Book Review – Scythe

Title: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)

Author: Neal Shusterman

Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication date: November 22nd, 2016

435 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads 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.

Review

Without the threat of suffering, we can’t experience true joy.

Neal shusterman, scythe

My boyfriend bought me this book on a whim and it sat on my TBR cart for months until he picked it up, shoved it in my face, and told me to read it because he bought it for me. I’M SO GLAD HE DID. I loved Scythe and the take on this utopian/dystopian future world. This is my first Neal Shusterman book, but I also have his Unwind series on my TBR so this has me putting his other works higher on my list!

In the futuristic world of Scythe, there is no war, disease, or dying really. Unless you are chosen by a Scythe for gleaning, the only method of population control as all of the world’s problems are basically solved. Scythe’s are responsible for gleaning humans in order to keep a sustainable amount of people on Earth, and this is determined by the Thunderhead – the big computer that runs the world. In Scythe, you follow Citra and Rowan, two youngsters who are chosen to apprentice in Scythe craft. Through their stories, you see that the world is not as perfect as it seems, and corruption is still rampant in the Scythedom. Citra and Rowan must decide which paths to take and determine right from wrong, something that’s super easy for teenagers… right?

I find it hard to put into words how amazing this reading experience was for me. It evoked such complex emotions and makes you think about how the world would be if this was our reality. It brings up a discussion on death and murder – what is acceptable and what is not. Citra and Rowan as characters are such a healthy combination of unredeemable and morally sound – you’ll just have to trust me! On top of this, you get action, a long-distance chase scene, and some serious violence. This is definitely not a fluffy book that will be an easy read.

I really can’t find any criticisms to give this book. I set it down and could only say wow to my boyfriend when he asked how it was. I was hooked from the beginning and Scythe never let go. The writing is sharp and detailed without being flowery or overly done. The characters have back story and a fantastic arc and development. Even the background characters make themselves known and jump off the page, all for eclectic reasons.

If you love science fiction, futuristic, and books that make you think and question the world around you – pick up Scythe immediately. Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

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