ARC Review: The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen

the scourge by jennifer a. nielsen

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?

Description taken from Goodreads.


First things first: Jennifer A. Nielsen is a solid fantasy writer, and I’m very much a fan of hers. However, I can’t go into every one of her books expecting it to be like The False Prince. That’s only going to leave me disappointed in another good (but different) story.

Second things second: The name Weevil drives me crazy. It’s what you name a pokémon, not a book character, but I’m being petty.

The Scourge is a great book that draws attention to the stigma associated with disease and the depths of friendship. I’ll focus specifically on the second part of that, because it was my favorite part of the book. I love it when stories go into friendships, and Jennifer did it beautifully. I loved the relationship between Weevil and Ani, and I was rooting for them every step of the way. They face many trials, but they get through all of them together.

Speaking of trials, this isn’t like The False Prince. You shouldn’t go into it expecting lots of action and adventure and a fast pace. The Scourge has none of those things. It took some getting used to, but I came to love this story for what it is versus what I hoped it would be.

All in all, I would recommend this one. It’s not quite so action packed. In fact, I think it resembles the last book in Jennifer’s Ascendance trilogy the most with its political focus and steady plot. The storytelling was great, as always, and I loved seeing the exploration of each character and his or her relationships. The Scourge wasn’t what I thought it would be, but I’ll definitely still recommend this one and maybe use it to get more girls into Jennifer’s writing! 3.5 stars.

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