REVIEW: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe: 4/5
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Walker Books YA

“Hope in the shadow of fear is the world’s most powerful motivator.” 

Hi friends! With all the contemporaries I’ve been reviewing (okay okay, I know that’s just me exaggerating… my last two reviews were contemporary), I thought it was time to talk to you about this Dystopian book I’ve read recently. Oh, you might have heard about it, since it’s been like… EVERYWHERE. I have yet to find someone on Bookstagram that didn’t enjoy Scythe. I’m amongst the many people that thought this book was really, really cool. Curious yet?

Dystopian books to me mean The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner. I see them as sort of the ‘YA Dystopian Holy Trinity‘ because these were the first books I read when I entered the YA world. Which means I usually tend to steer clear of Dystopian novels because they will never be as good as those first books I read. But Scythe completely took me off that idea by being ridiculously awesome and grim, as Dystopians should be.

The world Shusterman created is some sort of future utopia, where people can live forever without illness or fear of getting old. By giving Artificial Intelligence the reigns, humanity has been given the solution to everything, even death. But this brings a different problem: overpopulation. There’s no decrease in population anymore if no one dies, and that is why the Scythedom was created. Scythes are basically Reapers, killing people based on statistics back when people were still mortal.

So in the story, we mainly follow two teens: Citra and Rowan. They go about their normal, immortal lives when all of a sudden they both get chosen to be the honourable Scythe Faraday’s apprentice. It’s unusual for a Scythe to take two apprentices, but Scythe Faraday makes sure both of his students learn all the skills needed to pass the three trials before they officially enter the Scythedom. But Citra and Rowan soon learn the Scythedom isn’t as honourable as it seems… corruption slowly makes its way to even the highest ranks. When, at their first trial, a few Scythes strongly disagree with Scythe Faraday’s idea of having two apprentices a compromise is made. Citra and Rowan can both study to be a Scythe, but only one can win – the other has to be killed by the winner. After this announcement, shit hits the fan (excuse my language) which leads to Citra and Rowan standing on opposite sides of each other.

Scythe is unique. You’ll have fully emerged in the story in no time, whilst you figure out alongside our main characters what’s really going on. You’ll be surprised, you’ll be shocked and you’ll love it. One of the best parts of this book, in my opinion, is that it really makes you think about what immortality could mean for humanity. There’s a bigger message behind the story. After every chapter in the book, there’s a diary entry from a Scythe who expresses their thoughts on the process of killing. It’s extremely interesting and well-written and I totally recommend it to all of you. I for one, can’t wait to read Thunderhead (the sequel, which is out already).


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