I’m not entirely sure what the point of Messenger was. It wasn’t a particularly bad book, just not hugely interesting, especially compared to The Giver or Gathering Blue.
A direct sequel to Gathering Blue, Messenger only had very little to do with The Giver. Technically Leader is Jonas, but there’s nothing in particular to say that he had to be. He can see beyond (which apparently means far more than it ever did in The Giver), but that’s about it. I think I would have liked Messenger a bit more had it just been the second book in a trilogy or if I’d never seen the series label on Goodreads–although chances are I wouldn’t have even read it had that been the case…
On top of that, Messenger is all questions with no answers. How do the various gifts work? Why is the Forest growing thicker? Why does no one stop Kira? Who is the Trademaster and what are they actually doing? Unlike The Giver (although closer to Gathering Blue), we don’t get even hints of answers. Just mystery on top of mystery until the book ends…
Where once again, we are left with an unsatisfactory cliffhanger. What happened to Matty? I get more or less what he was trying to do and it seems he succeeded, but how? Why was it necessary? What happens next?
Characterwise, I don’t really feel as much for Matty as I did for either Jonas or Kira. I didn’t care for him one way or the other in Gathering Blue and that hasn’t really changed in Messenger. He has a bit more depth and a few more years, but that’s about it. He hasn’t really grown that much, either before the book starts or even by the time it ends.
It did still like the writing. It didn’t quite drag me along as well as the first two entries in the series, but it did a fair bit better at it than most books do, so there still is that. And it’s an interesting world, no doubt there. I just wish by now (three books in…) we’d finally know a bit more about it.
So it goes. If this were the first book in the series, I doubt I would read the second. Given that I’m already at three of four (and they’re short), I’ll give Son a try. We shall see how that goes.