“Because they don’t know us, and we don’t know them… It’s easy to hate what you don’t understand.”
When a plague isn’t all that kills…
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 the Scourge—and the gorvernor’s wardens—long enough to make their escape and expose the cruel plan?
Jennifer Nielsen’s The Ascendance Trilogy is a favorite middle grade series novel of mine. So every book written by her is a must read for me, with the hope to meet another character to admire and adore like Sage.
In this book, Jennifer Nielsen introduce readers to a female protagonist, Ani Mells. Ani is one of the River People who live far away from Keldan. She is strong-willed and stubborn which often gets her in trouble. When two of the Governor’s warden arrest her to undergo the scourge test, Ani end up positive. Soon after she was sent to an island as prisoner together with other scourge victim.
“They knew the world that came out of books, but we knew the world that went into them.”
Ani Mells as the main character is fun to follow. She is strong-willed, defiant and snarky. Her mischievous personality makes The Scourge so much fun to read. Add the company of her loyal friend, Weevil, these two just don’t know when to stop their misadventures. Even at times when Weevil is actually trying to help Ani, they still end up in more troubles. It’s like Ani is made for disaster, and no one can help it, not even Weevil who only wants what’s best for his best friend.
The only mild complaint with this book is the simplicity/predictability of the plot. Having read Jennifer Nielsen’s other book, especially the The Ascendance Trilogy wherein plot twist and turns are spot on I didn’t expect this new novel to be easily predictable. But considering that the target audience of this book are younger readers, I guess the simplicity of the story won’t be an issue. The story is still entertaining nonetheless.
Overall, Jennifer A Nielsen’s latest novel, The Scourge is an entertaining and quick read. If you like adventure or misadventure, snarky characters or just looking for a short fun read then this one is for you.
* This review is based on a copy I received courtesy of the publisher, Scholastic Press Philippines in exchange for an honest opinion.