Title: The Scourge
Author: A.G. Henley
Source: Received through blog tour in exchange for an honest review
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.
The Scourge is a young adult fantasy (dystopian) novel written by A.G. Henley. It's a post-apocalyptic story about a Sightless 17 year old girl named Fennel. The Sightless are somehow protected from the Scourge – zombie-like creatures that roam the land. Fennel's duty is to collect water to bring back to her people.
Fennel's home land is divided between two types of people – the Groundlings and the Lofties. Light haired people are Lofties, and live in the trees where they are safe from the Scourge. Dark haired people, like Fennel, must live on the ground and hide in the caves when the Scourge is near. As the water bearer duty falls to Fennel, she is given a keeper – a Lofty in the trees who can spot the Scourge and keep them away. In return, the water bearer brings water to the Lofties as well. Peree is different from other Lofties though. Even though they are supposed to be enemies, a sweet friendship forms.
Fennel is an extremely brave girl. Even though she is blind, she knows her way around the forest and easily manages on her own by using her other senses. She is a very honorable young women for teen readers to look up to. The story is told from Fennel's point of view, which is interesting because she is blind... but at the same time I felt anxiety while reading this because “I” couldn't see what my surroundings were. That shows how well the author is able to put you in the main characters shoes, and make you feel like you are right there. I loved Peree as well. The romance in this book is slow going though. It seemed like an agonizingly long time before they admit their feeling for each other. Despite the delay on the romance, I really enjoyed the forbidden aspect of it.
This is a well written book full of twists and turns. The plot is wonderful – unlike anything I've ever read. You will fall in love with these characters and want more. There is no cliffhanger at the end, but it leaves it to peak your curiosity at what will happen next. According to the author's website, there is another book coming in this series that will be released sometime in 2013.
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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.
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