Messenger by Lois Lowry
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on April 26, 2004
Genre(s): fiction, adventure, dystopia, young adult
Format & Pages: e-book, 169
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Strange changes are taking place in Village. Once a utopian community that prided itself on its welcome to new strangers, Village will soon be closed to all outsiders. As one of the few people able to travel through the dangerous Forest, Matty must deliver the message of Village’s closing and try to convince Seer’s daughter to return with him before it’s too late. But Forest has become hostile to Matty as well, and he must risk everything to fight his way through it, armed only with an emerging power he cannot yet explain or understand.
Messenger was a quick, easy, enjoyable read. I picked this up immediately after finishing Gathering Blue to see how it would fit into The Giver quartet, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s a more direct continuation of Matty’s story. I also appreciated meeting Jonas again and seeing how his story has developed.
Faster paced than its predecessor, Messenger moved along at a nice clip. The writing was simple and concise, letting the allegory stand out, especially for younger readers since that is really its intended audience. Certain aspects are left quite vague (I think intentionally?), but in some ways that is the beauty of Lowry’s work. That depending on your level of reading and understanding, you can dip into different layers of symbolism and interpret the story in fresh ways every time you visit it.
At this point, I am starting to get the impression that the four stories in this set are going to fit together in a way where I will appreciate each more after reading the whole.