My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - on and off over 3 days
Pages - 416
Publisher - Electric Monkey
Source - Book shop
Blurn from Goodreads
I remembered my name – Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, faced with the solemn young man in the black coat with silver skulls for buttons, I could recall nothing else about myself.
And then the games began.
The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear.
But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out . . .
She wakes up surround by mist, unsure of who she is, drawn to a chapel where a young girl lies in a coffin, dead by her own hand. Here she meets a boy in black, Messenger, who takes her on a horrific journey, watching humans make some horrible choices and giving them a chance to pay for it. The girl Mara, along with the reader, has no idea why she is having to endure and be party to this, as the pages turn the story unfolds as character and reader discover together.
Firstly let me just say whilst I have never read this author it was the pull of the cover and more importantly the page ridges where all in black. The cover jumps out in a blast of colour with Red, black and white, an amputated arm with play or pay across it in scrolls. Covers never used to be a thing but in the past year or two I have been drawn more to good ones, the coloured page ridges get me every time.
It took me a wee bit to get my head around what was happening as you are taken on the journey with Mara. We some some horrible aspects of humanity and the consequences that follows, warning there is harm to an animal in the tale that readers may find distressing. The book is definitely a foundation book setting the stage for the next one and introducing who I imagine to be big players in the following book. Interesting premise for the book, good and bad, actions and consequences of those actions and repentance. Possibly a wee bit preachy some may find but overall interesting and different. I am interested to see where the rest of the series goes, I am sure I will buy them as I come across them, 3/5 for me this time.