My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the perfect conclusion to the Giver quartet. The world-building is exquisite, of course. In every book we get another glimpse of this world and understand it a little better, a little deeper. I especially have loved understanding more and more about the nature of the supernatural gifts that the characters discover in each book.
The action, the interesting plot, the suspense, the deep social themes and everything just amazed me! Everything is so beautifully balanced, and the story delves into the deepest meanings of what it is to be human, but is never preachy at all. Now that takes genius!
All through Gathering Blue I kept wondering, “But what about Jonas?” Then all through Messenger I kept wondering, “But what about Gabe?” and now we finally know! All those characters have come together beautifully, their individual stories woven together and resolved. A brilliant series!
This book focuses on a new character, Claire. Her son is taken from her when he’s born, and she spends most of her young adulthood trying to find him again. She leaves her community, goes through terrible hardship, and finds a new home with kind people. The people she meets along the way add so much color and interest to the story; young children, girls growing up, an old man still strong, new mothers with babies on each arm, a bitter young man with a past, old women with wisdom to share, and of course the evil villains too.
I was actually more impressed with the variety of supporting characters than I was with Claire. She’s such a blah character because she basically rolls along with whatever circumstances come her way. Not a lot of gumption in the beginning, but then she does one extraordinary act that takes so much willpower and fortitude that it made me love her! And…. she went back to being blah again. haha! Her story is extraordinary, but (except for her one brilliant moment) she is not.
Then again, maybe that is her message. She is the most boring ordinary person that could possibly exist, but this one extraordinary thing existed inside her, waiting for its perfect moment. She really is a beautiful character after all!
I was glad to see Jonas, Gabe, Kira, and everyone again. I loved the continuation of their stories! But that did mean that the story jumped around a bit, which felt a little jarring even with the different major scenes broken up into sections. It was well-organized, but still felt funny jumping to something different, a new place or person. Maybe I’m just being picky because I’ve come to expect such perfection and flowing storylines from this author.
This whole series is so wonderful! Everyone should read it!
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