5 out of 5 stars
Book One: Unprepared
Ripped From The Headlines
This series, to quote Abrahams’s exact words, “The Scourge series is based on the same plague that altered the world in the eight-book Traveler series featuring Marcus Battle. However, this collection follows the adventures, trials, and perseverance of an entirely different cast of characters.” That opening line really sucked me in (this is before the story even begins). But knowing the Traveler series and how much I liked it, I can’t wait to figure out what happens when people aren’t prepared. I’m also excited that we’re diving in earlier into the Scourge, and we’ll see it as it begins instead of months after it’s ravaged millions of lives.
I was… unprepared for how similar the stuff that Abrahams wrote would be to our current circumstances. Example:
“It’s not blown out of proportion,” said the masked woman.
“People are dying from it.”
“Says the woman wearing a mask,”
This book was fantastic, though; Abrahams is able to take a fake “scourge” and make it feel real. Of course, the stuff that is going on outside of our self-isolated windows is so close to what he described it really took this book to another level. Some people might have a hard time with this one, but it was interesting to see what an author wrote compared to what was going on. Thankfully COVID-19 is not plague based – but that doesn’t make any of the things he predicted a year ago when writing this any less scary. The only thing he got “wrong” was the random run on toilet paper. Everything else (people fighting over food, mask shortages, etc.) was all spot on.
The characters in this story were different than his average too. Definitely different than Battle. Honestly, it reminded me a bit of his Alt Apocalypse series since it took normal everyday people and threw them into an apocalyptic situation. The jobs they came from and the things they had to deal with as they were trying to flee to safety all felt real and made this story even more rooted in realism.
Overall, a fantastic start to another Abrahams Post-Apocalyptic story. These will release quickly throughout May (and maybe June). Hopefully, Kevin Pierce can also get the audio done because I can’t wait to dive into more of these and see what happens. Especially the next book since (the cover gives it away, so I don’t feel like it’s a huge spoiler) it looks like it’s going to take place on a boat. I’m super curious to see how that goes.
Book Two: Adrift
Finished It In Two Days
Tom Abrahams did it again – this time, he added a freaking shark attack. Are you kidding me? In a post-apocalyptic book? I mean, it’s not Sharknado… but still, what a surprise. Adrift is the second book in The Scourge series – taking us to the start of the apocalyptic event that spurs the Traveler series (and its uber-famous Marcus Battle). The Scourge series allows us to view the apocalypse from those who weren’t as prepared to face it as Battle may have been.
As I read more and more books from Abrahams, I find myself borrowing the Kindle Unlimited version just so I can highlight lines that I like or ones that made me laugh. There was a hilarious line about Battle in this one that made me pause because I was laughing so hard. I ended up highlighting a bunch of lines in this one.
I wanted to write what Adrift was about, but honestly just read the book. If you enjoyed Unprepared, you’re definitely going to enjoy Adrift. And if you enjoyed the Traveler or especially if you enjoyed the Alt Apocalypse books – you’re going to enjoy the Scourge series.
Instead of a full review where I go into the book – I wanted to take the time to chat about what I thought Abrahams was trying to show in Adrift. One was the toll that the apocalypse would take on different people. He showed what it did to Mike (I believe there was a line about how it took the world ending for Mike to start living). He also showed what it did to people who couldn’t handle it (and the arc around this was super interesting, but if I say anymore, it will give a major plot point away). He showed how quickly gangs and those who were unprepared would come and threaten the lives of the ones who did prepare.
I think he also wanted to show different aspects of human interaction (the scene with the paint stir sticks… oh man, I did not see that coming). And finally, he wanted to show how the Texas we know from Battle’s stories in The Traveler became Texas. He spent more time on this than I expected. He sparked some of the memory of the Traveler books – so much so that I want to go back to the first one to remember exactly what Texas looked like in that series (I remember it over the 8-book series, but not like the back of my hand).
One last thing… Shotguns? Heh, if you’ve read any of the Traveler books and are reading this – there’s a nice easter egg in it related to shotguns.
Overall, I thought Adrift was a fantastic book I could not put down (two straight nights where I stayed up later than I should have). Abrahams asserts himself as one of the best Post-Apocalyptic authors with Adrift, and I can’t wait to see where Mike and his team end up in Grounded.
Book Three: Grounded
Abrahams is at the Top of His Game
Grounded is the third (…and final?) book in the Scourge series. Tom Abrahams was able to write a book that makes living through COVID-19 a little scarier. He could predict some of the things we went through in the earlier books, and now, book three gets us one step closer to the end of the Scourge series and one step closer to the Traveler series. Marcus Battle is mentioned numerous times in this story, but not in any way I expected. I had completely forgotten (until I started reading The Scourge) that Battle and one of the Cartel bosses served together. It adds a different element to these stories that I wasn’t expecting.
Grounded is able to cover a lot of ground (and water). Abrahams was able to write more topics into this one and cover different aspects from different points of view. He’s still showing how the Cartel got started (the ruthlessness and eagerness to kill anyone in their way). He’s able to show what the government did instead of stopping the Scourge. He also shows what seeking only revenge can do to you and how it clouds your judgment. He dabbles a little bit into changing yourself after the apocalypse as well.
I noticed that throughout the last third of the book, Abrahams was trying to end things “nicely”. What I mean is that I could tell that certain storylines were ending, and he was setting certain people up to be “okay.” AKA wrapping up the book and the series (at least as much as you can in an ever-changing world) while still giving the reader enough to either leave another book or finish up the story in their head.
I can’t tell if the story is over here or not. I think that Abrahams is done with it… for now. I think that he could revisit it, especially if we ask for more. What I’d really like to know/see is check-in on anyone who makes it in the time between the end of this book and the start of the first book in the Traveler series. There were so many good characters in this that checking in on any of them in the next 3-4 years would be interesting and would provide a unique look into the first years of the post-Scourge world as the Cartel sets up shop.
Overall, a fantastic finish to a fantastic post-apocalyptic series. Some of Abrahams’s best work – and definitely has reminded me of how much I enjoyed the Traveler series. PA fans should definitely look no further than this and the Traveler series.
Get Grounded from Amazon for Kindle (free with Kindle Unlimited) or on Audible.
Quarantines don’t work. Infrastructure fails. Civilized society collapses.
From the post-pandemic world of the Traveler series comes a new cast of characters, new obstacles, and the same devastating, world-altering virus that plunges society into the depth of a dystopian hell.
Follow Mike Crenshaw and his friends as they try to survive this new landscape and find out how the world in which the Traveler series was set came into being. It’s a thrill ride that will keep you up at night with the lights on and the doors locked.
This is the complete trilogy and perfect for fans of Franklin Horton, Kyla Stone, Boyd Craven, and Jack Hunt.
The Scourge Series: The Complete Trilogy by Tom Abrahams
Narrator: Kevin Pierce
Length: 27 hrs and 5 mins
Series: The Scourge #0
Published by Piton Press on August 8th 2022
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Also by this author: Home (Traveler #1), Canyon (Traveler #2), Wall (Traveler #3), SpaceMan
Also in this series: Unprepared, Adrift, Grounded