DNF: Ink and Bone  My Thoughts: Six of Crows My Thoughts: A Darker Shade of Magic My Thoughts: Quake

Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Thoughts: The Tattooed Heart, by Michael Grant

  • Series: Messenger of Fear (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (September 22, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062207431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062207432

"The games continue in New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant's sequel to Messenger of Fear—a haunting tale for fans of Stephen King that combines fantasy with real-world horror stories.
Mara has learned to punish the wicked as the Messenger's apprentice. Those who act out of selfishness and greed, and others who become violent because of prejudice and hate, pay the ultimate price. But Mara is constantly reminded that Messengers are serving their own kind of punishment—for every person who is offered justice, they wear a tattoo that symbolizes the heart of the crime. As Mara delves deeper into her harsh reality she will discover that in spite of all the terror she and Messenger inflict, caring in this world is the hardest part of all." - Amazon
My Thoughts:
Alright. I've gone through many iterations of this review, but the bottom line is that although The Tattooed Heart, is considerably better than Messenger of Fear, it still falls into some of the same trappings. Namely, utilising too many hard-to-describe and subsequently, hard to visualize feats of magic, and a few stilted metaphors. Like this one for example:
"I have caused the world to rewind, to advance at half the speed to accelerate as though reality itself was just Netflix on my laptop."

On the other hand, it did improve on some of the things I didn't like about the first entry, and by that I mean expanding the mythology and the story behind why the Messengers exist. Michael Grant has worked up a beautiful origin-story prose in the form of a Tome Mara reads that's sure to be a treat to readers, as well as a semi-fleshed out appearance by the goddess of balance herself - Isthil. No doubt, these scenes were among many intriguing "I-cant-stop-now-one-more-page" moments contained in this novel.

Additionally, The Tattooed Heart brought an exciting and revamped "theme" with it - the spread and ripple effects of hatred. Mr.Grant's take on this subject matter through both Messenger and Mara is topical, honest and to some individuals, probably controversial. Which is too say, I loved it. Moreover, I also relished the way Mara "Min-Messenger" became a little more self aware, noticing similar traits between herself and those she was punishing, and in a sense, still holding herself accountable for her part in Samantha Early's suicide. Hatred can be caused by many things, and it was nice to see a character that on some level recognized her own, comparable sins.
"She reminded me of an earlier guilt, of Samantha early, the talented young writer that I -yes, I-had cruelly driven to suicide. Maybe I saw too much of myself in Nicolet"
Now according to Goodreads, a third Messenger of Fear Book is planned. Is it needed? No, I think one can quit the series right here and be nearly fulfilled with its conclusion. But having the way The Tattooed Heart ended, I'm sticking around for the ride.

My Rating: 3.9/5
Take a peek at the trailer for book 1!

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