Book Jacket

 

rank 40
word count 21731
date submitted 28.02.2012
date updated 27.05.2012
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult
classification: moderate
incomplete

Messenger

Georgia Summers

A celestial delivery girl gets caught up in a war that threatens to destroy everything while trying to find her best friend.

 

Sixteen-year-old Angie has been run over, knifed, and even accidentally impaled with a “FOR LET” sign. But as a messenger – ferrying notes from the dead to the living – she has been bounced back from the celestial cities every time she’s died for the past two hundred years. Now, with a week left in her contract, Angie’s ready to pop her clogs for real.
Until her best friend, Scott, vanishes. To top it all off, the celestial cities are gearing up for war, which might put a dent in her plan for a peaceful afterlife.
As time runs short, it’s clear that someone doesn’t want Angie to find Scott. Dragged deeper into the underworld of the messengers, she is forced to make a deal with the warring factions in order to reach increasingly cryptic clues on Scott’s whereabouts – which would be fine if she didn’t have to swear eternal fealty to both factions. When her last message finally comes through, it’s to her: give up the search, or lose her freedom. While the celestial world falls into chaos, Angie will have to make a terrible choice.
Unless she can find her tormentor first.

 
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tags

adventure, angels, battle, fun, journey, romance, strong female character, tragic backstory, train rides

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65 comments

 

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Stories-have-souls wrote 53 days ago

Had to read this all in one go!

I'd like to back it, but first I have to figure out which other book to cull from my shelf...

Just a few things:

From your profile it looks like you're American - the details of London are all accurate, except we tend to use the term "tramp" not "hobo". And I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone use the pet name "honey".

Chapter 4 and 5 both end with Angie falling asleep - bit of repetition there

I was surprised at the beginning of Chapter 6 when Megan actually waits for Angie to wake up before attacking.

The pace was a bit of a struggle for me. The first 4 chapters are flawless, but after that, I started to get confused by the all the names and the events. Some of the 'rules' didn't seem to be clear enough either - in the beginning it sounds like a Messenger gets into Heaven after they've done their duty, but later, Angie meets ex-Messengers who appear to be living as mortals on Earth? Did I get that totally wrong? (Also, why did the people at the funeral hate Angie so much without even knowing her?)

Otherwise - the writing is snappy, visual and very refined, and I can definitely see this being published (Editor's Desk is a given!).

Edmond Reed wrote 53 days ago

The first chapter is so intriguing! You could feel Angie's sadness of not being able to die.It made me curious why is that. Very good start of the book. Backed and five stars.

S. L. Clevenger wrote 72 days ago


In the beginning of Chapter 4, I believe you’re missing a word: “…be able to touch me in [any] way whatsoever.”

There are a couple times when you interject and speak to readers—be careful of this, since it removes us from the action of the story. Same thing with the thoughts, as when she is eating the bacon sandwich at Diane’s. Even just taking out part of the thought can work: “[I must admit,] the bacon looks…” Having that in there makes it more like we’re making conversation with the narrator instead of being present in the story.


There were a few little things here and there, but other than that I loved it! You’ve got an interesting story going. A couple things could be tweaked a little writing wise, but that’s mostly just my personal preference. I’m a sucker for a story that I really feel a part of, that I can feel and hear and smell everything going on around me. Your style seems more focused on us understanding and relating to your narrator’s personality, but there were only a few times I could feel her desperation. You’ve got the talent to bring it out, so when she should be feeling lost and confused it might be more appropriate for us to feel that rather than hear a sarcastic comment.

In relation to Scott… we hardly know anything about him (as a person, friend, his personality, what’s really going on between them…) so it’s hard to feel her connection to that relationship. I see something in it, though, and it would be neat for Angie to show a warmer heart in her thoughts toward him. I can tell she cares for him, but if you could share more of what she feels for him it would be a neat insight.

Hmmm… Some little kinks that bothered me a bit: Does Ronan ever think of his friends and family who are still worried sick because he’s in a coma? I have no clue who Virgil is and where he came from, unless I totally missed something—she has a past with him…? Even just one sentence would clean that up.
There might have been a few other nit-picky things, but I enjoyed this too much to scrounge them out of my memory…

Awesome writing and I hope to one day read beyond Chapter 10!

