain and get away with it.

This series has been quite unique. The Messenger is kind of like an angel or the Ghost of Christmas Past & Future in a way. He’s not the only Messenger. There’s a lot of them and they take on apprentices. He’s very mysterious and doesn’t talk about his past except the girl named Ariadne who he loved and hurt. Mara is attracted to him, but there isn’t much romance. They don’t fall in love because Ariadne had his heart.

I really enjoyed the country music drama part. It made me think of the show Nashville on ABC. Graciella is kind of like Scarlet O’Conner and gets screw over selling her songs to a singer named Nicolet, who’s like Juliet Barnes and her manager who’s like Jeff Fordam. Then Graciella ends up as a hooker and does drugs. That’s awful.

This series is really Grant’s way of trying to say that bullying and racism are bad. It’s got a great message and it’s also very dark and fantastical. This story was longer than the previous book and still felt like it was lacking some substance. I enjoyed it. It wasn’t hard or boring, but something felt missing and I guess that’s the romance. We did get to see some demons though. I’m excited for the final book. The description misled me to believe that this was the final book, but I’m glad it’s not. I want to see Mara become a Messenger herself.

Cover Art Review: Reminds me of the Grisha Trilogy cover, but different artist.

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