Reviews for Messenger
AudioFile Reviews 2005 April/May
Matty came to Village years ago when it was a safe haven. However, sinister changes are taking place. At Trade Mart, the citizens begin trading away their souls for their hearts' desires, and a wall is planned to keep out immigrants. Matty must journey into hostile, malevolent Forest to fetch his friend, Kira, before Village closes its borders. David Morse's smart narration and whispery voice never become overly dramatic. He doesn't attempt to add personality to the characters nor intensity to their plight. This quiet, understated delivery insists the material speak for itself. Happily, Newbery Award-winning author Lois Lowry's storytelling is more than up to the task. Matty's story is as strange as the fantastical Forest and as engrossing as its companion pieces, THE GIVER and GATHERING BLUE. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine
School Library Journal Reviews 2004 September
Gr 6 Up-After many years of living with Seer, a blind old man with the gift of wisdom, young Matty discovers a gift of his own-the gift of healing living things, albeit at great personal cost to himself. The bucolic, democratic life in Village is changing suddenly, with greed, racism, and deceit making their first appearances. Previously good people seem to be trading parts of their deepest selves for foolish things. Forest is becoming hostile if not lethal to anyone who walks there, and gentle Leader is losing his calming influence over the residents of Village. Seer asks Matty to go through Forest and fetch his daughter Kira before Village is closed to any newcomers. On their way back through Forest, Kira and Matty are attacked by Forest in viciously painful ways that are frighteningly portrayed by the author and narrator. Only Matty can save Kira, Leader, and Village. An abrupt conclusion to the story, involving sacrifice for the greater good will leave listeners with many questions. Lois Lowry's use of language and imagery is as always elegant, but the political and religious symbolism weigh too heavily on this tale (Houghton, 2004). David Morse delivers a quietly relaxed reading of the fable, with some characters such as Matty and Seer more effectively voiced than others. Links to the first two books in this trilogy-The Giver (Houghton, 1993) and Gathering Blue (Houghton, 2000) most likely make this recorded book a necessary purchase.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.