SCOURGE Question (+ Winners)

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | 67 comments

The winners from last week’s blog post are:

Faith Roys   ***   Matthew Blake   ***   Mia

I’ve sent you an email to confirm. If you did not win, no worries, your entries from the past week still count for future wins!

Scourge_LGTo enter this week, read the excerpt below and then answer the question at the bottom in the comments:


(At the beginning of this scene, Ani is placed in a cage as punishment for something she did to Della, another person on the quarantine island. But Weevil sneaks her out for the night. Gossel is one of the crueler wardens on the island.)


“Stop this,” I said. “It shouldn’t be either of us in that cage. The truth is that I was always going to be punished because of what I did to Della—all the rest was just Gossel’s game for his own entertainment. He told me they want to break us, that they have to break everyone here in the Colony.”

“Then the best thing is to make them think you’re broken,” Weevil said. “We have to stay out of trouble.”

My smile turned mischievous as I glanced back at him. “Now when have you ever known me to stay out of trouble?”

In return, he only frowned at me. “You should try it, for once. There’s a building south of us, probably where we heard all that movement last night. It’s called the infirmary, though from what I’ve heard, nobody who goes in there is ever seen again. You keep getting in trouble, and that’s where you’ll end up.”

“I’m still curious about those noises we heard.”

“No you’re not, and it’d be best if you forget you ever heard them. Listen, people will be waking up soon. You need to get back in that cage before you’re spotted.”


QUESTION: If people go into the infirmary but never go out, what do you think happens to them? Do they:

A) Get better in there and are taken back home?

B) Die in there and are secretly buried?

C) Something else? If so, then what happens to them?


THE SCOURGE will be released on August 30th. You can pre-order you copy at your favorite bookstore, or online here:






  1. I choose B! As cruel as it sounds, maybe that building is meant for the really sick people that have no hope of getting better.

  2. D….I read this and can’t share 🤐

  3. C I just feel like you do such a fantastic job at throwing great curves in your writing! I don’t know where they go, but it is something CRAZY!!!

  4. I think it’s B. I think there’s something secret in the infirmary that the people are hiding and if you go in and see it I think the people will kill you someway in the infirmary and bury you. I’m not sure, but that’s my wild guess.

  5. Aleesha really said it best! C is my answer, although I hope they get sent to work in my library so it finally gets tidied up! Scott, quit gloating! (although I can’t really blame you)

  6. Definitely C. It causes the most intrigue and possibility for plot twists. I don’t know the rest of the story, but I tend toward Sci-fi so I’d say what happens to them is some illegal experimentation that proves victims of the scourge were intentionally infected for the experiment. Perhaps the illness increases DNA reproduction and allows scientists to modify people into animal hybrids or super humans. However, the tests aren’t working, which is why no one is ever seen again and why so many people are getting sick.

  7. C) I think that the people in the infirmary are taken there to get better after either 1) getting injured or ill or 2) causing mischief (to where the bad behavior is supposedly forced out of them), and when they are well enough, are forced to work out of sight of everyone else.

  8. C) What if they were sent through a magic portal into a different world?!

  9. I vote C. Though what happens, I have no idea. With the talk of breaking people in excerpt, maybe some sort of brainwashing? But that doesn’t explain why they don’t come back out of the infirmary. Hmm…

  10. I’ll have to go with B. There’s always a mad scientist/Doctor somewhere

  11. I will go with C. As far as to what happens to them…hmm, I know I will never guess it right as I am sure it will be a big plot twist! Something not right must happen to the people in the infirmary and Ani and Weevil fight to stop the wrong!

  12. C. I hope they turn into flying monkeys or something else evil. Maybe a dragon (though dragons aren’t evil).

  13. I think it’s B. Maybe people who go into the infirmary have to be submitted for tests to see what type of injections will make the people with the plague better. But since it definitely doesn’t seem like the people on Attic Island are trying to make everyone get better, it’s probably part of the “devious plot” mentioned in the summary. I’d say it’s probably because a person was creating trouble and discovering things they shouldn’t about the Scourge, they were taken to the infirmary so they couldn’t inform anyone else. There, they were killed and their remains were scattered into the ocean, or used to threaten other meddling people.
    Thanks for hosting the giveaway! Congratulations to all the winners!

  14. I’d say a mix between A and C. Something happens that makes them better, but they aren’t really better…

  15. I choose B & C. I think that Those who die from the plague are secretly buried and those who survive are secretly being trained as soldiers for an army that is immune to the plague and therefore more dangerous.

  16. I think both, they try to make them better but it doesn’t work sometimes. And when it doesn’t work the sick people die and then are secretly buried.

  17. I choose C. I bet they take people into the “infirmary” and do experiments on them to try and figure out how to stop the disease. It’s either that or B, but I feel like Ani wouldn’t have heard mysterious noises coming from the building if it were just where people went to die!

