By: Neal Shusterman
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Page Count: 435
Synopsis: Thou shalt kill.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
This review will be spoiler free.
Like many of the books i have been picking up recently, I had seen this book on a lot of top 10 lists, and store recommendation shelves, but had always put off buying it. The concept really intrigued me, I am always a sucker for a good dystopian dilemma, and an immortal society that needs a form of population control fit the bill! I will admit, at first the way the book is written, and the sometimes abrupt shifts in POV caught me off guard. However, after a couple chapters I got the hang of it and was able to really sink into the story. The world-building was really nicely done and new characters were seamlessly integrated into the plot.
I really enjoyed the relationship between Rowan and Citra, and the way their POVs complimented each other. I also really liked the addition of the scythe journal entries before every chapter. The dystopia-scifi elements of this book were not overly pronounced, so even if this is not your typical genre, I would recommend giving it a go. The writing is very engaging, and the end of this book definitely left me wanting more! And let me just say the creepiest part of this book wasn’t that there is a whole section of the population that kills (or sorry “gleans”) people for a living, it was that the technological and AI advancements that society had made didn’t even seem too far-fetched to me (the thunderhead- the omniscient AI that runs the society- sounds an awful lot like Alexa or Google if you ask me).
Here are some awesome quotes form the book:
“Mortals fantasied that love was eternal and its loss unimaginable. Now we know neither is true. Love remained mortal, while we became eternal.”
“The greatest achievement of the human race was not conquering death. It was ending government.”
“I think all young women are cursed with a streak of unrelenting foolishness, and all young men are cursed with a streak of absolute stupidity.”
Have you read Scythe? what were your thought? How would you feel about a society where you could theoretically live forever?