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The Tattooed Heart

(Messenger of Fear #2)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,616 ratings  ·  204 reviews
Mara has already witnessed more evil as the Messenger’s apprentice than most people do in their lifetime, but the games continue.

The Messenger leads Mara to the funeral of a Muslim boy named Aimal, who died standing up for his people, and then to an abandoned store, where they discover Graciella, a girl battling addiction. The all-knowing Messenger recognizes that they are
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published August 27th 2015)
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Elias No, but you can get an Advance Reader's Copy, a paperback edition of the book before it comes out that may have a couple more typos but is otherwise t…moreNo, but you can get an Advance Reader's Copy, a paperback edition of the book before it comes out that may have a couple more typos but is otherwise the same and for free, if you know the right people.(less)
Sarah I would recommend reading the first book initially. This would be beneficial in gaining some background knowledge on the characters and concepts of th…moreI would recommend reading the first book initially. This would be beneficial in gaining some background knowledge on the characters and concepts of the story (plus, I think that the first book is really good and you would be missing out if you skipped it)(less)

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Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Why do people do evil things?”
Messenger’s answer stunned me. “Why did you?”

This was a good second instalment, and I enjoyed it much more than ‘Messenger of Fear’.

I felt sorry for Mara in this story, as she saw how hard her life would be, and how loveless her life would be it seemed to have a real impact on her, and I think she finally started to understand what being a
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
The Tattooed Heart follows the story of Mara, a girl who has been sentenced by a greater power for her hand in driving a young girl to suicide. She's now accepted her fate and works as an apprentice for the Messenger of Fear, a title which allows those who bare it to see into the minds of those who are deemed wicked and extract their greatest fear. To restore the balance, to determine guilt, the wicked are asked to play a game where the only positive outcome is to win. Refusing to play is seen ...more
Stephanie (Bookfever)
The Tattooed Heart had a different feel, compared to the first book. It had some difficult subjects and it was a little bit bittersweet. But I still enjoyed it a whole lot!

Mara is still Messenger's apprentice, learning how to be a Messenger of Fear herself. I felt like there was a huge difference between Mara at the start of this book and Mara at the end of it. She has grown so much even though there were a lot of temptations and horrible things to face along the way for her.

The story mostly rev
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
Michael Grant is killing it with Messenger of Fear series! I love everything about them. I don't get why these books aren't more popular! People need to embrace the dark and raw sides of themselves and plunge headfirst into Messenger of Fear and The Tattooed Heart. You're all missing out!

Hope there'll be 6 books in total but we'll probably have to accept only 3. I could read about these characters and their unique world everyday.

This is my first Michael Grant series I've read. Is his Gone seri
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
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 cont
Michael Grant is an author who has caught my attention on many occasions. More than one of his series have whispered a ‘read me’ in the book store, yet I always found my attention pulled elsewhere. With how big a fan base Michael Grant has, however, I decided it was finally time for me to dive into his work. Thus, when I saw the two Messenger of Fear novels on offer, I decided to take the leap.

The first book, Messenger of Fear, was a decent enough read. I gave it a three-star rating, but in real
Emily Mead
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror
Ahhhhhh this was so good. The storylines of these books are so unique, and they're INTENSE, people.

Review to come.


I’m not usually a fan of the creepy, gory, paranormal books, but these are incredible.

I’ll go into the reasoning for a second, but I’ll just start off by saying that it has the COOLEST premise ever. If you have no idea what these books are about, basically there are people called Messengers who visit humans.

If people are particularly cruel, they
This book was actually moving and I love the fact it was mainly about self courage, self control and most importantly KARMA!.

It gave me an insight in what Amy happen to you if you do of cause bad to others , it's a strange lesson but it's also a good one . I personally think there's a messanger of fear and their apprentice somewhere out there in the world . It's good to see karma catch up with the people that's brought harm to others and then change them for the better ...hopefully.

I definitely
Disclaimer: I received this book as part of an ARC giveaway at a local indie bookstore. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the contents of this review.