Seven Everson wrote 98 days ago

Hi Georgia,

No wonder you are so high up the rankings. I found your book on Opheliawrites and, as she is such a great writer, knew that her selections must also be good.

This is a great book. Normally I have something to say but not really in this case. There are a few points but they pale compared to the overall plot and characters. I read up to chap 7 and had to tear myself away - which I only did because I realised its not all uploaded anyway.

I will give this huge stars and see if I can put it on my shelf to help you along - or at least store it t until I can.

xxxSeven Everson
Ashes of Eden

Soaring Leaves No1 wrote 105 days ago

Very interesting first chapter, written in a powerful voice.

djchorus wrote 401 days ago

Georgia,
You've done a good job of finding a storyline that has a lot of unique traits to it. Looking at a guardian angel as a messenger is an interesting concept that might not be far from reality (as I see it).
Your MC is well crafted with lots of dimensions to her that you can explore.
One thing you might consider is slowing the pace of your story. It does seem rather rushed at times.
The other point I would make is relative to you having only uploaded a portion of your book. This makes it hard to determine if what we have here has too much/too little detail and if everything you've revealed is essential to the plot. I'll be interested to see where you eventually take this story.
I'm placing your book on my Watch List and will be moving it to my bookshelf soon.
Nice job of writing! Good luck.
Of course I would appreciate a return read of my book "Tucker's Way."
- David Johnson

carol jefferies wrote 406 days ago

Hi Georgia,

I enjoyed reading the first chapter of your book 'Messenger,' and found it an original and compelling read even though I don't normally read fantasy.

High stars from me.

Good luck with it,

Carol Jefferies
(The Witch of Fleet Street)



Stark Silvercoin wrote 435 days ago

Setting an epic fantasy tale around a delivery person or messenger is a brilliant idea, since they travel all the time, which is a key component to most adventure stories. Messenger also fits perfectly into white hot young adult genre, with a strong female character who is conflicted but capable about what is going on in her world.

Author Georgia Summers can really craft a scene. In addition to giving us the background of her world without doing a data-dump, there is also lots of snappy dialog that both helps with the characterization of main character Angie and also advances the plot. There are a lot of advanced literary techniques used in Messenger, and they are all conducted with a light touch which readers will feel more than actively notice.

There is also a good plot, with Angie looking for her vanished friend, and using her messenger skills to aid her search, but also hindered by her bosses in the somewhat dystopian world she’s been a part of for the past 200 years.

Having read all ten posted chapters, I can’t see why Messenger wouldn’t be successful and find a wide audience once published. It’s a really fine and unique example of young adult fiction.

John Breeden II
Old Number Seven

Andrea Taylor wrote 500 days ago

Gosh, I've just read the first chapter and I had to stop and say to you that this is fab! Its so clever, well crafted, (amazingly) believable and gives just enough to make us curious enough to read on. Which I will, so I've got you highly starred and on my watch list for the next bookshelf shuffle.
Andrea
The de Amerley Affair

U.B. Harper21 wrote 521 days ago

This is amazing. Well thought out and beautifully written. The story is very interesting and the entire concept in general is great. Fantastic job and all the best as you move foward!

CARite wrote 527 days ago

Messanger- Okay...I was hooked from the first chapter....well written, I like that the MC still has a lot of the same reactions as a normal teen though being over 200 years old....the story itself holds together well and the idea is an intriguing one....an interesting concept...good job....keep going
CADreilling - The Line - Beginnigs

Tod Schneider wrote 541 days ago

Great pitch and opening chapters, wonderful voice! I'd drop the poem quoted at the opening of the chapter -- different flavor, and doesn't really contribute to the tale as far as i can see -- but I'm fine with the dialogue. In fact, I like it a lot. I think dialogue brings writing to life more often than not. Very nicely written overall.
Best of luck with this!
Tod
The Lost Wink
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

The False Magician wrote 544 days ago

Hi there,

The premise is quite cute and novel, and it will be interesting to see how you things unfold among the celestial cities. Angie really comes across as a weary girl waiting for her reprieve from her service to the ministry. I don't normally go for the down-and-out sort of main character, but it sounds like a lot of people really like Angie from looking over the comments. :D

My main issue with the first chapter, and I don't have many, is just that you rely a lot on the dialogue to carry the story. A lot of the main plot points are hinted at through the conversation between Jeff and Angie. I would have liked to see this sort of foreshadow come out a bit more naturally because it seems a little forced.

