Scythe (Arc Of A Scythe #1)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre/Themes: Fiction, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, YA
Release Date: November 22nd 2016
Page Count: 433
“You have three hundred sixty-five days of immunity.” And then, looking him in the eye, said, “And I’ll be seeing you on day three hundred sixty-six.”
I received an ARC of Scythe by Neal Shuterman from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. This in no way effects my personal rating.
Everyone in the bookish community has always highly praised the work of Neal Shusterman. I finally had the chance to pick up my first Shusterman book earlier this year when I read Bruiser. It blew my mind so hard that I knew I needed to continue on and read as many more Neal Shusterman books as possible. When I was asked by Simon and Schuster Canada if I would like to read and review his newest novel Scythe, I of course enthusiastically said yes!
In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation—they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do. Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives.
What I Liked
The concept. The concept behind Scythe was absolutely fantastic. It was a really unique read in a world wear dystopian novels have all started to feel the same. It was so creative and unlike anything I have ever read before. The idea of a futuristic world in which death is a thing of the past and the only solve to overpopulation is to be killed (gleaned) by a Scythe. The Scythes are here to make sure that the natural order of the world still happens by making sure they glean the right amount of people each year to meet their quota. That concept alone is unique in itself. Then we bring in these two young teens, both chosen as apprentices to become scythes. While at first they were both chosen, a chain of events causes the two to be forced to fight against one another, as now only one of them can become a scythe…that has to glean the loser. On top of all that, we have the Thunderhead, which was once the Cloud (yes, the same cloud that exists in our world today) only it has now become a sentient being that basically governs the world. The only thing it can’t touch or control is the Scythedom. I mean…how interesting does all of that sound?! So unique, so brilliant.
The characters. Citra and Rowan were both fantastic main characters. I loved their friendship and the complications that later effected it. I loved that they both had different personalities, while also having a similar outlook that attracted Scythe Faraday to initiate both of them as scythe apprentices. Scythe Faraday became one of my favourite characters within this novel. He was honourable and thoughtful and had qualities that made him stand out as a fantastic scythe. In other news, Scythe Goddard was just an awful person. I completely despised him which I think was exactly what Shusterman wanted from readers. Is it weird that I kept picturing Scythe Goddard as Matt Bomer? These characters are fantastic and I absolutely loved them all.
The question of right & wrong. This novel definitely touches on the idea of making good decisions. Choosing between right and wrong. Following the rules or taking advantage of the privilege that you have been given. Nature versus nurture. This has always been an intriguing concept for me. How two different people make decisions based on the way they were raised…or in this case, based on the way that they were trained.
It felt real? Yes, this book took place in the future…but it doesn’t feel that far fetched at all. I can definitely see something like “The Cloud” becoming a sentient being. I can see human eventually achieving something like a longer lifespan. I can see how this might cause overpopulation issues which would bring forth the ides of “scythes” that would need to strategically fix this issue. While this story does feel futuristic, it seems quite possible.
What I Didn’t Like
I literally loved everything about this book. Can I get book 2 now please?
Scythe definitely did not disappoint and I am 100% on my way to becoming a huge Neal Shusterman fan. I have already acquired two more of his novels and I absolutely cannot wait to dive right in. READ THIS BOOK.
About The Author
When I was a kid, I wanted to be everything. A writer, an actor, a doctor, a rock star, an artist, an architect, and a film director. I had a teacher who said “You can’t do that ? you’ll be a jack of all trades and a master of none!” But I had it worked out: I’d be a jack of seven trades, and master of three. Then, in ninth grade I had an English teacher who really made a difference in my life. She saw my love of writing, and challenged me to write a story a month for extra credit. Since I desperately needed extra credit in her class, I took her up on the challenge, and by the end of ninth grade, I really began to feel like a writer. That’s when writing emerged above all my other interests as my driving passion. When I was sixteen, our family moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Mexico City, and I spent my last two years of High School there. Having an international experience changed my life, giving me a fresh perspective on the world, and a sense of confidence I might not have had otherwise.
Thank you for reading!