by Neal Shusterman
(Arc of the Scythe, #1)
Pages: 525 // Published: November 22, 2016 // Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
My Rating: ★★★★
Summary as Provided by Publisher
Two teens must learn the “art of killing” in this Printz Honor–winning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.
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.
Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.
‘Therin lies the paradox of the profession,’ Faraday said. ‘Those who wish to have the job should not have it…and those who would most refuse to kill are the only ones who should.’
Oh wow. This was a pleasant surprise.
In a futuristic world where there is no hunger, no disease, and no misery, humanity has conquered mortality. As a result, Scythedom was created to manage the ever-growing human population. Only a Scythe is allowed to end life and they are required to do so.
Based on the premise alone, I was not entirely convinced. I was intrigued but wasn’t sure a book about death would be my thing. Ever since having a baby, my ability to stomach violence has gone waaaay down. But this book did not disappoint at all and it was a quick and what I call a “smooth” read.
The storyline was really good, the first half of the book reminded me of Karate Kid, if that makes sense. Whenever I think of apprenticeships – my mind goes there. The second half was very much like the Fugitive. So not give away any spoilers, in a fairly short book, Neal Shusterman was able to paint this deep and alluring tale. He is able to raise interesting philosophical questions.
Citra and Rowan, the apprentices of focus, are so enjoyable on so many levels. Citra was stubborn, smart, and strong-willed. Rowan was charismatic, intelligent, and loyal (in a sense). Both were admirable and extremely relatable. Besides the main characters, three other characters shone bright for me were Scythe Faraday, Scythe Curie and Scythe Volta. They were just so freaking awesome, I just want to squish their faces.
I also loved how Shusterman developed this relationship between Citra and Rowan but it did not deter from the storyline, which some YA authors tend to do. And the ending, oh wow.
The only reason, I give this 4 stars and not 5, is that certain aspects of their world I didn’t fully understand. Why glean an individually painfully? It was something I didn’t understand or maybe I just didn’t want to accept that as one of stories parameters. The violence also deters me from recommending it to everyone.
If you love dystopian worlds and love thought-provoking stories, than this is an enjoyable read. I hope you pick it up and let me know how you like it! I can’t wait to read Thunderhead!
I wonder what life will be like a millennium from now, when the average age will be nearer to one thousand. Will we all be renaissance children, skilled at every art and science, because we’ve had time to master them? Or will boredom and slavish routine plague us even more than it does today, giving us less of a reason to live limitless lives? I dream of the former, but I suspect the latter
One thing this book reminded me of, is to value life and enjoy everyday as it could be your last. On occasion, they would glean people with no warning, unable to say goodbye. They had so many years on this earth yet they were still shocked and sad. Just like, dare I say, real life? So take a moment today and hug the people you love and enjoy today.
Thank you so much for stopping by, HAPPY READING!