This is related to a second issue. It doesn't seem like Angie and Jeff have much more than a professional rapport. It feels a bit off when he expresses concern for her and then brings up the unrest in the city without much provocation. To me, it feels a bit clumsy and kind of unanticipated. I would consider trying to work these points into the story a bit more organically.

Overall, really creative and really promising. :p

Di Manzara wrote 545 days ago


Hi Georgia,

Who can imagine that a typical signage like that can cause so much trouble? I didn't, and so I thought this one has a great concept for a story.

I can imagine how Angie had never expected any of the things that happened to her but they did anyway. I really liked this book because I thought you've done a great job with the plot, the sequencing of events, as well as the twists.

The idea of the soul getting separated from the body is remarkable. The idea is great and it's something I'd love to see on the big screen. I thought this was well thought out because you've come up with really unique ideas. Once I started reading, I just went on and on and on.

This is great and I really enjoyed it. I give you 5 stars and wish you all the best!

May I invite you to read and rate my book as well? Thank you in advance for your help!

D
LEO & ROVER: THE PURPLE MARBLE ADVENTURES


Carrie L McRae wrote 548 days ago

Hey, Georgia! It's been a while since I checked up on your book, and I was sort of disappointed to see that the rank had dropped from the twenties into the sixties. This is definitely one of the most marketable and well written books on this site, and it should be on its way to the desk. I hope this little gem doesn't get forgotten or overlooked. By the way, this is McRae by Nature. I retired my old account and started a new one under my real name. :)

bibbybop wrote 551 days ago


hi, stumbled across your book in the young writers thread. Was interested enough to take a look.

here's my thoughts for what they are worth: Hopefully helpful!

i enjoyed this. I found myself reading through very quickly to chapter 8. i liked the re imagining of the world. Although you don't so much examine the role of religion in society as use it as a loose structure to set up essentially a fantasy world. Nothing wrong with this. It just intrigues me, cause no one seems to actually address religion when writing about angels ;)

anyway, I liked your voice and your concept, but there was something bugging me. I'm never sure if what I am feeling is the inner critic that wouldn't normally be on alert when I am reading purely for fun, so this might be a niggle that no one else would raise. But it all felt a little rushed: like someone was taking me on a tour but was pushing me along without letting me stop and appreciate the scenery.

I've thus far been given loads of action in a very linear plot line. Constant chases, peril, one event after another. But I'm not getting much of a sense for the characters and their relationship feels functional, as in its important to the plot so must be there. I don't fully understand Angies thinking. Why does she invite Ronan along? She takes pity on him, yet doesn't like or care about him or perhaps anything but finishing her contract? Plus there is ample evidence through her thoughts that what she is exposing him to is far worse than being a bit bored in a hospital room. her emotions see saw and I have this feeling that they aren't truly organic but contrived to drive the plot.

Also, its feels counter productive to take a soul away from its body- are we to presume death is certain? is it imminent? how does being nephilim affect this?

Structure wise you use a lot of short choppy sentences, which work great in the chase scenes, but there is no variance in pace. I think this adds to my feeling of being rushed. I like when a book gives you a chance to re group and just enjoy the wierd world and wonderful characters, but I just feel I'm still hurrying through.

Like I say its a minor point and maybe comes about through reading with a critical hat on. I think you have one of the better books I have read on here in this genre.

Pandora11 wrote 593 days ago

I love the idea for this book. The tone is perfect from the outset, the concepts and ideas are cool, enticing and intriguing. The MC has a fitting sense of humour and a personality that really shines through, despite not knowing much about her. You feel for her, and route for her after only knowing as little as her length of service and loneliness. I like the subtle slipped in words that emphasis the heavenly feel to the story.

An enjoyable read where a seemingly straight forward quest develops swiftly into a slippery slope of action packed adventure.

