Friday, January 20, 2017

Review: Scythe

Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Arc of a Scythe #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books
Release Date: November 22nd, 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Date Read: 11/24/16 to 12/8/16
435 pages

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.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I have been putting off this review since forever. About a month and a half or so. The reason for that is because I just didn’t know how to review Scythe. Because it was that good, but in a way I just couldn’t possibly explain.

The great thing about Neal Shusterman is that he has these worlds that are constrained by rules of his own making. About two years ago, I heard him talk about it during a signing. He showed the audience pages and pages of his manuscript, all written out in ink. I couldn’t imagine all the hand cramps that came with that. His dedication to world building is clearly shown in this new series, and I highly recommend you at least read this for that.

In this science fiction world, humanity has gained immortality. Without hunger, disease, war, or misery, you could say that this is a pretty good world to live in. Well, except for the fact that there are people called scythes, in charge of maintaining the human population. Everyone is scared of them, sometimes there’s bribery, and this book (and most likely the series) focuses on the corruption within the group. That’s where Citra and Rowan come in, two apprentices who not only have to learn the morals of what it means to take a life, but also find a way to survive themselves in this political climate group.

Though I absolutely adored the characters, I was very much drawn into the plot and the world-building. It’s not every day where you read about how to pick someone to kill. And the different scythe mentors, Scythe Faraday and Scythe Curie, each had unique methods. One who goes for the instant kill, and the other who confronts the person first. Also pretty sure Scythe Faraday was one of my favorite characters from this book.

As with all great books that I’ve read, I just don’t have that much to say about Scythe. But don’t take my lack of words as me not liking it. Because I did! Compared to the rest of the books I read in 2016, this one is way above all of them.
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