  18. I think its B but Im really unsure so many things could happen haha

  19. I choose C…maybe a way off of the island and away from the quarantine? I’m currently reading a novel that involves a false quarantine (I won’t say which…no spoilers!)so my radar is up. Things are NEVER what they seem. I like Aaron’s idea of those people showing up to help out in the library though…except it would be in the garden, weeding, for me!

  20. The answer is C because it is intriguing the story and logical answer for the plot’s twist and turn.I know that the people of Scourge were infected by unknown disease. Perhaps the sick people are tested in some kind experiment which is beyond science and medical.I think the experiment conductors are trying to find the right medicine or cure for this disease so,they can earned fame and money.Or in the other way, the sick people are evolve in super human or hybrid or aliens.Besides that, the sick people also can get super power,so they can be used in military as super soldiers.Besides this,they also can be effected by this experiment and turned into beyond human like monsters.Finally, they can be dead because the experiment failed. I hope I will win and if I win can I get a signed copy of book by you.

  21. I haven’t entered before but this sounds like a great giveaway! Thanks for doing this, Ms. Nielsen! 🙂

    For this round, I would choose answer C. I think that when people go in the infirmary, the wardens or whoever is in charge have selected them for testing to find a cure for the disease. Or maybe the disease is all a ruse and they’re pulling people for genetic testing under the guise of quarantining them due to their infection.

    (Also, I can’t resist because I was looking back at the past giveaways and I saw the question about a song that has influenced you, and I do the same thing when I’m writing! The series I’m doing now has “Smoke and Mirrors” by Imagine Dragons as its theme song; it also relates to my main character Katharine.)

  22. I think C). Perhaps when someone enters the infirmary, they are being dissected or tested about the sickness. But, since it is called the infirmary, they might be trying to find a ‘cure’ except not for those with the sickness. Rather, a cure for the world- with the means that the sickness is gone. They could be told that they were put on the quarantine island so they could become better again, but in reality, it could be a lie so that they wouldn’t suspect anything when they’re taken into the infirmary and boom- dead. That could probably count as B) also.

  23. I am going to go with B & C. I am sure that there is a twist in there somewhere; I just have no idea what it could be.

  24. Definitely C.
    I believe that the Scourge is a secret name for a conspiracy, or a conspiracy has something to do with this story. Some people see or hear things that they weren’t supposed to witness, and therefore have to be taken out of the picture. The infirmary is just a cover-up. I also believe that there are some people who have been falsely diagnosed with the Scourge just to get them to the secluded Island so that they can be interrogated for information that the conspiracy needs. The infirmary is just a good excuse to dispose of those who are getting in the way.
    Ani is unfortunately being a lot like her cousin Sage and getting into things she shouldn’t…just as well, because Sage is a very in-depth character and she would do well to take after him.

  25. Definitely B.) I;m thinking that probably goes hand in hand with harvesting organs

  26. C. Something else. I believe it may be a place where they “test subjects”, either to find a cure for the illness or see how far the effects could go for people. Wow, as I’m writing I feel I have a dark mind haha but if they heard noises, there’s more than taking them home or killing them in my opinion.

    Loving the questions and the opportunity for the contest!

  27. B

  28. I choose C. B sounds easy and doesn’t offer room to wonder what is actually happening, an I know you’d make it much more interesting for us. That’s why I go with C, I think they’re maybe experimenting on these people and they keep them hidden, those could be the noises they heard, people locked away or maybe they were screams due to what happens there. Could they be really treating them or maybe it’s something different?
    We’ll find out when the book is out!!

  29. I say C, because A isn’t mysterious enough and B would be slightly predictable. I hope it ends up to be something I would never think of, which is why I’m not going to guess. I want it to be a surprise.

  30. Well, if the book has to do with a scourge, plague, or something, then the people in the infirmary have to be sick. But I don’t think they would need a place just for them to die, and it wouldn’t fit if they were getting better, so I’m guessing C. It might be a place more meant for studying the Scourge, either trying to alter or defeat it? Or for hiding people that aren’t responding to the Scourge as expected?

  31. Oh, and also, Happy (belated) Birthday to one of the greatest authors of the generation!

  32. c. Weevil thinks ani is bound for the infirmary because she keeps getting in trouble. Maybe getting in trouble in a good thing in the eyes of some unknown manipulator and the infirmary is like a training camp for people who pass the tests.
    that sounds really crazy now that i read it but Jenifer Nielsen has some very cool twists in her books. if i had to choose between a and b…. i’d want a but it’s probably b

  33. C. I think that those who survive will be used to start a new colony, kind of the like in The Maze Runner series. Then, everyone will be immune to the disease.

