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The Scourge (Brilliant Darkness Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

A.G. Henley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Read The Scourge (Brilliant Darkness, #1) a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award!

Seventeen-year-old Groundling, Fennel, is Sightless. She's never been able to see her lush forest home, but she knows its secrets. She knows how the shadows shift when she passes under a canopy of trees. She knows how to hide in the cool, damp caves when the Scourge comes. She knows how devious and arrogant the Groundlings' tree-dwelling neighbors, the Lofties, can be.

And she's always known this day would come—the day she faces the Scourge alone.

The Sightless, like Fenn, are mysteriously protected from the Scourge, the gruesome creatures roaming the forests, reeking of festering flesh and consuming anything—and anyone—living. A Sightless Groundling must brave the Scourge and bring fresh water to the people of the forest. Today, that task becomes Fenn's.

Fenn will have a Lofty Keeper, Peree, as her companion. Everyone knows the Lofties wouldn’t hesitate to shoot an arrow through the back of an unsuspecting Groundling like Fenn, but Peree seems different. A boy with warm, rough hands who smells like summer, he is surprisingly kind and thoughtful. Although Fenn knows his people are treacherous, she finds herself wanting to trust him.

As their forest community teeters on the brink of war, Fenn and Peree must learn to work together to survive the Scourge and ensure their people’s survival. But when Fenn uncovers a secret that shatters her truths, she’s forced to decide who and what to protect—her people, her growing love for Peree, or the elusive dream of lasting peace in the forest.

A tale of star-crossed lovers, strange creatures, and secretive, feuding factions, THE SCOURGE introduces readers to a rich and exciting new world where nothing is as it seems.

"One of the Best Books I've Ever Read! . . . Buy it, borrow it . . . whatever, just read this book!"
-BookChick, blog review

Product Description

About the Author

A.G. Henley is the author of the BRILLIANT DARKNESS series. The first book in the series, THE SCOURGE, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award. A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they've had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she's not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she's inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Learn more at

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 423 KB
  • Print Length: 223 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0073O59OI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #300,705 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

A.G. Henley is the author of the young adult novel, THE SCOURGE. She is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they've had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she's not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she's inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Learn more at

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read indie debut 25 Sept. 2013
By g
Format:Kindle Edition
I've been busy, so apologies to the author and publisher for the delay in this review. I've started my masters, I've been working hard doing extra hours at work and in general have no spare time, AND every book I read left me feeling `meh', hence the lack of reviews on my site recently, they are all waiting to be written but I just can't think of anything, good or bad to say about them. Then came indie, self published, book ` The Scourge', and I found myself WANTING to sit down and read it, and to find out whats happening next, in fact I read it over the course of a lazy sunday, forgoing the X factor to finish the adventure (Don't worry, I recorded it!).

The Scourge is set in a dystopian future (The US I presume, it doesn't really say, but mentions pumas). The population has split into Groundlings and Lofties (those that live on the ground and the trees), their survival is interlinked but neither likes, nor trusts each other. Fennel (yes, like the plant, odd names abundant here) is sightless (blind) and is due to become the villages water bearer, taking over from her foster mother, Aloe. The sightless are chosen for this task as they are the only one immune to the `scourge' (aka. Zombies), the lofties provide a keeper for the water bearer, to ensure safe travel and together they are key to the survival of the village. But when tensions between the two groups become unbearable, and the village are on the verge of a war, Fennel is sent in search of a mystical water source, alone. What Fennel discovers changes everything, but what can one, blind, girl do to stop a war?

If you think this is a zombie novel ala `Ashes' your wrong, its a novel about judgement, prejudice, dishonesty, trust, friendship and love, and yes, zombies. Except not.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting 11 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was well written and is a good story line, the author leaves you wanting more. I can't wait for part two to be released.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Scourge - A.G. Henley 8 Dec. 2012
By Leesie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent interpretion of a post apocalyptic world in which survivors make a living as best as they can, forging freinships, marraiges and other social "norms". Some have taken to the trees, others live in huts on the ground. All are afraid of the "Scourge", the classic flesh eating zombies who infect anyone they bite.
Our heroine is a water bearer. She is blind and this offers her protection from the hordes who swarm around her. She must collect water for her community as they hide in the caves, safe from the Scoiurge who do not like the darkness and enclosed space. A strong bond develops between her and the young tree dwelling man who protects her, firing arrows at those scourge who endanger her.
There has long been a rumour that deep within the caves water can be found. Naturally, our heroine volunteers to find it and is surprised to be joined by another is her quest. This exploration leads to discoveries and further knowledge of the Scourge and the origins of the apocalpse.
A thoughful well paced novel, imaginative and full of believable characters and situations. I was drawn in to the story immediately.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  464 reviews
45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written story. 2 Feb. 2012
By Dragonfly - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Scourge is the beautifully written story of two engaging and unlikely characters who embark on a dangerous adventure which is interwoven with terror, love, deception, grace and humanity. I enjoyed it immensely.

