The Scourge #1
Author: A.G Henley
Published: January 31st 2012
Number of Pages: 242
Source: Author, Book Tour
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 Scourge is an amazing dystopian novel that you really can't miss to read .I usually give at least 3 hearts to the books I review (even if sometimes maybe they're not worth them, but I try to be positive) but this book is absolutely a 5 hearts, and I'm not the type who gives five hearts very easily. From the first chapter of the book I've been completely caught up by the plot and I was so curious to discover about the Scourge, that I kept reading until the first hours of the morning, sometimes. Overall, I think that the world the author created is simply brilliant and absolutely interesting but then, the strong point of the book is certainly how the society is ruled. Honestly, it's quite a common post-apocalyptic society, but then the twists and the secrets that will be revealed at the end, contribute to make the whole situation special. The society in which Fennel, the protagonist, lives is organized in Groundlings, those who live on the ground, in direct contact with the dangerous Scourge, and provide water for all the people, and Lofties, those who live on the trees, far away from the horror and fear of staying on the ground, where the beasts can find you; the only duty of the Lofties is to protect from the trees the Water Bearer, a blind person (like Fennel) who is protected from the Scourge, who has the task to provide water for others.The division into these two categories happens when the baby is just born: if he/she has dark colors, he/she will be a groundling, if he/she has light colors, a Lofties; this implies that the majority of families are mixted and there are a few possibilites that a mother can keep her own child. I found this whole situation really fascinating becuase it shows us how desperate and cruel human beings can be, in order to assure themselves security and survival. It's useless to say that in this case, Groundlings and Lofties were not in good relationship, since the Lofties benefited of the resources the Groundlings had to die to achieve.The point that turns the book completely is when Fennel decides to find the famous Hidden Waters (a source that is hidden in the caves, far away from the Scourge, who didn't seem to like darkness) , accompained by Peere, her Lofty Keeper: this journey will led the two of them toward incredible adventures and difficulties but, above all, they will discover a shocking truth that will once for all expose the cruelty and injustice of the society they live in. I really loved how full of adventures this book was but the end was just shocking! There were so many revelations I didn't absolutely see coming and you know how much I love surprises!! Moreover I think the author's choice of speaking from Fennel's point of view was an amazing choice, because her blindness contribute to make the book more vivid and real; not being able to see things, she always describes the world around her with all 4 senses, so that you can perfectly see what she can't see instead.
Fennel is an amazing heroine! I really suffered when I found out she couldn't see but I was amazed at the same time by how normal her life was despite her defect; she was loved by everyone because of her generous, funny and lovable personality. From the beginning it's evident she's nothing like her people, since she immediately tries to establish a relationship of equality with the Lofties, by asking publicly to Peere to dance. I really appreciated how caring she was toward everyone (even if not everybody deserved her affection!) and, how cute when she was jealous!The relationship she builds with Peere really upsets her, because she has never felt something like that before. In her culture they usually got engaged when the boys asked the girls to dance, so women didn't really have a choice in the matter; for the first time, with Peere, she feels free and indipendent in chosing what is better for herself.
Peere, on the other hand, is... HANDSOME. His personality immediately hit me: he was sarcastic, funny and extremely sweet. As for Fennel, he is one of a kind, not at all like the other Lofties; he has secretly loved Fennel ever since he can remember and from the moment he understood he could have been his Keeper, he worked hard to become it.
The author's ability is incredible, the book is fluent, meaningfull and absolutely well-written.
I think The Scourge is one of the best dystopian book I've read recently. An interesting plot, good characters and unexpected truths. A MUST READ!
As part of the blog tour the author is
offering 30 copies of The Scourge to International
reader. What are you waiting for?