Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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Goodreads synopsis:

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.


Wow! Just, Wow! What an incredible book to start off 2019 with! Although, now I’m a little worried I have peaked too soon into the new year and any follow up books just won’t hit me as hard as this one did! This book honestly made me question my own morals, it made me bawl my eyes out and gasp in shock!

Scythe is set on a very futuristic planet Earth. Mankind has become so advanced, both technologically and medically that human beings have actually been able to eradicate death and disease. Going as far as to regenerate cells in the human body to bring people back from accidental death and wind back their years like the hands of a clock. Thats right! If this was reality, your grandparents could be younger than you right now and maybe even giving you a new Aunty or Uncle.. Eek!

Since no one on Earth is dying anymore an order called the Scythedom was created to essentially cull human beings in order to keep the Earth from being over populated. The big issue is, that the Scythes are human beings and they are exempt from being culled themselves unless self inflected. So what happens when human beings live forever and never have to worry about death, pain or real true fear? We slowly but surely lose what it is to be human. We are born to die and everything in between should be a beautiful adventure. But if we live forever, we have forever and so passion becomes complacency and what it means to be human is slowly forgotten and people are easily corrupted. The novel follows Citra and Rowan, two apprentice Scythes navigating this concept in two very different ways.

There were moments in this book where I honestly felt uncomfortable, but in a good way if that makes any sense at all. There were moments where I noticed myself becoming just as disconnected from the death in this novel as some of the characters and I really had to think and question myself. The characters themselves were beautifully flawed and diverse, although occasionally a little frustrating, again, in a weirdly great way. The pacing and plot were brilliant, I had no idea what was going to happen next which engrossed me even further into the read. At times I found myself wanting to cry, laugh and having to look up from the novel and just stare in utter shock. This. Book. Made. Me. Feel. All. The. Feelings!

It’s safe to say this story was fantastic. There is very little I could say I didn’t enjoy. I was gripped from the very first chapter and will definitely be reading the sequel. It certainly makes you think and question your own thoughts on death and immortality. I would highly recommend his book to people who enjoyed the intense, dystopian future of the Hunger Games series! It was completely unique and engaging. I am giving this thought provoking read 5 stars!


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