Book Review: The Tattooed Heart

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Author: Michael Grant
Published: Electric Monkey, 2015
Pages: 390
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Supernatural, Horror
Series: Messenger of Fear #2
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5 out of 5 stars
Mara is still on her journey to becoming a Messenger as a result of an evil deed, this is her punishment. Learning from her teacher, the ‘boy’ she knows only as Messenger, the one she is starting to love, she learns to bring justice to existence; she fights to keep the balance. Will Mara stay strong and fight against evil? or will she succumb to temptation and follow another path?

Ever since I read Messenger of Fear I have been eager to get my hands on The Tattooed Heart. The first book was unlike anything I had ever read, it gripped me, and the second instalment did not disappoint. It follows on with Maras’ journey towards becoming a Messenger of Fear and also a journey of self discovery. She continues to deal with the terrible actions that led to her punishment and her attempt to try and atone for that while also coming to face her own fears – her future loneliness.

The character development is beautiful to see unfold; I was in awe of Mara’s strength and the true act of love at the end from her. She struggles but ultimately does her best to do the right thing; she learns and progresses as a person. I’m not sure what it is about Messenger that I like so much… He’s an enigma, really, but like a moth to a flame, I’m drawn towards this character. It was wonderful to see more of him and see more of the person behind the Messenger/teacher mask he almost always wears. It was also nice to see more of Daniel; I didn’t really like him before but he is growing on me.

After the first book I didn’t think it was possible for it to become any more gruesome, but well, I was wrong. This book is not for the faint-hearted and is uncomfortable at times to read. Not far into the book, I had tears streaming down my face. You will feel outraged at times. Books I think often have a duty to make us think and this series deals with the issue of what makes a person commit evils acts? Is there that one moment, or a collection of moments, that leads a person towards a certain path, to become a person capable of such terrible things? or maybe there is no specific moment in time that makes them the person they are? It’s always so hard to wrap your head around the things some people are capable of.

“Tears filled my eyes. Not because I knew the boy, I didn’t, not even because I could see the pain and sadness on the faces of those who had undertaken the heartrending job of wrapping him for burial, though I could. I cried because it was wrong. I cried because it should not be, should never be.”

The book also shows though, that although there is evil in the world, it is important to realise that there is also good and to hold on to that.

“‘If there is no good in the world, then there is no hope and we are accomplishing nothing,’ Messenger said. ‘If we lose sight of good, we are lost.'”

It is difficult to say I enjoyed this book because I did not often enjoy the subject matter but I do enjoy Michael Grant’s writing and am captivated by this series. He weaves together an interesting, unique and poignant story – one which will be hard to forget. It’s sad that now I have to wait until next year for the next instalment as I am eager to see what unfolds next.

Who else has read this series? What did you think?


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