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.
Summary & Photo provided by Kismet Book Tours
Length: 242 pages
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: January 31st 2012
I had seen The Scourge floating round the blogosphere for quite some time before I got the tour invitation from Kismet, and I had heard only good things about it so you can imagine that I was pretty excited.
I know this is the part where you're waiting me say that the book didn't live up to my expectations but I'm going to surprise you and tell you A.G. Henley's debut novel did much, much more than live up to my expectations it surpassed them and is a prime example that just because a book is self published it is by no means a bad read.
I loved the world the author set up in The Scourge. It was a pretty unique dystopian read we all know how far and few between those novels are becoming. Her idea about having two differing "tribes" if you will in the Groundlings like Fenn and the Lofties like Peree was awesome! It reminded me a lot of the 2001 movie re-make of H.G. Wells' novel The Time Machine in that aspect which was pretty awesome for me because I loved that part in the movie. Also, the race of the Scourge was neat because I've been jonesing for a zombie like read for a wee while now.
The characters were wonderfully depicted. I think that what I enjoyed about them was the fact that they were flawed just like real people are. Nothing grinds my gears worse that characters that are too perfect so when an author makes real, likable, approachable characters I really appreciate it. I loved Fenn, she was smart, strong and brave and she was perfect for Peree and he was perfect for her. I loved their relationship because while there was a slight case of insta-love it wasn't over the top like I've seen in other books.
The story line (I'm not going to go into it much and spoil it for you) was like I said previously really well done. It flowed perfectly for me for most of the novel and my only complaint about it is that the novel seemed to wrap up a bit to abruptly for my tastes and I wish that it ended at a slower pace. Other than that this was a good read for me to pick up one afternoon and devour it in a single sitting.
I would recommend this book to everyone, especially those with a love for dystopian YA novels with zombies. I hope A.G. Henley continues to write because I think she's a wonderfully talented new voice in young adult fiction.
Really Liked it!
★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★
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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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