Abby Vandiver wrote 609 days ago

This story poses a lot of questions, and I'm sure I need to read past chapter two to have them answered. I don't understand what is the use in dying or being a messanger. They still get hungry, they lose weight, they grow stubble. And, while it seems not to be a difficult job, they seem to hate it. And why do they have to die to get back up wherever it is they go? And, I am assuming that in a week she'll go through those pearly gates, yet she doesn't seem very excited?

This is a very interesting story, I love angel stories. Good start.

Abby

EddieSS wrote 641 days ago

I am reading your book am enjoying it. I hope you do well and continue to strive to reach the TOP 5. Get that Gold Medal, your book is worth it.

Shelby Z. wrote 648 days ago

Very creative.
There is a lot of originality to this book. It jumps right into things too. You do a lot of action to keep the reader interested.
I like the way you write. You have a lot of style.
Best wishes.
Good work.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

P.S. Please take a look at my pirate adventure Driving Winds.

D.J.Milne wrote 651 days ago

Hi Georgia

Well I have just completed the 10 uploaded chapters, and here is my review as part of our read swap.

I really took to the character of Angie and her life, or un-life as a messenger. The premise for the book, taking messages from the dead to the living, is an excellent idea, more so as you have added a good deal of twists and turns to this particular narrative. The idea of Ronan being in a coma, so being half dead-half alive, is a great twist. The first person voice of Angie is well written in a chatty familiar way, and gives an excellent flow to the book. Many of the ideas, such as the black market trade in messages and the way that there are various levels of Angel and Messenger is intricate. There were also loads of turns of phrase that I enjoyed like ‘ethereally confused’

I would suggest a Glossery at the beginning or end of the book (perhaps you have already considered this) giving details of what a Nephilim is, or what and where Heophon, Helvede are, Split Pack etc. For somebody like me with a terrible memory for new names I like a reference guide to check if I forget, that’s old age for you. The way you use modern cities as backdrops works well, although, being from Edinburgh myself, the idea of Angie and Ronan walking across the city and out the other side to a country estate seemed a bit too tiring, but perhaps not so for Messengers and Halfsies! Also, you mention an Oyster card for the London underground and I had no idea what that was. But, as I say, I like the way you blend present day with this world of Angels and Messengers.

One other comment was that in chapter six when Angie dreams about 1811, I think this section would be better in italics to make it stand out like a dream or memory section.

Overall, this is a skilfully crafted book that trots along at a wonderful pace and contains some quirky ideas. I would be keen to read the rest, whenever you make it available. I can definitely see the readers who liked Twilight and the Hunger Games taking to this book and its concepts. So, well done ,and I have given you a resounding 6 stars.

D.J
The Ghost Shirt

Rob Deighton wrote 654 days ago

Easy to see why this has stormed the charts. Original and great fun!

subra_2k123 wrote 655 days ago

Wonderful plot and free-flow narration. I really enjoyed reading your book. Dear pretty girl, I could foresee an excellent writing career for you. Highly starred and backed with pleasure. Way to go!

Venkatarama Dandibhotla
Ozoneraser

Hodgey96 wrote 657 days ago

Your pitch is brilliant! I was enticed already, and I've never seen anything like your idea before. A business in the Heavens? What an awesome idea! It's really late here for me (1 am), so I'm going to go to bed, but before I do, I'm going to back your book and then keep on reading it tomorrow.
Just as a favour though, if you could read my work in return and give me some advice, I would really appreciate it. I'm a YA (a little bit younger than your protagonist - only just though) and want some advice for future work. If you don't want, I won't judge or anything, I'll still back you, but I'd really appreciate it, thanks, and keep up the good work! I plan on reading this to the end!
Josh Hodge,
Legends of Xerio

Eponymous Rox wrote 657 days ago

Great pitch and an original premise to your 'Messenger'. So go for it, Georgia. I think HC would really dig reading this manuscript.

Best of luck--
E.R.

