Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Messengers by Edward Hogan

Published by Candlewick Press
Review based on Advance Reading Copy (ARC)

A dark and lonely book, intense and moody. Not quite what one would expect, this book does capture the attention once the real action begins. A bit of a slow start, with Frances mourning her absent brother, a boxer who is on the run. She is sent to live with her Aunt, Uncle and cousin until things settle down. The main characters are teens, young and old teens. The characters are fairly well developed considering their ages. Written for young adults, I don't think I would recommend it for younger age groups. It is a fascinating psychological study in which the two main characters unwillingly hold life and death in their hands, but a philosophical one as well.  A unique plot and concept by Edward Hogan to keep us questioning.

Fifteen-year-old Frances doesn't know or understand her "gift" but wishes she didn't have it once she learns what it is. When she meets Peter, who has lived with this for several years, he mentors her. It's rather fascinating when we get into the idea that these two have a talent in art, but their art is only visible to themselves...to others it is somewhat like cubic or similar to Picasso's most abstract work. But it is why and how they do this that is the story and the nightmare. 

What would you do if you found you were a messenger of death, would you try to avoid it, change it? What if found out if you didn't deliver the message to avoid that person dying, someone in your own family would die in their place? And what would you do if you thought you had found a way out of this horrible dilemma? This is truly a psychological thriller. Where and how will it all end? Who will be next? This book stays with you long after reading it. Will Frances' discovery make a difference to the message? Or will she remain a messenger as long as she lives.

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