Publishing Info: April 26, 2004 by Random House Publishing Group
Genres: Children's & Middle Grade, Dystopian
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: November 4, 2012
Related Posts: Son (The Giver Quartet #4)
Messenger is the masterful third novel in the Giver Quartet, which began with the dystopian bestseller The Giver, now a major motion picture.
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.
I have to admit — I went into MESSENGER quite skeptical. The Giver has been one of my favorite books since I was twelve (and that was thirteen years ago!), I reread THE GIVER last year (and still loved it) and then almost immediately after that, I read GATERHING BLUE and was pretty disappointed. Unfortunately, I felt the same kind of disappointment with MESSENGER.
All of these books are super quick reads (with the exception of my first time around reading THE GIVER, I finished each in a matter of hours in one day), but unfortunately I felt the same about MESSENGER as I had about GATHERING BLUE — the story was easy enough to follow and they both have very nice lessons (they are more for middle grade readers, I think) but I was just never quite as captivated as I had been when I first read Jonas’s story.
I thought Matty’s story in MESSENGER was actually a little bit more interesting that Kira in GB. It seemed a bit more magical as far as abilities go and I enjoyed the characters and the dynamics much more. Also, we got to see Jonas’s reappearance as an adult who is now the Leader of Matty’s Village. I really think that helped me make more of a connection to the book as well. I liked that this book felt a lot more like a continuation of a series instead of a companion since we see both Jonas and Kira from the previous books.
Matty: Matty was actually a pretty interesting character now that I’m reflecting back on the book. His coming-of-age tale came extremely rapidly and we see him change and mature very quickly. I loved his understanding of his ability once he is finally faced with the ultimate hardships towards the culmination of events in the book. I was a bit annoyed with his immaturity at times, but that’s natural considering he was still a child. I really did come to like him a lot in the end.
Leader: Leader in this book is the Jonas we all got to know in THE GIVER and I absolutely loved seeing him back in this book, older, wiser, and in a leadership position. It was so interesting to see him tie back into the series.
Forest: The Forest isn’t quite a character, but in a way it is. It’s protective, it’s angry, it’s respectful, and it’s dynamic and changing. It also has quite the important role in the end of the book too and I felt like that really almost personified the Forest.
I enjoyed getting back into this world but MESSENGER just didn’t deliver like I had hoped it would. Maybe I was just expecting too much, though.
6 thoughts on “Messenger (The Giver #3) – Lois Lowry”
I liked Gathering Blue by itself, but I felt like the quartet together were pretty weirdly disjointed – more like the Giver is its own book and the other three live in a different world. There’s the confusing shift from technology to inexplicable mystical things in the later 3 books – Messenger and Son, in particular – and the very black/white lack of nuance for some of the characters.
I still need to read this one. I bought Son as soon as it came out but I still haven’t read The Messenger. I hate you were disappointed! Hopefully, Son will be better since it’s supposed to bring all of their stories together. (I think that’s what I read somewhere).
I haven’t ever read the Giver! I really should because everyone says it’s the original YA dystopian book! Too bad the sequels weren’t as good!
I’ve never read The Giver. I can never get into dystopians, which is why I’ve not read it. But I do love Lois Lowry. Number the Stars, though, is totally kick ass. It’s one of my favorite children’s books. Have you read that one?
I have but not since I was in grade school! That would be a great reread 🙂
I liked that Messenger tied GB and The Giver together, but the whole twist into magic-land got on my nerves. You’ll have to let me know what you think of Son!