Title: The Scourge
Author: A.G Henley
Seventeen-year-old Groundling, Fennel, is Sightless. She’s never been able to see her lush forest home, but she knows its secrets. She knows how the shadows shift when she passes under a canopy of trees. She knows how to hide in the cool, damp caves when the Scourge comes. She knows how devious and arrogant the Groundlings’ tree-dwelling neighbors, the Lofties, can be.
And she’s always known this day would come—the day she faces the Scourge alone.
The Sightless, like Fenn, are mysteriously protected from the Scourge, the gruesome creatures roaming the forests, reeking of festering flesh and consuming anything—and anyone—living. A Sightless Groundling must brave the Scourge and bring fresh water to the people of the forest. Today, that task becomes Fenn’s.
Fenn will have a Lofty Keeper, Peree, as her companion. Everyone knows the Lofties wouldn’t hesitate to shoot an arrow through the back of an unsuspecting Groundling like Fenn, but Peree seems different. A boy with warm, rough hands who smells like summer, he is surprisingly kind and thoughtful. Although Fenn knows his people are treacherous, she finds herself wanting to trust him.
As their forest community teeters on the brink of war, Fenn and Peree must learn to work together to survive the Scourge and ensure their people’s survival. But when Fenn uncovers a secret that shatters her truths, she’s forced to decide who and what to protect—her people, her growing love for Peree, or the elusive dream of lasting peace in the forest.
I can honestly say that this read pleasantly surprised me. I found it to be a really nice, sweet read that was mostly character based but for some action with plenty of zombies.
What I loved most by far, was the characters. They were incredibly loveable and relatable. I fell in love with Fennel the moment I started reading. I also fell in love with Peree from the second he became involved in Fenn's story. The characters are incredibly transparent in a really refreshing way. The moment a thought came to any of them they just came out with it - it did make the read slightly predictable but it wasn't in a discouraging way.
I thought it took a little while to get going in terms of the plot but once it did I found it hard to stop reading. The plot wasn't altogether amazing but since I loved the characters I found myself rooting for them the entire way regardless of what they were doing.
The ending for me was quite a bit rushed. It felt really out of place in some parts - it could have done with a lot more detail in the last chapter or so.
To be honest, I actually don't have anything more to say. This book isn't brilliantly written and it could do with a lot of work in terms of predictability and the ending, but the characters were so wonderful to read about - really well-rounded and full of depth.
I think anybody who is a fan of dystopian reads should give this one a go - it gave me a nice surprise since I couldn't stop reading.
My rating: 7/10
About the author:
A.G. Henley is the author of the young adult novel, THE SCOURGE. She is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they’ve had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she’s not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she’s inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Learn more at www.aghenley.com
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