Scythe by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Thou Shalt Kill."
I love a good dystopian read, and this book did not disappoint. Set in a chilling, futuristic time period where humans have cured all illnesses and have found the key to immortality, Scythe looks at the problems with doing just that.
In this world, all diseases and injuries have been cured. Humans are now immortal. However, every civilization has its limitations--with out-of-control population concerns, the Scythes became an instrumental group in society. Charged with the task of killing humans to keep the population down, they mimic death in our current world. Filling their quotas and carrying out "gleanings," the term for murder in their society, Scythes are seen as figures to be revered. To be a scythe is the highest honor.
Citra and Rowan are two teenagers who, thanks to certain circumstances, are chosen to be apprentices for this position. Those trained to be scythes must meet one major stipulation--they can't want to be a scythe. Citra and Rowan certainly fit the bill. Assigned to the same Scythe, Faraday, both begin a journey to a life they never imagined for themselves.
Things get complicated as emotions bubble between them. In addition, as Citra and Rowan enter the secret world of the scythes, they learn that like in so many societies, not all is what it seems. As they uncover major issues and corruption within the scythes' secret society, they must question what is right and what is wrong--and how they will play a role in the path they choose.
I adored this book because it was such a unique concept. Nonetheless, it made so much sense. We always seek immortality but never really think about the consequences of achieving it. I also love the characters in this book. Shusterman has a wide range of characters, allowing the book to feel dynamic and engaging. All aspects of this society are really well thought out, leaving no plot holes. I also loved the format, with a diary entry from a scythe coming between every chapter or so.
I already bought book two in the series and am starting it immediately. If you like dystopian literature, this book is definitely for you. Even though it is young adult, it definitely is engaging for all ages as it raises interesting, ethical questions.
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