Book Review: Messenger by Lois Lowry

MessengerTitle: Messenger
Author: Lois Lowry
Series: The Giver, #3
Published: April 26, 2004
Genres: Fiction > Young Adult > Science Fiction > Dystopian
My Rating: ★★★★★
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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.

“It’s hard to leave the only place you’ve known.” 

Messenger tells the story of Matty, a young boy who lives in Village with Seer, a blind man. Village is a peaceful place, devoid of all judgment, fear, and violence that so many of its inhabitants fled from.  Matty’s job is to deliver messages around Village and he hopes that when he grows a bit older, “Messenger” will become his “true name,” given to him by Leader. Against Seer’s warnings, Matty goes to a trading event in Village where all the inhabitants supposedly trade goods between one another. But Matty begins to suspect that something more sinister is happening at these trades which is beginning to change the villagers. One day in Forest, Matty discovers his true gift, which may have shown itself just in time to save Village and all that it stands for.

The third book in The Giver series takes place about ten years after books one and two left off. I really loved getting to see a few of the characters from The Giver and Gathering Blue all together in this story. I won’t spoil it for you by telling you exactly who we see again in this story, but it’s fabulous. Everything just fit together so nicely and so many questions were answered.

There were a few things that were glossed over a bit and oversimplified, but I really don’t have an issue with that. I don’t really think that this series is meant to have a super well-developed world; its purpose is to show different paths of human corruption.

I found the lack of articles (Village, Forest, Museum) to be a bit annoying and somewhat unnecessary, but I got used to it. I was also frustrated at the end of the book to find that we never really get a definitive answer to who the Trademaster is, where he came from, or what everyone is giving him.

I liked the overall tone of this book more than Gathering Blue, but not quite as much as The Giver. I felt like the world wasn’t quite as fleshed out as The Giver was but it was still a really enjoyable read.


What are your thoughts on this book and/or The Giver series?

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