AUTHOR: Neal Shusterman
TRIGGER WARNING: death, physical conflict.
WHERE DID I RECEIVE THIS?: I brought this from iBooks a while ago!
If you’ve ever studied mortal age cartoons, you’ll remember this one. A coyote was always plotting the demise of a smirking long-necked bird. The coyote never succeeded; instead, his plans always backfired. He would blow up, or get shot, or splat from a ridiculous height.
And it was funny.
Because no matter how deadly his failure, he was always back in the next scene, as if there were a revival center just beyond the edge of the animation cell.
I’ve seen human foibles that have resulted in temporary maiming or momentary loss of life. People stumble into manholes, are hit by falling objects, trip into the paths of speeding vehicles.
And when it happens, people laugh, because no matter how gruesome the event, that person, just like the coyote, will be back in a day or two, as good as new, and no worse—or wiser—for the wear.
Immortality has turned us all into cartoons.
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.
Scythe, where to start! This novel takes place in the distant future of our world, an almost perfect world. Where animals are not extinct, there is solutions to pollution and there is no death. Of course, no death would mean over population, right? This is where the Scythes are introduced, they are a group of individuals all hand picked by older Scythes to ‘glean’ (essentially to kill off) but how they glean, must meet the ratios of their past world to keep things fair. That’s not the only weird part however, there are no governments, at all. The Thunderhead rules all, a all knowing ‘computer’ of sorts was out in charge after a lot of speculation and now rules over everything except the Sycthedom. Throw in some politics and some shady characters and you have a world that is eerily believable.
This was an obvious 5 star read for me right from the get go, the simple but elegant writing style & the unique story line pulled me in faster than I could’ve expected and I found myself loving the characters and crying at an unexpected death.
Scythe follows two teenagers, Cyra and Rowan who have been taken apprentice by a Sycthe; someone who gleans to keep the population in check. What I found most interesting about this story line, was how realistic it was, the world Neal built, felt like something I could see happening in a few hundred years and that alone was frightening, becoming so competent in everything that we no longer needed to research or learn, we already knew it all! However amazing this sounded, everyone in this story was just, okay, calm, accepting. With the loss of death as a motivational fear, people became complacent and lost the strong feelings of Joy and Love which were things I never thought about happening! though if I’m honest, I never really thought about us being so smart we know everything! is that even possible?
I found myself quickly attaching to Cyra and her storyline more than Rowans, perhaps because I am also a female, or perhaps because she didn’t have the horrible home life like Rowan, I could relate to her more. Her family loved her, and cared for her like any normal family should and they still tried to treat her the same while she was going through her Scythedom training. Whereas Rowans mum could literally care less, she had other children to worry about. Either way Cyra was fantastic and the act she pulled on everyone in the end was stellar, It showed how much she had learned and changed over the course of this novel and it made me so proud to see her grow like that, she is honestly so smart and also compassionate that I almost wish I was her!
I really enjoyed the little excerpts from the Scythe’s journals spread through this novel as it really gave a sense to who we were reading about, and what was important to them. These journal entries reflected in the scythedom meetings, where the reflection of our political systems were obvious; people paying off others, levying to get their opinions heard and pushing for things that would help them. However just like in our current political sphere, there were a few uncorrubtables and they really shone out as a reminder that even in our current times, there will always be a few that will stand up for what’s right.
Overall I didn’t want to spoil this book so I kept it pretty vague, but I really loved this and am highly anticipating the sequel to arrive soon, the characters and world were crafted beautifully and the story ahd so many twists and turns that you wouldn’t expect and it made me love it more!
Until next time,