Synopsis: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 once got scared because my room was “too warm”, I thought maybe a ghost was using reverse psychology and making the room cold was too obvious. I think this explains why I tend to stay away from Zombie novels. I get freaked out easily and do not like to be scared. I am so glad I got over my fears and read The Scourge though, because it is now one of my favorite reads of 2012!
The novel follows Fennel, a Groundling, who because she is blind is tasked with gathering water for both The Lofties, who live in the trees and her people during attacks of the Scourge. Because Fennel is sightless she is immune to the Scourge. To protect her during water gathering Fennel has a Lofty protector, Peree, who she begins to trust despite all of the terrible things that have been said about his people.
The plot twists in The Scourge kept me on my toes at all times. Just when I was starting to get used to the world
pulled the rug out from under me. I was forced to reevaluate everything I
thought to be true about the society. This happened to me more then once and
showcased Henley’s talent as a storyteller.
The characters in The Scourge immediate sucked me in to the story and instantly had me rooting for them. I have never read a book written from the perspective of someone who is blind. It was refreshing to read about how Fennel perceived the world without ever being able to see it. Despite Fennel’s lack of sight I felt like she saw more then those around her. Peree was incredibly likable. I loved listening to the stories he told and his strength. His dedication to Fennel felt completely natural and melted my heart.
The romance was one of my favorite things about this story. It was sweet, slow, and didn’t overshadow the plot twists. The romance complemented the story and was believable. The Lofties and Groundlings have spent generations resenting each other, Fennel and Peree are not going to instantly put that behind them. Fennel’s mixed feelings were natural.
Overall, I loved this novel. If you are nervous about picking up The Scourge because it is self-published do not hesitate! I mean it run to your e-reader and download this novel. It was amazingly well written and completely addictive. I could not stop reading until I was finished and even now I am eagerly awaiting the release of the sequel!
Author Bio: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.