Author: Neil Shusterman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release date: November 22nd, 2016
Genre: dystopian, teen fiction
Page count: 435
Goodreads synopsis: 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.
My thoughts: Don’t let the dystopian genre throw you. I know people have strong feelings about dystopian novels but this one was so. Good.
The premise was dark. It was so compelling though. Scythes’ primary role is to “glean” people in order to control the population. It brings up some really interesting topics about who they should glean and why. Different scythes have different methods and some are more corrupt than others. It’s just a really interesting and dark take on the topic of death.
The characters are fine. Nothing terribly remarkable about them. The villian was a really terrifying villian and I wish we could see more of him but alas I don’t think we will. I found myself more drawn to the older scythe characters of Scythe Faraday and Scythe Currie. Both of them were noble in their own right and I really enjoyed reading about them and their methods the most.
I’ve read people thought this book was a tad boring and slow but I didn’t feel that way at all. The “slow” parts were all central to the world building and in a dystopian novel, I feel, world building is one of the most crucial elements.
I don’t really have anything negative to say. This was a really great read. It gives the reader much to think about and consider. There are some trigger warnings with self harm and suicide so please be aware of those.
I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to read the second book Thunderhead.