Today’s book review is on the amazing novel Scythe by Neal Shusterman! I cannot say enough good things about this story. I was instantly hooked into the story within the first few chapters!
The story takes place in a Utopian Earth where humans have solved every problem that we have in our current Earth. This includes feeling pain and even death itself. These have been cured so everyone is now immortal. The one drawback to this, however, is that there is still a population growth. Without people dying, and with new life being brought into the world, there is a major population issue. Since no one dies from natural causes, there is a group of people called scythes. These people are responsible for “gleaning” (otherwise known as killing) people. This is the way that the people have decided to deal with population control. What I thought was such an interesting aspect of the Scythedom is that the people seem to fear death in this world more so than those of the mortal age (the world that we all know now). One would think that if you are immortal, you would not necessarily fear death. Granted, even though they are immortal, if they are chosen to be gleaned, then they do in fact die. When a scythe walks into any area in the novel, almost everyone there is so frightened of them and worried about accidentally offending the scythe which could potentially turn into their own gleaning.
The novel follows two main characters, Citra and Rowan. They are both living their lives normally until they each run into Scythe Faraday in different circumstances. Scythe Faraday decides to take both Citra and Rowan on as apprentices to become scythes. Neither of them want to be a scythe, which is exactly the reason why Faraday chose them. If he thought they would enjoy gleaning people, they were not meant to be scythes; in order to be a good scythe, you needed to feel remorse for the action of gleaning.
Bringing on two apprentices is not something that had ever been done before, and the other members of the Scythedom were not for it. Even though Scythe Faraday planned on only one of the apprentices becoming a Scythe, there was a problem. It was decided that whoever was chosen to become a Scythe would have to glean the other. In order to get Citra and Rowan out of this, Scythe Faraday self-gleaned so that they would not be bound to this. However, the Scythedom would not let it go, and Citra and Rowan were sent to apprentice two other Scythes. Citra went to apprentice with Scythe Curie and Rowan went to apprentice with Scythe Goddard.
These three Scythes that Citra and Rowan are apprentices to each have their own unique way of deciding who to glean. Scythe Faraday made his decisions based off of statistics of how people naturally died during the mortal age. Scythe Curie chose people who were not living their life to the fullest to glean. Scythe Goddard chose to partake in mass gleanings, and took immense joy in it.
It is extremely interesting to see how Citra and Rowan grow and change in their new apprenticeships. This story also has multiple plot twists that are thrown at you that definitely completely caught me off guard! I love when a story can throw me like that, so I was very happy that this book was able to do so!
Overall I gave this novel a 5 out of 5 stars. I was so enthralled and could not put this book down!
I highly, highly recommend this book! There is a sequel titled Thunderhead that I am currently reading and will have a review of shortly!