Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Scourge by A.G. Henley

genre: young adult

In Fenn's world, you can be one of three things.  Either a Groundling, forced to live on the forest floor, a Lofty, who lives up high among the trees, or a Fleshie, a zombie-type creature that wanders the forest in search of prey.  While the Lofties can easily protect themselves from the Fleshies, the Groundlings, Fenn among them, are forced to deal with occasional and deadly onslaughts of "the Scourge" and somehow stay alive in hiding whenever they arrive.

Fenn is special among the Groundlings.  Blind, she is immune to the terror of the Scourge and so she alone must help her people when they arrive, gathering water and bringing it to their sheltered hiding place.  She does, however, have help from above - one Lofty is assigned to assist her in her task and the relationship she creatures with this Lofty will lead to political and societal upheaval - and take her to places she didn't even dare to imagine.

So, a pretty intense premise.  The zombie scenes are nasty and well-written. I like the plot in theory but I'll be honest, I thought that overall the execution was less than amazing.  I don't know if it's because Fenn is blind but there was so much more telling than showing, so much obvious introspection and self-speak.  I liked pieces of the romantic plotline but it also sometimes stuttered into cliche, which was a shame. 

It was flat for me, but not a total waste of time either.

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