Holly Ashley wrote 657 days ago

Georgia, just to say that I backed this for Mayhem but will be keeping you on my shelf because I love the book! Having read the first three chapters I am impressed. The book has resonance. Your short pitch is intriguing and well written – it conveys the story to come, and I like it enough to read on. Your long pitch is also an excellently written synopsis. My very first impression was that the ‘fallen angel’ scenario is interesting, although I can cite a couple of films off the top of my head that follow a similar premise (‘A Matter of Life and Death’; ‘Angel-A’ with Jamel Debbouze). However, the premise was intriguing enough that I wanted to read on (and this is not my usual genre/reading material). So I did, and the prose is clean, sharp and flows well, with assured characterisation. It shows that you can really write, but on top of that, you’ve clearly really worked on this and applied what you know – using all the tricks in the book, as it were. As I said, I’m impressed.

By the end of Chapter Two, I completely understand and empathise with the desperate plight of these angels. Now the premise is making much more sense to me, and I’m truly involved. In fact, I would go as far as to say Chapter two did more to involve me in the story than Chapter One. In many ways, I would have preferred to read the second chapter first, then flashback to Chapter One. Chapter 2 establishes the premise and introduces the world you are building so vividly and convincingly, and I absolutely adore Scott.

The exchange between Angie and Scott, the horror of dealing with starvation but always waiting for the next assignment, and the extreme and cruel penalties involved (psychological and physical) are excellently crafted. The fact that Angie feels she has no choice but to lie to Scott speaks of their deep emotional trauma, the inevitable feelings of guilt that come with this, despite the fact they have no choice, and the pressure they are both under. It’s evocative characterisation. I identify with both Scott and Angie. He IS homeless, down-and-out, and pretty much powerless to change his situation. As is Angie – but her situation is less hopeless, although only because she is complying – so far. I really like the references to the 2011 London riots. Puts the city in context for me. Plus the descriptions of Ronan’s neighbourhood in Chapter 3 are great – especially the way the city has changed over time since 1892. Heofon – the Ministry – the cruel irony of splitting people up in the afterlife – I love it. Absolutely. I already hate the Ministry, and I love the political message.

Anyway – I had to leave it there, but not without peeking at Chapter 4, which again, starts excellently. Given more time I would have definitely read more. This book is highly polished, very well crafted, and for me, an excellent example of YA fantasy – Angie is a character great character who will appeal to a YA audience. She has maturity and depth, but is also someone that young adults can identify with strongly. Very highly starred, and a well-deserved winner of Mayhem.

Wanttobeawriter wrote 662 days ago

MESSENGER
This is a different than the usual story: the main character’s job is to bring messages back from the dead. I didn’t quite understand why Angie was subjected to this punishment; why isn’t she deserving of heaven? But, okay, having this job, tho, makes her both likable and sympathetic. Scott is a good contrast to her; she’s so conscientious about doing her job; He could care less. Finding poor Roman in a “state of deep unconsciousness” poses a good challenge. If I had a suggestion it would be to explain a little more about the system at the beginning of the book; maybe have Angie have to review the rules with the security guard before she can accept a new mission. Keep your reader involved. Either way, this is a good read. I’ve starred it and added it to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

EllieMcG wrote 666 days ago

The messenger: here for the read swap! :)
This is doing well for an obvious reason, Georgia: it's fantastic. I don't think I need to repeat what's already been said, so I'll just focus on the tiny things that you might want to clean up. :) 

Chapter 1: 
But for everyone else, it's great. - I don't think you need to start this sentence with "but." I know it's becoming old-school to say so, but really take care for what sentences you start with "and" or "but." Make sure it's really necessary.
"people who made horrible decisions that they will regret for the rest of their lives" - well, they're dead(ish), right? So wouldn't it be decisions they'll regret for the rest of their eternal lives, or after lives? Just a thought :)
chapter 2:
Nothing. Sometimes it feels like there's a few too many commas, but otherwise, I was pulled right through this chapter.
Chapter 3:
The Ministry are cruel like that - should be The Ministry IS cruel like that, I think.
Here's an example of a sentence where commas can be cut: "A kid runs past me, evidently fine, to the children’s area, " :)
Chapter 4:
This isn't a crit, but it just hit me that you're book is totally original, well thought-out, and just such a pleasure to read. It's been nothing but smooth reading, and I'm really impressed. Another thought though, and you probably won't like it, but I just want to say that Megan and Scott aren't very "Victorian" names. Maybe there's a reason they have such modern names, so I'll hold off on judgement for now. :)
Chapter 5:
"motions to open the door, but I stop home" - I believe this should be "but I stop HIM"

Okay, that's all I have time for tonight. I really am enjoying this. And Georgia - you are absolutely a fantastic and wonderful writer. You're going to get published, and soon. You deserve it! I'll try to find a spot for this when one opens up on my shelf - but that might take a little while. 
Really well done. :)
Ellie
Paragon

Nanty wrote 669 days ago

Messenger.

