ARC Review: The Tattooed Heart by Michael Grant

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Title: The Tattooed Heart
Author: Michael Grant
Release Date: August 27th, 2015 (UK)
Goodreads | Book Depository
I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Electric Monkey) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I wanted to touch the boy who was not to be touched.

The Messenger of Fear exists to punish the wicked, to restore balance in a world where evil seems to be everywhere. He offers sinners one terrible choice: play . . . or pay? If you win the game, you can go free. But if you lose, you must live out your greatest fear.

His assistant, Mara is still adjusting to her role. She must face the worst horrors of intolerance, cruelty and injustice: she, as much as any of the people Messenger pursues, is being punished. But Mara has secret feelings for Messenger, and they’re threatening to overpower her. As she learns more about his tragic past, she must make her own choice: how far will she go to gain her heart’s desire?
The Tattooed Heart leaves off where Messenger of Fear ends: Mara has just discovered why she has been chosen as the messenger's apprentice and is coming to terms with that. She is learning more about the complex world she has entered whilst acknowledging that she has done wrong.

I love that the world in this series is so dark and creepy. It is so unlike anything else I have read about which heightens the horror of it all and it doesn't fail to surprise me.

Mara is an interesting character who continues to grow as a person throughout her journey of acceptance. She knows that she did a terrible thing and has accepted her fate but it is still difficult for her to become accustomed to the responsibilities and the consequences. One of the hardest hurdles is that messengers cannot be touched which essentially means having to live a lonely life.

Mara also shows some selflessness in a touching story with the messenger which I just loved. We finally learn his back story and just who Ariadne is. There is a heartbreaking history between them but the resolution is beautifully carried out.

We meet some new faces in this sequel as well as running into some old faces. Mara and the messenger explore the lives of new victims, and those deserving of punishment, and once again we delve into the evil side of humanity and ponder the way wrongdoers should be brought to justice. It's a thought-provoking topic with no easy answer.

I'm happy with the way things ended and I would love to see how Mara handles her new responsibility. I would also like to see more of Daniel as his history is still very mysterious and we don't know him very well yet. Overall this was a thoroughly enjoyable sequel.


  1. Nice review - this one sounds really interesting!

    Claire @ Book Blog Bird

  2. Ughh I'm so hype! I need this book. I really want to pre-order it but I feel like I need to wait. Your review has me excited!

    1. Ahh I hope you like it too! :D I'm hoping there's going to be a third book.