It almost feels redundant to review this book, because I already reviewed Messenger of Fear, the first book of this series, and my problems with the two books are so similar. In a lot of ways, this is the same book as Messenger of Fear. The themes have evolved slightly, and the events themselves are distinct enough. But the tone and
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mara has learned to punish the wicked as the Messenger’s apprentice. Those who act out of selfishness and greed, and others who become violent because of prejudice and hate, pay the ultimate price. But Mara is constantly reminded that Messengers are serving their own kind of punishment—for every person who is offered justice, they wear a tattoo that symbolizes the heart of the crime. As Mara delves deeper into her harsh reality, she will discover that in spite of all the terror she and Messenger ...more
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, edelweiss, for-review
Originally posted on City of Books

The Tattooed Heart is a lot more substantial than the first book, and we finally get some backstory on Messenger. The issues brought up here are on a larger scale than we've seen before, and I think are also more serious. I really liked that we get to know the characters more, and though it's still a short novel, it was very satisfying.

Mara and Messenger are following new people, trying to give them the justice they deserve. Mara's grown to accept what she is an
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Yet another awesome book by Michael Grant :D One thing that did slightly disagree with me though was (view spoiler) I like the goryness of it, the realisticness and the detail. I also quite like the Master of the Game. He fascinates ...more
Natasya Wiah
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Glad I finish this.. a lot of things unfolded in this book. If this going to be a movie,, the movie would be great too☺️
Anabel  kamenske
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
*Review coming soon!*
Roberta Jayne
If it wasn't for the remarkably satisfying ending that nicely finished off this duology, I'd say that this was one of the worst books I've read this year. The ending that finally gave us answers we've craved since the beginning of the first book, brought Mara and The Messenger's relationship to a close, in a really rewarding way. It felt like a proper ending and I was grateful for it, considering that most of the book was a grim and unexplained mess.

The plot of this book was ridiculous. Everythi
Frank Chillura
Check out my blog for reviews on more new and upcoming books.


I found the first book in this series, Messenger of Fear, a darkly intense and interesting read. I have never read a book that was similar, so it is a little difficult to categorize it. It's sequel, The Tattooed Heart, picks up where we left off in book 1. We already know the truth behind who Mara is and why she was chosen to apprentice with Messenger, so we are not trying to solve a great mystery in
★MC's Corner★

To be honest, I’m not planning to read this one…. until I saw it on the new batch of ARCs from HarperCollins. I’m glad it’s on it… and I read it. Its really good.
The thing is… I like the first book… but I never appreciated it that much until now.

i><*MC’s Corner*
Note: Spoilers.

• I remember that I finished the first book after a few days when I started it. That’s not me at all… I want to finish a book in one to two days. (Except when I’m busy or the book is A Game of Thrones thick,
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016
Such an improvement on the first book, but still not quite up to Grant standards. There were still some scenes that felt forced, and the whole Haarm thing felt completely unnecessary, unless it's a setup for book 3. The punishments were, again, horrific and awful, but luckily didn't have quite the psychological effect that the ones in book 1 did. These didn't hit my fears as hard, so *phew*. :) I do look forward to the novella and book 3, though, mostly because the concept is fresh and fun. And ...more
Elodie Rt
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Argh the feels... This book was a bit more dark in the scenes it depicted, more brutal, and we can see how Mara becomes who she's meant to be by experiencing all of it. But the most important thing I have to say is : that ending !!! I liked the way it ends, but also not? So, yes, that book was more bittersweet than the first one but I still love it just as much ! ...more
Sofia M.
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed it. It was the right amount of dark and morbid. The ending did not disappoint.

The romantic element was kind of blegh. But I guess it was short lived so yeah.

((Oriax 100%))
Alya Atiera
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
4.10 ★★★★☆

《 Story 》
Type: Series.
POV: Mara's.