I was captivated by the fascinating and very likable female protagonist Fenn, a brave, loving, funny and blind Groundling teenager. Her blindness is revered by her people as a blessing because it renders her immune from the Scourge so she feels forced to be grateful for a disability that makes daily life in their forest community a challenge and the task of fetching water for her people when the Scourge is near, terrifying. Fenn's adventure in this book leads her through an array of experiences from appalling to wondrous and the author writes with impressive empathy and skill as she guides the reader through them from the perspective of a blind girl. At times I felt my own senses heightened, assaulted and stirred despite the absence of visual prompts. The relationship Fenn builds with her Lofty protector, Peree (another rich character) is sweet, tender and uncomfortable at the same time, so, perfectly convincing.

The story and characters in The Scourge are completely captivating and prevented me from putting this book down but what haunted me long after I had read it were the themes of societal brutality and cruel governance for the greater good. In particular "The Exchange." This barbaric world is not only beautifully and consistently detailed but also frighteningly plausible. The plot is solid and takes plenty of jaw-dropping twists and turns.

This book made me laugh and cry and think. I would highly recommend it to anyone over the age of 12 years.
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost Spectacular 19 May 2012
By Gina - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From the very beginning SCOURGE had me enthralled. I could not stop reading! For about 70% of the book...

What I loved:
-Fenn is a great character, and being blind meant that the author had to really step up on other sense descriptions. Done with perfection!
-The tribal communities theme was well developed. I liked two tribes that begrudgingly work together but remain separate. It is true to human form.
-Fenn's growth over the story. I felt as though I really got a good grasp of how Fenn was changing and becoming stronger.
-Adventure! As Fenn embarks on her adventure I found myself highly tied to her success.

What I didn't love so much:
-Peree felt a bit stuccato to me. He begins as this silent massive presence, but in an instant is open and warm and loving. It was almost like his introduction was a completely separate character from the one Fenn has as a keeper. I think I liked the strong silent version more than the one he became.
-The attraction and relationship between Fenn and Peree definitely has me rooting for them, however, it doesn't feel like there is anything keeping them apart through most of the book so I don't understand why it takes them so long.
-I don't want to include spoilers but I really started to lose my interest when some of the bigger facts about the Scourge are revealed. I almost felt like the explaination I got was...well kind of silly. After about 70% of the book I started to lose interest in the plot line...though not in the characters I must admit. I just don't see where the big reveal was going.

All in all, I would give it 3.5 stars. I think this is a matter of personal preference. I recommend reading it. You may not have the same instant detachment I did.
49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly Absorbing 24 Feb. 2012
By Michelle L. Pennington - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was immediately hooked by just the synopsis on this book. I thought about it for days after I bought it, anxious to have a chance to read it. I'm so glad I made myself wait for a Sunday afternoon to start reading because once I started I could NOT do anything else - although I tried. I read it while cooking dinner, loading the dishwasher, and attempted to read while changing a diaper. That one didn't work out.

The character development is fantastic, the world building is captivating, and the whole story unfolds in one exciting, fulfilling ribbon of entertainment. I have to say also, the editing was also almost flawless. I say almost, not because I noticed any issues, but because surely no one can be that perfect. If there are any mistakes, I certainly didn't see them.

I came across The Scourge in a random search for something to read, and I have been thanking my lucky stars ever since. I will definitely keep an eye on this author, and hope that I will eventually get to continue following these character's lives. If not, it was a great stand alone novel with a satisfying resolution.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and compelling story! 31 Jan. 2012
By tracylynn - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is the first from a new author, and hopefully not the last. the Scourge had me hooked immediately with its fascinating set of characters and unique story line. I especially appreciate the fact that the heroine is a strong, courageous and confident young woman. If the reader is not reminded of her challenges, you often forget she lives with them. The story itself is a true page-turner. The intensity and high drama are complimented with tender moments and complicated decisions - much like life itself. I highly recommend this book to all audiences.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and unique story. 6 May 2012
By Booklover. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's not often that you get a unique plot with likeable characters. I really enjoyed 'The Scourge'. It had a strong female lead that didn't come off as hard ass take care of everything but neither did she huddle in the corner and wait for a man to save her. Not once was I annoyed by her actions in this story which is unusual for me. Can I also say how refreshing it is to have an author just finish a story and wrap it up nicely? there is nothing worse than cliff hangers or authors writing just so they can get a sequel. A.G. Henley is a refreshing read and I highly recommend it.
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