Scythe by Neal Schusterman
Published November 22nd 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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.
For me, Scythe is set in a Utopian Dystopia. Humanity has reached it’s maximum potential – they’ve hacked mortality. No one dies on their own accord anymore – if you jump off a bulding, you get revived three days later. If you reach old age, you can reset back to your twenties. There is no government. The people are ruled by The Thundercloud, which is pretty much giving off AIDAN from Illuminae vibes for me.
The only way to control population is through Scythes. Scythes are considered the very best of humanity. They are a group of people who have the license to kill people, and they even have quotas per year. It’s pretty much a full time job. As I read on, I saw that each Scythe had their own style of gleaning people which was really cool. Another thing I found interesting about Scythes was their names, which are named after significant figures in history. There’s Goddard, Faraday, and even my favourite, Curie.
I liked the plot a lot, it revolved around two apprentices training to become Scythes. As we go along, we see how they question things, especially with the difference between actual gleaning, and murdering people. I liked how there was morality being questioned, and people trying to determine where to actually draw the line.
For the main characters, I liked Citra and Rowan. Their personalities were really colourful, and they each had their own inner struggles. I love how they were pretty complex, especially for Rowan. What I did not like though, was the instalove?? Like really? Did we really need that? Though admittedly, it is quite bearable and not really cringe-y, so I’m willing to forgive it.
Overall I enjoyed this book a lot, and I like the character growth going on here. This is my first Schusterman book, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about his work from my friends, so I’m looking forward to read the others. Go grab a copy if you do get the chance, you do not want to miss out on this one!