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The Messengers: Discovered

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Everything about fifteen-year-old Simon’s life is decided by his government: his curfew, his meals, even his fun. When Simon begins to notice nighttime visitors and hidden messages, he realizes that his nation is even dictating what he’s allowed to know.

There’s a truth out there to be discovered, a truth the government will stop at nothing to eliminate. Join the Messenger
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 1st 2016 by Concordia Publishing House
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4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  105 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Heidi Goehmann
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
It is refreshing to find a distopian novel that not only deals with the struggles of darkness and growth and personal versus cultural identity, well, but also leaves you with hope instead of the weight of burden. Simon's journey to understand himself, his family, his culture and what all of that means for his life is mirrored so easily in every one of us, that the reader will immediately engage with his story. I really loved the unexpected supporting characters, both good and evil, and found mys ...more
Colleen Oakes
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing

In a trend that will surely be replicated many times but never perfected in the same way, Lisa Clark has combined heady Christian theology and a dystopian YA thriller for middle-grade readers. Simon is the son of a secretive - but loving - father who discovers that the Darkness (the nameless fear that his community of rules and order pins everything on) is actually the message of the gospel. Doled out in small but potent doses, the Message is sweet like honey to all who hear it in this debut thr
Anna Mussmann
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
The world needs more well-crafted stories written from a Christian perspective, so it is exciting to see CPH venture into the world of dystopian middle grade fiction.

Lisa M. Clark’s The Messengers: Discovered follows Simon, a teenager growing up in a futuristic, repressive society where Bibles and other unauthorized reading material have long been banned. Restless and discontent, Simon flirts with danger by engaging in petty misdeeds. Then, one day, he realizes that his quiet father is deeply in
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Clark's outstanding first novel is both entertaining and convicting at the same time. She masterfully tells her story, adding countless rich details that enhance the narrative. It is at the same time connected to past and present. Readers will understand it as a modern day re-telling of the early Christian church, while also pondering if this is the coming reality for Christians. Clark's name choices for her characters is my favorite detail out of the whole book- meanings and references to Bibli ...more
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very promising opening salvo. Very much looking forward to seeing how the series plays out. There were some parts where the writing could have been tightened up, but I only noticed because the book was otherwise very well done.

Had a hard time putting it down, and then when I finally did, I had a hard time falling asleep. It is an exciting story! I would have no hesitation giving it as a gift.
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-s, 2016
I very much enjoyed YA Christian novels when I was younger and now I love dystopian novels so when I heard about The Messengers: Discovered which combines both, I jumped at the chance to read an advanced reader copy!! This book had me sucked in from the start and I just couldn't stop reading. The first several chapters were centered around getting to know Simon and the world he lived in and felt rather lonely. I was beginning to wonder if/when we'd meet any other characters and thankfully we did ...more
Julianna Shults
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Messengers: Discovered places us in a dystopian thriller where technology, creativity, and faith have been publicly eliminated. In a world where everything is standardized and curiosity is smothered, what would be worth the price of defying authority? Lisa Clark's compelling novel does a fantastic job of re-revealing to both young adult and adult readers the truth and value of God's Word. Clark builds anticipation and keeps us right alongside Simon on his compelling journey. Seeing faith thr ...more
Katie Schuermann
In her first novel, Lisa Clark has achieved that which many authors strive for their entire careers: a distinct story-telling voice all her own. Bravo! She has masterfully constructed a story that shows how Christ and His Church are preserved, not through man's own machinations, but through His blessed Word.
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I'll be honest. I really loved this book. I've been burnt out on dystopian fiction for awhile now, but I very much liked the Christian themes in this book and it brought a new angle. A lot of dystopian fiction sort of ignores religion (for instance, the Hunger Games has literally no mention of any type of religion whatsoever) so it was interesting reading this book about a country where religion was eradicated. I also
Holli Rolfes
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An awesome dystopian fiction title!
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, dystopia
YA dystopia is a thriving genre in today's world, and I am glad that a Christian author jumped on the bandwagon to show another side of what bleak industrialism and oppressive government control could be. One of the things that so greatly bothered me about The Hunger Games and their ilk was the sheer and utter hopelessness they presented as the ultimate meaning of life. Christianity is never better than when it shines hope into a despairing world, and dystopia provides the perfect setting to pre ...more
Sarah Baughman
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating look at the question “what if possessing or talking about God’s Word was outlawed?” Simon Clay is a sympathetic character whom Clark leads on a journey to discover what his country has been trying to hide.
Mary Moerbe
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’m an adult who reads a lot of dystopian novels, but I’m generally hesitant about when to introduce that genre to my children. This book is an excellent opportunity, not only to introduce a genre of literature/reading but also to introduce to them the train of thought that sometimes what people think will be a utopia is really the exact opposite.

The Messengers: Discovered is a pleasant, quick, easy, enjoyable read. It’s “negative elements” mostly consist in either a boy’s aversion to robot viol
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Clark tells an exciting and believable story centered on the Word of God. The setting, though a dystopian future, isn't hard to imagine. In light of the rise of ungodliness in America, it's easy to see the world Simon Clay lives in as one we may well inhabit in the not-too-distant future.