Chapter 1: Liked - 'If life is the gathering, then death is the after-party.'
I wondered why the city is guarded 'with a thick, white wall.' Doubtless I'll find out. I'm also wondering what the the citizens need protecting from, though you do go on to say, 'from us cretins', it felt a bit odd and not a satisfying answer. Good chapter ending paragraph.

Chapter 2: A little bit of Angie's former life neatly slipped in, which is good, helps a reader know a little more about her though not what she did to end up into the situation she's in. Liked - 'the Ministry' hadn't told what the penalty was for not delivering messages, adds another dimension to Angie's character, as she obviously hasn't delivered some messages, but the Ministry is beginning to feel creepy.
'The Wandsworth Bridge' - you don't need 'The'. Makes the sentence clunky and living quite near to it, Wandsworth Bridge is the only title it has. The patrol officers sound really petty, something I wouldn't have thought they'd be as they're in a position of authority and presumably trustworthy - thought they'd be firm, but fair.
A tariff of 600 years is a bit strong, so Scot must have done something really awful and I'm also wondering about him being stranded, but it's keeping me reading. The last sentence, 'the Ministry takes away everything you love, eventually', is very ominous, definitely gives a feel this isn't paradise or anything approaching it.

Chapter 3: 'The Ministry has sent me to give a message to a dead person...' 'is this their idea of a joke?' Things are certainly not right in Heaven/Heofen, or perhaps you've been clever, giving that impression when it's something else entirely. Lots of celestial cities - interesting concept, one has to wonder why this might be. The Ministry are sounding murkier and murkier. Another good hook at the end of this chapter.

Overall: First off I have no nits to pick. I didn't spot any punctuation out of place or needed. Your dialogue flows and sounds realistic. The story line is intriguing from the first paragraph with a deepening mystery being slowly played out with the Ministry and its dark overtones. The prose is straightforward. Angie is a strong character, slightly rebellious, but keeping rebellion in check to get where she wants to go and Scott, his down at heel appearance, works well. I think YA's would enjoy this. Will read more later, but for the moment, stars.

Nanty - Chrys!

G.W. 2012 wrote 671 days ago

Hi Georgia, I am so pleased to have come across your book. I've read the first couple of chapters and must say that I'm enjoying what I've read so far. Pace, plot and character development are great; and I agree with the others who have commented that this book will definitely appeal to young readers. I think there is work yet to be done, but you have an excellent start. I've rated and W.L. until I can come back for more.
If you have time, I would like to ask you to take a look at my book, Escaping Shady Lane. If you have an opportunity, a rating and comment would be greatly appreciated. Best wishes, G.W. 2012
BTW Love the cover!!!

ELAdams wrote 671 days ago

This has a fantastic pitch- a really original idea for a teen supernatural fantasy tale. This pulled me into the story immediately, and curiosity as to how Angie ended up in that situation kept me reading on. Angie is a sympathetic protagonist; I like the way you portray her friendship with Scott, and her feelings of injustice at the way the Ministry treats them. I found myself reading all your uploaded chapters as I was so fascinated by your unique take on life-after-death, and the fact that you don't reveal everything immediately ensured that I remained on the edge of my seat.

This is compulsive reading- the fast-paced narrative and intriguing plot will doubtless keep readers turning the pages. I read up until the end of your uploaded chapters. I can see why this has so much support, and I'm sure young adult readers will love it - I did!

Six stars, and on the reserve for my bookshelf when I can find room!

