Scythe by Neal Shusterman
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.
Spoiler Free Section
I loved this book and gave it five stars. It has now become one of my favourites and makes me really want to read more books from Neal Shusterman. I really enjoyed the writing style in this book, it really showed a depth to the world and all of the characters while still making it really easy to read.
The premise of this book really drew me in,since reading the giver when I was much younger I have a great interest in reading about Utopian societies and seeing how they work and also how it influences its citizens. This novel was really interesting, a world where people no longer die or get ill and so the Scythedom was created as a type of population control. I had really high expectations for this book and it really exceeded them. I really enjoyed seeing how this system worked and how the sycthes were revered by the rest of the world.
I absolutely loved our main characters Rowan and Citra. I really enjoyed how different they were but how they both had such a strong moral compass. They were both really likable characters that had a lot of personality, especially Citra, I really enjoyed how strong and stubborn she was and how she really strives to be the best that she can in any situation.
I really enjoy how we get to learn about the world and also the inner workings of some of the scythes thought processes through the journal entries at the beginning of each chapter. It really gives us a greater insight into the other side characters through their inner monologue.
The Thunderhead is something that is very interesting to me. An artificial intelligence that is the governing body of the world (with the exception of the Scythedom), there are so many books where they have an AI that starts taking over the planet and killing off the humans so this was quite refreshing to have an AI that actually had the well being of its population as the main priority even from itself. It also seems to have a large moral compass. I am hoping that we get to see more from this AI in the next book especially since it is titled Thunderhead.
I did not see any of the plot twists coming at all! Not even one of them! which I absolutely loved. I really enjoy being taken by surprise in books and this book definitely did that. I actually quite enjoyed the first twist where Scythe Faraday ‘dies’ and so Rowan and Citra and instead of them being put back into their normal lives they instead are sent off to other scythes and the tournament to the death continues. I really enjoyed getting to see the different points of view from the new and old order of scythes as well as seeing how different people glean and how they cope with having to do so.
I really enjoyed seeing the story arc with Rowan as he goes to be the apprentice of scythe Goddard and how his point of view towards gleaning actually did influence Rowan, but that in the end his moral compass won out but he saw how even the most honorable person can be corrupted to their way of thinking. I also really enjoyed getting to see Scythe Curie and how she is fighting against this corruption.
I also really enjoy the relationship that grows between Rowan and Citra and how they truly know each other even when other people are telling them differently. They had such a strong relationship that grew from learning killcraft together under Faraday and understanding how hard it was for each of them.
I really enjoyed how scythe Faraday was introduced to both of our characters and that how they handled their interaction with a scythe was what made scythe Faraday choose them as apprentices. I also thought that his way of gleaning was really interesting since he mimics the deaths that would have happened during the mortal age. However I do feel better about Scythe Curies method since she gleans people who seem to have stagnated and so they most likely have lived a full life already.
I didn’t see what was coming when Rowan decides to kill Scythe Goddard and the rest of his group, as I was reading it I thought that it was kind of useless because they would be resurrected and then they would come after him, but I had forgotten about the fire! I really hadn’t seen the book going this way but I am really happy about it.
I absolutely love the ending of the novel with Rowan becoming Scythe Lucifer and going after the corrupted within the Scythedom. I honestly would have been happy with this being a stand alone because I really enjoyed how they all ended up having quite a happy ending but I am also really excited to see what is going to happen next with this world because I really cant guess at the moment.
Thank you for reading!