Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: Science Fiction
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Humans have attained complete immortality. They have defeated all manner of diseases and natural disasters through artificial intelligence called the Thunderhead. The Thunderhead knows all and sees all, and has done away with all political authority, crime, corruption. The Thunderhead is the governing body of the entire world. The only thing that the Thunderhead cannot interfere with is the Scythes.
Because humans can now essentially live forever, there has to be some way to manage the growing population. People still have to die. This is what the Scythes are for.
There’s no real rhyme of reason to how they glean. Some glean based on statistics, some glean based on the look in the person’s eyes, and some do it randomly. However they do it, the Scythes maintain a quota of 250 gleans per year; no more, no less.
Our two main characters, Rowan and Citra, get taken on as Scythe apprentices, and this is the story of their journey, change, and development through their now upside-down world.
Holy crap. This book was absolutely amazing. I cannot say enough good things about Scythe and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it or talking about it since I finished. I immediately ordered Thunderhead (the next book) upon finishing this because I need to know what happens right now.
I’ve been hearing people talk about this for some time, but it took me too long to jump on the bandwagon. And I am ashamed. Scythe is not talked about enough. It is not hyped enough, not enough people are talking about it, and I am going to recommend this to everyone I meet for the next forever.
First of all, the world building in this is perfect. Absolutely spot on, so interesting and detailed and intricately done. I was so pleased reading this perfect, utopian world and was so intrigued by it. I could imagine it vividly, but not only that: it all makes sense. Everything just clicks.
The book poses so many difficult questions about mortality, right and wrong, the intents of the heart. I truly feel like it’s such an important book that people should be forced to read and evaluate. Analyze. People should be writing papers about Scythe, about what it means to them and how they interpret it. It makes you think about what you may do as a Scythe and how you may choose the people that you glean. It also makes you think about how you may live your life if you didn’t have to worry about death (aside from the possibility that you may be gleaned, which isn’t super probable to be frank).
The characters are relatable and the struggles they face make the reader feel for them. You can see the changes our apprentices undergo and why they turn out the way they do. You see the way they face corruption within the Scythedom and how the handle it. It’s all just so complex and amazing and really, I just want everyone in the entire world to read this book.
Scythe is fascinating, entertaining, engaging, relatable, thought-provoking, and a true gem. I cannot recommend this book enough. I’ve already been bothering my friends and family to read it so please, do yourself a favor and read this wonderful book.