“Messenger (The Giver Quartet #3)” by Lois Lowry
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Dystopia
Summary from Goodreads:
For the past six years, Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man, known for his special sight. Village was a place that 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 make one last journey through the treacherous forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.
I loved that this book visited characters we already knew. We met Matty in Gathering Blue as a small boy. Now we get to see him as a young man. He’s outgrown some of his childish ways and awaiting his true name. We learn more about Seer, Kira’s father, in this book as well. We even get to see Jonas again! I will say it is weird to imagine all these worlds in the same place. It’s hard to believe they all exist together.
I was surprised at how dark this book was. At the end of Gathering Blue, we learned about this wonderful village who took in the ‘rejects’ from other places. They welcomed any and everyone. Now this village has decided to shut its doors to new people. It addition to shutting its doors, the villagers seemed to have taken a turn towards the harsh side. Once these people were loving and helpful, now they’re harsh and short with one another. As their tempers get harsher, the people’s physical appearance seems to be growing nicer. It’s never explicitly stated but the reader is lead to believe that the villagers are trading their souls for physical beauty (and other material possessions). I thought that premise was terrifying. It’s bad enough when people naturally evolve over time and become meaner. Imagine willingly doing though. [I’m sure they might not have realized that was what was happening but they still agreed to it.]
The touches of magic seemed a bit odd in this book. I don’t recall any hints of magic in the other books. In this book we are introduced to the magical forest, Matty’s ability, Jonas’ ability, and Kira’s ability. It wasn’t off-putting or anything. It was just odd.
The bottom line? I liked it well enough.