Welcome to The Cozy Reader’s stop on the Blog Tour for A.G. Henley’s amazing new series, The Scourge (Book 1).
The Scourge (Book 1) by A.G. Henley
Amazon Digital Services, Inc. | January 30, 2012 | 242 pages
$0.99 Amazon Kindle
eARC via Kismet Book Touring
Overall: 30/30! A+++
Title/Cover Bonus: 5
An incredibly unique dystopian centered around a blind girl, Fennel, and her tree top dwelling Keeper, Peree, as they embark on an incredible journey together.
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.
None at time of review.
I duck out of the storeroom and into the main cavern, stepping carefully across the uneven floor.
Most Memorable Scene
The night that Fennel is punished.
Goodness me! There ends up being so much to the plot that the above summary only skims the surface. Being sightless has it’s advantages in Fennel’s community and a ton of responsibility. We quickly learn that the community is suffering from something more than what we first get introduced to. Fennel and Peree make an amazing pair, each of them committed to seeing a better future for their groups.
A.G. Henley has created a world like no other I have read. Imagine one community divided into two groups. One group living on the ground, Groundlings, and another living in the trees, Lofties. And then there are the Scourge, otherwise known as fleshies, that scare the groundlings into hiding in the caves until the scourge move on.
Even though the narration is first person from Fenenl’s point of view there’s no lack of detail, which seems odd but works out perfectly.
The idea of having Groundlings and Lofties is only the beginning of the originality found in this book. The Sightless and the Keeper are very original character roles as well. Then there’s the Scourge, which initially seems like the average zombie, but there’s a lot more to them. The caves hold a lot of uniqueness too.
The characters are some of the most unique too.
Fennel is a Sightless girl who was offered in the Exchange from the Lofties to the Groundlings. She is fostered by Aloe, another Sightless woman. She is one of the strongest willed characters I have ever read. I knew going in that the main character was blind and I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy reading a book about a blind girl but it made the book that much better.
Bear is a member of the Groundlings and he is interested in Fennel. I liked his macho self and his humor.
Peree is Fennel’s Loftie Keeper. His role is to protect her from the Scourge while she gathers water for their people. He is an archer and shoots arrows at the Scourge when they get too close or forceful with Fennel.
There are many secondary characters that we meet along the way and I adored most of them.
Fennel and Peree develop quite the relationship while Fennel is the Water Bearer. Without giving too many spoilers away, lets just say that they make a great pair. I liked their sweetness and their ability to trust each other, more so on Fennel’s side because of her blindness.
The title is fitting and the cover fits but it’s a little dark and I probably would not pick this up or click on it by only seeing the cover.
The ending was great. This book is a self contained book. There are no lose ends. It could be a standalone, however, it says “Book 1” on the cover so…..
A.G. Henley is working on a sequel. Check out her website for updates on it.
Connect with A.G. Henley
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.