  34. I think it’s B.

  35. I choose B. It is probably some sort of torture chamber.

  36. I think it’s a mixture of B and C. They test sick people in there to learn more about the Scourge and maybe develop a cure for it, but when the sick aren’t of use to them anymore, or they put up a fight, then they’ll leave them to die in the infirmary.

  37. I think it’s a mixture of B and C. They test the sick that go there to find more information on the Scourge and possibly develop a cure, but when the sick aren’t useful to them anymore, or they’re putting up too much of a fight, they leave them there alone to rot and die.

  38. I think it would be cool if it was B- so creepy!

  39. Obviously (B). The government must be testing and killing its victims with the scourge in the infirmary. Thank you for this contest. You are by far the greatest writer of all time. I am so grateful for the opportunity you offered to win one of these amazing books.

  40. I choose C, victims of the infirmary might be forced into hard labor, then killed.

  41. Definitely C, in my opinion! I’ve learned to not assume or generalize anything after reading your books. 🙂

  42. They become human test subjects or prisoners or brainwashed warriors. So, C, I guess. 😉

  43. C. It’s were they put anyone who misbehaves to a certain extent and they try to keep them seperated from everyone else so they don’t inspire everyone else and the fact that they never get seen again is just to add fear so no one else misbehaves.

    It’s just an assumption. 🙂

  44. I think C. What if they are taken to the infirmary but are never seen again because that’s where they are broken and forced to spend the rest of their days there against their will? But another thing that might happen there is they could be given an impossible test to pass and if they’re successful (which no one can be because the test is rigged) they may leave and if not than they have to spend the rest of their days in this infirmary.

  45. I think they die in there and are secretly buried after dangerous tests are done on them to try and cure the disease.

  46. I’m thinking C. If they have to get broken and are thinking to pretend they are broken then something more is happening in the infirmary. Maybe they are trying to get everyone on one side to cause something bad to happen.

  47. I feel like A would be too easy, and B would be to obvious.

    I’ll bet you came up with a creative C!
    I can’t remember where but it’s implied that the illness is basically made up.
    Maybe they take them in and send them off somewhere as slaves, if they aren’t killed. Used for torture to get some sort of information, that’s what the noises are, their petrified screams.

  48. I’ll have to pick C because the unknown is more interesting. And because it could be a combination of the three.

  49. C. They get turned into monsters that terrorize the town / village thing

  50. C because there is always a twist. I think they are then subjected to some scientific experiments.

  51. I think it’s C, with death being a (potentially high) possibility but not necessarily a guarantee for anyone who goes in. Maybe only special people get the plague, and people in charge are trying to find out why, so they’re testing the people that go to the “infirmary.”

  52. I vote (A). I believe that the government is taking some victims of the scourge to the infermary to heal them. But they don’t want everybody to know, or else they will get mad that they were not chosen to be healed in the infirmary.

  53. I vote – B – I can’t deny that the government is evil. It almost feels as if they created the scourge in the first place. They probebly would use the infermary to kill some of the people who don’t react to the Scourge as they wish or are recovering from it.

  54. I choose (c) I think that the government takes people who are about to die from the scourge to the infirmary, so that others won’t know if their deaths and believe that they will be cured.

  55. I think it be ( a ). I don’t believe government is capable of murdering innocent who are coping with this sickness and are suffering to.

  56. C. I think that the people in the infirmary are part of some sort of experiment or illegal testing

  57. I think C because the A and B seem to simple. It sounds like the goverment is evil and corrupt. I think that they might put the people to work until they die and them secretly dispose of the dead. I saw that someone mentioned a magic portal which might be a possibility.

  58. I’d say C. The other two options just seen like to normal of a way… I’m not sure what is happing to them but I bet Jennifer Nielsen had cooked up something great!

  59. Oh yeah, I’m pretty sure B it is, haha 🙂 Either way, so excited to know for sure. <3 Thank you for sharing 😀

  60. B) Die in there and are secretly buried?

    Haha 😛 I think that!

  61. I think C. It’s not A, otherwise the people running it would probably publicize it more, saying that there is actually a cure. Everyone knows that you could die, so why would they be buried secretly? Something else must be happening, like they are being used for some purpose or plan.

  62. I think that it is C. If it was A, the people running it would probably publicize it more, saying that the people are getting better. Everyone is going to die, so they it shouldn’t be a secret if they are burying bodies. Something else must be happening. Maybe the people are being used for some plan or experiment…

  63. I think it’s C.

    The people that go there are sick and forced to endure diseases so that doctors can test chemical warfare on prisoners and people being punished before they use it on their enemies.

  64. C) That’st where they go to utterly break them. The basically brainwash them into believing they really can’t do anything and are then trained to go behind enemy lines and spread this illness. Totally government take-over situation.

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