Discovered delivers God's life-forming truth, demonstrating it's transformative power and the significance it has on those who believe. In fact, it does it with such precision and skill that it begs the question
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rick Stuckwisch
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book, the first in a series, but, to be honest, I wasn't expecting much. It appeared to be worth a shot, so we gave it a try. And I'm very happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Really well written. The narrative flows nicely, and the dialogue is handled well. The story itself is engaging and well crafted. It is perhaps the best example I have encountered of a book that actually incorporates the Christian faith and lif ...more
Becky F.
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this story. It is a dystopia with real hope, because the secret faction is comprised of Christians trying to preserve the Word of God.
Simon Clay loves to find hidden pamphlets, but it can get him into serious trouble with the government. When he finds out by accident that his father aids the Messengers at night, he discovers a Word that offers Truth that he wasn't sure existed anymore.
Simon begins a journey of faith and true knowledge that leads him to share the Word to his own
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book with several unexpected twists and good character development. The author is obviously very familiar with teenagers and genuinely likes them. I found it delightful that despite significant challenges, Simon continues to grow and thrive in his dystopian world. I'm already looking forward to the next installment of Simon's story!
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I felt immediately invested in Simon's story. Lisa does an excellent job in introducing us to a society that is both foreign and yet chillingly familiar. This book leaves you immensely grateful for the Message worth dying for. An intriguing start to a wonderful series!
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I wasn't too sure of this book at first but then as I was reading this one as time went on, I have found myself entertained and this was rather an enjoyable read! Plot, characters, etc. are all well created!
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm trying to figure out how to review this book without giving away the things that are so much fun to figure out.
Katie Fischer
I have been wanting to read this since I first heard of it.

As for my expectations, they weren't high given that it's YA and is overtly meant to be theological fiction. But it was better than I anticipated.

It does a good job putting the life of the early church into a context that today's youth will be able to relate to. It doesn't fall into the trap of most dystopian fiction where it tries to make a point about the authors pet peeves with government or culture, basically saying that "those peopl
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Take a mixture of "Brave New World", "Fahrenheit 451", and "The Book of Eli", and you've got "The Messengers."

It's about a world where religion and books have been outlawed. The main character is a teenaged boy who learns more about the faith from mysterious messengers who show up at his father's shop at night. It's a well-written book.

My only complaint about it is that the plot takes forever to get somewhere. The action really starts to pick up when there's only about thirty pages left to go.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Our whole family loved this book. The kids were 8 and 10 when we read this aloud together. I admit I did have to look up what dystopian even meant before I started reading. And the vocabulary could have been tricky for an 8 year old on his own. But the discussions that happened after each chapter were full. We only read a chapter at a time when we do family read-alouds. This can be really, really, hard with great stories like this one. The kids caught me several times trying to skip ahead to Dis ...more
Robert Reed
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984, but from a Christian perspective. Instead of leaving the reader in despair, you are left with hope, which was refreshing. This YA dystopian thriller was a very enjoyable read and I was pleased to find so many scripture references and liturgy throughout. It was interesting to see familiar bible stories through the eyes of characters who have no access to The Word and are hearing them for the first time. It makes me think of the underground church today ...more
Lydia Landes
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book. Something about it transports me into this futuristic society. I find it hard to put down and I read it (for the second time) in just a few days. The messengers: discovered is an amazing example of good Christian fiction that addresses real-life issues within a Christian’s life. You’ll rejoice and cry with the characters and want to jump through the pages to give a few of them a big old hug. You’ll lose time caught in the story. And like me, you’ll immediately want t ...more
Marie McNary
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is outside the boundaries of what I normally read, but December was my month to read whatever struck my fancy, and I’m so glad I gave it a chance. It follows fifteen-year-old Simon as he finds and fights for his faith amidst a dystopian regime. Engaging and appropriate for teens and adults alike, this book is a fast paced adventure that is sure to leave you on the end of your seat and craving to know what will happen next.
Alysha (For The Love of Christian Fiction)
The town of New Morgan, once called Morganland, has taken Christianity from it's people... I got so many underground church vibes from this. It was definitely an interesting read.

Read my full review at:
Sharla Fritz
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this dystopian young-adult novel--even though I am not a young adult and don't usually read dystopian novels. But the characters captured me and the thought of living in a world where God's Word was not readily available haunted me. It's an excellent story that also makes me appreciate that I can have a copy of the Bible on my shelf.
Tracie Berghaus
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a good dystopian option for T/YA. Lots of solid Christian/Bible references.
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Lisa M. Clark spends her days reading and writing about God’s love for all people. She is an editor and writer for Concordia Publishing House, and she loves the opportunity to work on resources that share the saving message of Jesus Christ. A St. Louis native, she has an undying love for the Cardinals and Ted Drewes custard.

As a writer, Lisa takes joy in exploring a variety of genres, writing or