The Scourge

The Scourge
Age Range
Release Date
August 30, 2016
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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? "The Scourge" is an explosively thrilling tale of adventure and intrigue, courage and heart from "New York Times" bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen.

Editor review

1 review
A tale of true friendship and courage
Overall rating
Writing Style
I have mixed reactions to this book. On the whole, I truly enjoyed Ani’s story. The characters really made this standalone fantasy worth reading. The dynamic between Ani and her best friend Weevil tells a story of what friendship is all about, and Ani’s humorous replies and quick wit made for an entertaining read.

I would go back to Ani’s world again, although some aspects of The Scourge fell short for me. I found it frustrating that I could never really pinpoint the age of the two main characters. I knew they were young, but I could never quite tell how young. I constantly had to remind myself that the intended audience is much younger (ages 8-12) and as such, the simplified story worked well. As an adult reader, I felt certain challenges and scenarios were resolved too easily or weren’t quite believable in the way they were resolved so quickly. This book was written as a standalone when it read more like a first in series that was rushed to complete in one book. But for a young audience, The Scourge is an entertaining, well-told fantasy with engaging characters and a scary villain.

Ani’s courageous heart and impish view of the world—not to mention her penchant for getting into trouble faster than you can blink––brings the world of Keldan to life. I would recommend this book for young readers who enjoy a good mystery with a spunky heroine and a loyal ally.
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