Emma

Stripeykite wrote 672 days ago

Messenger
This is a different take on a ghost story - your MC has messages to deliver to the living before she can finally move on. I didn't notice any nits or mistakes and it's well-pitched for the YA audience. The idea of the ministry is really creepy and your characters are a good mix of likeable and flawed. Highly starred!

L_MC wrote 676 days ago

Hi Georgia, I took part in Mayhem so am obliged to book your back, but on reading the first four chapters I find that not only is it worthy of backing, but it's also a pleasure to do so.

The pace, plot and characters are well suited to the YA target audience. You get straight into the story, there's action in the chase on the train, there's friends, like Scott, to show Angie's caring side (as well as her longing to be with her family) but also challenges like Megan, Raphael and the conundrum that Ronan presents to challenger her.

For me there are a few issues. I'd like to know a bit more about the set-up off the cities - how many there are, why are they warring (what is for them to be fighting over), is it a democracy - Angie swears 'God' - does she believe in him since becoming a messenger? I found some inconsistency within her remaining time as a messenger and her friendship with Scott. She keeps thinking about only having a week left but it seems that the period of service is as much determined by messages delivered as it is by a set span - I'd like that explained more but also, why does she question Jeff about whether she has a short time left, as if she doubts it, but then repeatedly thinks about only having a week left as if that is certain? Also why does Scott talk about missing her and seems to know she has a short time left, but she evades that discussion and doesn't want to tell him she only has a year left. I'd like to know why Scott gets 600 years service and she gets 200.

I do think you have the opening of a strong story here and have the right tone and style, so I wish you lots of luck with it.

DaisyFitz wrote 676 days ago

I read this as part of Mayhem and I'm so pleased I did. I'm proud to have picked the winner! (I was Ref #31)

There are a few inconsistencies in The Messenger but I couldn’t stop reading this. If the rest of the book, pace, plot carry on like the first 4 chapters, I could see me devouring it in a day.

My quibbles, in the interests of constructive feedback are:
Angie explaining to Scott about the others that went rogue, going mad. He knows this, so she wouldn’t tell him. This could be slipped in as one of her internal thoughts.
Lots of celestial cities – chances of meeting up with someone from a previous life are slim, yet when she watched the girl go through the gates Angie mentioned how she’d be meeting up with loved ones.
Why won’t she see Scott for another 600 years? Surely he’s been dead a while to be doing this job? And I don’t understand why she’s 200 years old but is coming to the end of her 600 year service. Or have I missed something?

Anyway, despite these quibbles, I couldn’t stop reading – well, I didn’t want to but then, I was at work, so I had to. It’s the premise that has me.

Loved it.

HarrietG wrote 676 days ago

Backed in the spirit of Mayhem.

Karamak wrote 676 days ago

The comment you received from Jane, made me step by and take a look as she knows what she is talking about! She is right you have a fantastic turn of pace and this is spot on in the YA market. With a bit of re editing (I have done mine so many times in the short time I have been on this site - you should read my comments re spelling etc!!) this could do really well, all the best to you,with high praise and stars to match, Karen, Faking it in France. x

jlbwye wrote 676 days ago

The Messenger.
To my mind, MESSENGER has got great promise, pace, a touch of light humour, and a profound theme. And, most importantly, I can identify with the main character. Alright, it's still a bit raw: needs refining and polishing. But the freshness and innocence shine through, and above all, it exudes positiveness.
I would be proud to have it on my bookshelf, once properly edited and published.
Jane (Breath of Africa)

Luke Tarzian wrote 677 days ago

Having read the first chapter, I like the way you've started out this book: the protagonist feels real, as does the environment. If I may critique just a bit, I believe it would bring more to the chapter if you could establish the appearance of Jeff, maybe include a brief description of the location as well. Other than that, well done.

Luke Tarzian

Ms. J wrote 677 days ago

This is a great start. I can see my students and myself really enjoying this book. Putting this on my WL so I can continue reading.

