“Scythe” by Neal Shusterman
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction
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.
That was twisted. So twisted. But also amazing? Once again, Shusterman proves he’s a genius at world building. This world is terrifying but also makes sense. There are some really interesting ideas explored through the story. Is there really a good way to kill someone?
The beginning of the story is a bit slow. It does take a while to settle yourself into this world and figure out exactly what’s going on. Once the story gets going, it really doesn’t stop.
The twists and turns are great. I really didn’t know what was going to happen. Shusterman knows how to pack a punch.
The character arcs of Citra and Rowan are great. I enjoyed seeing them settle into the roles thrust upon them. They approach the problems in different ways. At the heart of it they are good people which I think is desperately needed if they are to take on the job of Scythe.
The alternating stories of Citra and Rowan worked for me. I also grew to enjoy the journal entries from various Scythes between the chapters.
If you’re looking for a YA novel to make you think, this is a great pick.