Friday, September 23, 2016

Book Review: The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen

I received a physical copy of this book from Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Scourge
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Length: 368 pages
Format: paperback arc
Source: Publisher

As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured by the governor's wardens and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge--and quarantine colony--for the ill. The Scourge's victims, Ani now among them, can only expect to live out short, painful lives there. However, Ani quickly discovers that she doesn't know the whole truth about the Scourge or the Colony. She's been caught in a devious plot, and, with the help of her best friend, Weevil, Ani means to uncover just what is actually going on. 

But will she and Weevil survive long enough to do so?

My Thoughts:
Ani Mells is one of the River People living outside of the city of Keldan where the Scourge has run rampant for 300 years. Luckily, the River People have avoided the disease by staying far away and living rough lives eking out a living on the land. But when Ani is captured by the Wardens of Keldan, along with her best friend Weevil, she tests positive for the Scourge.
Along with the daughter of a wealthy citizen of Keldan named Della, Ani and Weevil are sent to the Scourge colony on an old prison island to live out the remainder of their painfully short, diseased lives. 

All is not what it seems in this middle grade dystopia. The people of Keldan treat River People like they are the cause of the Scourge and yet the River People has mysteriously avoided catching it for hundreds of years. Until Ani Mells infuriates the city ruler, that is.
Though Ani is sure she can't have the Scourge, she tests positive and even suffers the horrible symptoms. The Scourge Colony is a prison where victims are sent to slave away for the benefit of the city until they succumb to the disease shortly after. 

Wonderfully defiant and snarky Ani Mells is thrust into this colony and doesn't take to it the way the city folk do. Ani is strong-willed, stubborn, and butts heads with the guards as often as she can manage. While she is often labeled a trouble-maker, she is more of a hero in disguise. She is quick to stand up for and help her friends.

Her friendship with Weevil, and later with other inhabitants of the island, really gave this situation a positive outlook. Nothing too horrible happens and the ending puts aside any fears that might be had while reading, which makes this perfect for middle-grade readers who haven't read the more brutal young-adult dystopians such as The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner. 

My Rating: 4 Stars

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book! The cover is lovely, and the premise sounds really interesting. Thank you for sharing ^_^

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles