Friday, March 18, 2011

Goodreads Review: Messenger by Lois Lowry

Messenger (The Giver, #3)Messenger by Lois Lowry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the third and final book in The Giver series by Lois Lowry. I had read The Giver some time ago and loved its dark dystopia appeal. I happened upon the second one in the series by accident in the library - Gathering Blue. I started listening to that book without realizing it was the sequel and was equally pleased, after a trying beginning (as all Lois Lowry books seem to have - not bothersome, but just quite sad and pathetic for a potential future society. Let's hope we don't go there.). When I did realize this was a full series, but not a typical series, I ran out and bought all three. The lack of a standard series actually adds to the charm of these books. They follow three characters independently. Each book stands on its own, but has characters from the other books that the reader will be able to reminisce about. However, if you haven't read any of the others, you won't even know what you're missing because the books truly do stand on their own.

Messenger follows the now-young adult life of Mattie, a boy who began his journey in Gathering Blue as a supporting character. Mattie is now a young man and lives in a off-set of the previous future villages of Lowry's world where all the people with disfigurements and disabilities have gone to live together. They are surrounded by a forest that comes to life in the most unusual and disturbing ways and Mattie, along with Seer and a few other characters begin to realize that their sort-of utopia is no longer such. People are trading parts of themselves for other things secretly; the forest is killing people; and now, the normally quiet and peaceful Village has become a place of anger and greed. Mattie journeys off to bring Seer's daughter home (Kyra - the main character in Gathering Blue) and learns a great deal about his special gift.

It's a wonderfully odd and dark tale that will captivate you and make you want to read to the very last word. Lowry leaves things unexplained, but with a heavy sense of why things unfolded the way they did. This story and the entire series is a parable about our own possible future told in beautiful, dramatic prose and a keen-sense of storytelling at its best.

Rated PG for thematic material and foreboding danger.

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