Regards,
Ms. J- Lord of All

JMF wrote 679 days ago

This is just the kind of book that will appeal to young adults and to adults like me You have managed to find original and intriguing subject matter and the plot fairly races along. The main character is believable and the ms is well-written and clean. I have read three chapters so far and I'm keen to continue to find the answers to the many questions I have.
You write confidently. Well done. Highly starred and on my WL to continue the read.
All the best
Julia
Shadow Jumper

FRAN MACILVEY wrote 683 days ago

Dear Georgia

I have just read the first four chapters of "Messenger" and I am very intrigued. You have uploaded an interesting, mature and often very funny book. There is a lot packed in: A great MC in Angie, sharp, funny, sad and cross all wrapped together. Angie's thinking is brilliantly brought to life on the page, with irony and gentle sarcasm. You have a gift for piecing together her thinking in ways that inform and uplift at the same time.

There is a lot of well depicted back story, with colourful detail and context to fill in the gaps. I like the comparisons with late Victorian London, which are a brilliant way to fill in the story and add depth to your tale.

I just love this, and am very happy to rate high. The story zips along at a great pace, the observation is sharp and very clear. Occasionally, I might like a bit more information about how the whole setup works, and for this the conversation on the train is a very clever device. On the other hand, I would be reluctant to change much here: it all works so well!

A brilliant read, and a very clean MS. Very clever and original.

Fran Macilvey, "Trapped" :)

Cariad wrote 689 days ago

What a YA read needs to be, I think, if asking our kids has any bearing - is that it should be instantly readable and take the reader right into the heart of the story without loads of backlog or explanation. Yours has this in spades. As soon as you start reading, you feel right there in the middle of it - perhaps the voice, or the way of writing, which is really like listening to the MC talking right at you. Great idea, very popular topic and genre. Pacy, interesting spot on, I'd say. Have some stars and I'll read on, and watchlist you for when some shelf space appears.
Cariad.

McRae by Nature wrote 689 days ago

I've read the first two chapters of this and it's fantastic!! Even though I was never a ref for this, good luck in MAYHEM!! I'd like to see this do well. By the way, were you an inkpopper??

Jim Heter wrote 692 days ago

Georgia,
I have read the 10 chapters of Messenger that you have posted. I started reading it on the strength of finding it on Scott Kenny's shelf. Glad I did. I am impressed, first by the unique story angle, second by the skill with which you handle the main character, third by the complexity, mystery and underlying intelligence of the story line you are developing. I suspect you are 18 only in the way that Angie is. I would love to read more of your Message.
Jim

femmefranglaise wrote 697 days ago

Hi Georgia, this is really mature writing which flows really well. The story is clever with lots of twist to keep the reader interested and I think it will do very well with the young adult market. Well done.

Melanie
La Vie en Rosé

J C Michael wrote 697 days ago

The first three chapters flow well and the concept is interesting and well thought out. As something for the teen / YA market I think this would hold some considerable appeal although I do feel that it's appeal for the older age group would be limited as opposed to the broader appeal of a Twilight / Hunger Games.
There were no typos as far as I could see, though I'm no grammar expert, and the writing had a polished feel to it.
All in all a good start to your novel and I wish you the best of luck with it.

James

scottkenny wrote 699 days ago

Hi Georgia,
very mature writing. Excellent pace and good dialogue. You don't need the second 'up here,' the one after 'tension's running high.'
Shelved,
Scott.

jlbwye wrote 701 days ago

The Messenger. You dont do yourself justice with those pitches! I nearly turned away, thinking this is the usual YA fantasy stuff with the MC trying to escape from impossible circumstances.

Then I read Ch.1. - an attention-getting start, which stamps the narrator's character from the beginning, and adds some refreshing humour to the tale. You weave a clever little plot, with many twists to keep the reader guessing, and provide some great surprises as the chapters speed by.
I've really enjoyed this read.
Jane (Breath of Africa)

Cariad wrote 746 days ago

I think I've read some of this before, and was struck again by the flow of the prose. You know your characters and story well, so that it reads cleanly. A nice idea well drawn. Good start and straight in to the scenario, yet somehow you don't sketch. You manage to immerse the reader in the world with ease. I like the voice - makes you like the MC and feel a little like she's chatting to you. Shall give you good stars, watchlist and read some more.
Cariad.

Mage wrote 751 days ago

A. throughly original idea. I love the concept of the story and the charaters are very well put together. The action not only drives the story but the emotions as well.

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