Let me start by saying that this is one of those books in which the blurb does no justice. I read the synopsis on this book a few times, and while it sounded great, it really could have been better written, because this book was awesome. It was a pretty short and quick read, and I read it in almost one night. It’s only about 220 pages or so, and the chapters are pretty short, so I just kept saying “one more chapter!” to myself over and over again, and before I knew it, I was finished with the book.
It was a really great story – very unlike anything else I’ve read, and it was so easy to get sucked into it.
The story begins with Frances spending time with her cousin, Max. She had just come to live with them because her brother is on the run from the police and her mother has a new boyfriend (and Frances doesn’t like him), so her mother sent her to live with her aunt and uncle. Well, shes going with Max to spend some time with his friends, when she sees this weird guy standing outside of a beach hut, and she’s curious about him. So she ditches Max to go meet this strange man, who we find out is named Peter, and he is a messenger.
A messenger of death.
Peter has visions of people at their last moments, and he takes this visions and paints them on postcards, which he then delivers to those people about two days before they die. The people don’t see the actual scene of course, it just looks like abstract art on a postcard to them.
Since Frances has been having some strange blackouts, and when she comes to she draws strange pictures as well, Peter informs her that she is, indeed, also a messenger. Frances, horrified, runs away from the beach hut in utter disbelief of what Peter had just told her. But of course, when she stumbles upon the scene from the postcard that Peter had drawn, she sees that maybe, just maybe, he was telling the truth after all.
The story unfolds as Frances learns to live with her abilities, with Peter along as her mentor. The book is a dark, suspenseful thrill ride, and it certainly is original and entertaining. I’ve never read anything like it.
There were a few things that bothered me in the story, like the age difference between Peter and Frances (I don’t recall the age of Frances ever being revealed, but with figuring out that Peter had an eleven year old son who was born when he was eighteen, it’s easy to figure out that he’s 29. And she’s a teenager. Wait, what?), and with her attraction to him, it kind of is just a little bit…weird. Of course that does play into the story a little (not giving any spoilers away here), but yeah, there’s that.
Also, I hated how we don’t really learn all that much about these messengers. Peter says that messengers are drawn to each other, but why? I had a lot of “why” questions in the book that aren’t ever actually answered, and it really irked me, but I guess it was meant to add to the mystery.
All in all, this was a pretty good read that I could recommend easily if you are looking for a quick, suspenseful read. It was definitely enjoyable!
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.