In this last book, Mara and The Messenger continue with their next case focusing on a young Muslim boy who died protecting his people. They also deal with a case on a young girl who is a drug addict. Once again, they are able to witness evil doings inflicted on innocent people that eventually lead to their downfall. At the same time, Mara has to be prepared to become The Messenger of Fear on her own without guidance from her master/teacher. Is s
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Probably everyone old enough
Shelves: favorites, love
Wow, just wow!

The cover alone hit me first, then I got the book and oh, the red gilded pages!😍😍😍 (I'll find out how to upload photos of it later!) I get ecstatic just looking at the book, and that feeling is only stronger now that I've actually read the book.

Michael Grant's The Tattooed Heart is refreshing and different, and just when you think you've got a hold of it, it changes. Something impossible, even to this impossible world, happens.

The Tattooed Heart had me laughing out loud while als
Nat Cabrera
Oh my God! I dived in this book with seriously low expectations and it amazes me how much I enjoyed it! The Messenger of fear was good, however I found the start pretty tedious and even boring, so I definitely didn't see THIS book coming, it was great! For starters, the theme is AMAZING, I consider the plot is extremely creative and original. The execution of the story in the first book wasn’t fully entertaining, but as the world and characters are already developed in this second installme
Lauren Brown
Dec 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Man, the ending punched me right in the heart!

The premise for this series is awesome, the supernatural elements are right up my street. My problem with the last book is that it lacked emotion in it. Yes, it included Mara’s emotions as they happened, but as a reader, I didn’t feel any of that. However, this book is a lot more descriptive when it comes to those feelings, it helps connect to the characters. In comparison to the last book, the characters felt a lot more real. Well, at least Messeng
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few thoughts:

Mara annoys me, but I still kinda understand her. She's a very realistically written teenager who is judgy and ignorant. In this book though, she realises this and manages to work through it and point out her own hypocrisy which I really liked.
My favourite is Messenger, simply because he is just… a man on a mission, you know. He's a quiet and very intriguing character, who just goes through existence, vibing, doing his job. I definitely got emotional at the end there.
Oriax can l
Lisa (bookish_nephilim)
“Why do people do evil things?”
Messenger’s answer stunned me. “Why did you?”

Wow! I have no idea why I loved this so much! It's such a fast read just like the first book!
But I liked this one better. Mara's character really developed in this one want it was nice to learn more about the world of Messengers! It's such a shame that there is not going to be a third book as planned but I have to say it was a good ending to the story! I did just buy the short ebook story from this series because I re
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've been waiting to read this book ever since I finished the first one, a couple years ago. As a result of reading slumps and the stress of life it took me forever to get round to it, however, time has not lessened my interest in the story or love of the characters- I finished the book in one sitting.

As always with Grant's work, I found this difficult to read. The level of detail used to describe the atrocities witnessed by Mara as she goes about her training with Messenger make your stomach t
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I...loved this book. I so rarely like sequels more than the actual book, but I lived for this one. When I read the back of this book upon receiving it, I thought to myself, "this book doesn't need a romance" and I was prepared to be severely let down, but I read it in a day. The beginning was a bit peaky, but by the middle I was hooked. The romance (or lack thereof) added to the story, and the ending was so addictive I couldn't take my eyes off the book. This one was filled with twists and turns ...more
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Co-author with Katherine Applegate of Ocean City, Making Out, Summer, Animorphs, Everworld, Remnants, Eve and Adam.

Pseudonymous coauthor with KA of Christy (the TV spin-off books), Sweet Valley Twins, Girl Talk and various Disney spin-offs.

Pseudonymous author of Barf-O-Rama.

Author of Gone, BZRK, The Magnificent 12, Messenger of Fear, Front Lines, Monster and A Sudden Death in Cyprus.

AKA Michae

Other books in the series

Messenger of Fear (2 books)
  • Messenger of Fear (Messenger of Fear, #1)

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“There is no freedom from the evil of your own heart.'

'There is no freedom in helpless self-pity and remorse.”
“I have done evil. But there's only one path forward: to fight evil. That's my only redemption” 3 likes
More quotes…