(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Do you remember the first time you fell in love?
Read The Messenger (Mortal Beloved, Book One) and feel that beautiful—again.
Sixteen-year-old Madeline’s meant to fall in love with Samuel in every lifetime. But she meets him for the first time when she accidentally time travels into the past—hundreds years before she’s even born!
Their relationship is forbidden—Samuel’s half Native, Madeline’s white. Every rendezvous they share must be secret. Each moment they spend together tempts the odds that they’ll be discovered and brutally punished. But their love is fated—they musk risk all.
Danger intensifies when Madeline learns she’s in the past not only to fall in love, but also to claim her birth right as a Messenger—a soul who can slip through time’s fabric at will.
Deadly Hunters, dark-souled time travelers, crave Madeline’s powers and seek to seduce or kill her. Can Madeline find her way back to the future in time to save herself and Samuel?
[Full disclosure: I requested and received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
If I had to describe The Messenger in one word it would be ‘disappointing.’
The prologue started off promisingly enough, with a girl (obviously the main character) running through the woods in a panic. Okay, that sounds cool; let’s get on with the main event! My excitement dampened throughout the first few chapters because of the pretty stereotypical “main character who has lost her parent in a horrific accident years ago” but I soldiered on. When I got to when Madeline time-travelled I got pretty excited because I like time travel stories, which is why I requested this book in the first place. Then that point in the story is where the true disappointment set in.
It’s hard to enjoy a book when you absolutely cannot stand the main character and I couldn’t stand Madeline. I just wanted to reach in and slap her across her loud mouth. Constantly. Okay, she’s a little disoriented when she travels back in time, I’ll grant her that. But once she gets on her feet and realizes “I better play along with these people or they’ll call me a witch and hang me” she then proceeds to act like a modern stereotypical American teenager. She blurts out things at inappropriate times, uses modern slang (!) and generally acts like she wants people to start lynching her. I get it, not all teenagers are smart and would instantly adapt to the 1600s. Calling such a transition a culture shock would be quite an understatement. But really? Using the word ‘whatevs’ is definitely not going to ease people’s suspicions about you. Ugh.
Aside from a narrator that really is Too Stupid To Live, the book’s premise isn’t all that bad. Sure, it’s not the most original but the whole Messenger angle was sort of interesting. Special people go back in time to right wrongs and/or meet their destiny. Hunters try to prevent this. Unfortunately, Pamela DuMond never really gets into fleshing the whole story of the Messengers out because Madeline’s stupidity gets her mentor accused of witchcraft. Even the little knowledge Samuel has isn’t really enough to satisfy my curiosity. I know this is the first book in a series but even that doesn’t really excuse the fact that we get more questions than answers. So I give Pamela DuMond marks for potentially awesome world-building, but I can’t honestly say much about it because we didn’t learn all that much about it.
The plot is okay, but it’s also nothing to brag about. It’s not fast, but not too slow and it was interesting enough to keep me reading even though I began to really loathe Madeline. My only real complaint about the plot was that while some things were focused on too much, other things were neglected, like the growing attraction between Madeline and Samuel. Yes, they spend some time together but in those interactions I really wasn’t feeling the sparks fly. It just kind of felt contrived by the author because of course all YA novels have to have some romance.
Overall, the book would not be a bad book if not for the fact Madeline is just a really horrible main character. Sadly for us, though, we’re pretty much stuck in her head the whole time so there is no escaping the fact that The Messenger fell flat on its face. It had so much potential and did not live up to it.
I give this book 1/5 stars.