Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Title: Scythe
Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: November 22nd 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 435 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought

Book Summary:
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.
*The Chef's Review*
    Actual rating: 5/5 stars

I absolutely LOVE this book! When I first started reading Scythe, I began with high hopes because I had heard so many good things about it. The beginning was amazing and I am happy to say that it was incredible all the way through. And let me tell you, I don't normally read Dystopian books, but I am so glad that I made the exception because I would have missed out from a new favorite world.  

Scythe is about a Dystopian setting where humanity has created a certain "Utopic society" thanks to technological advances. The "Cloud" evolved into the "Thunderhead" where it holds all human knowledge. The Thunderhead takes care of all human beings, there are no deaths (if someone dies, they are revived), no wars, no diseases, no global warming, no hunger, etc. It is a nearly perfect life except for one thing-- the Scythes. In a world where there is no death, there must be balance for human population. That's how Scythes are created; they are a human organization that after proper apprenticeship, they hold the power to 'bring death' to society. Here is a small explanation extracted from the book:

"It begins on day one of apprenticeship-but we do not officially call it "killing." It's not socially or morally correct to call it such. It is, and has always been, "gleaning," named for the way the poor would trail behind farmers in ancient times, taking the stray stalks of grain left behind." ...  

The plot of this book is very unique. Most of the dystopian books that I've read have a dark and oppressive future, however in this story, the future seems very carefree and people live too comfortably. That life of comfort comes with a price and one that everyone is subjected to pay. I have to say that it is kind of nice to read that humanity came through and abolished wars, hunger, global warming and natural catastrophes (aaah, it is something that I constantly worry), but there are still evils and definite deaths.

The main characters of this story are Citra and Rowan who become apprentices to a Scythe. They are such wonderful characters with strong personalities and I really liked reading about them and how their story developed. As to the other characters, I think they were very well written and I adore reading about them as well. I loved how each Scythe wrote a journal and poured their thoughts into them giving the reader a chance to get a glimpse of their minds. My favorite Scythe characters where definitely Faraday and Curie.

Let's talk about the Scythedom! It is the only self-governing body in the world (the Scythe's organization), while the rest of humanity is ruled by the Thunderhead. This is the book's focus. In this society you can really appreciate how humans really haven't changed. Technology has revolutionized, but people are still people with their egos, politics, selfishness, childishness, etc, etc. I have to say that I find it intriguing and even though I was a bit skeptical at first in the ways of the Scythedom, I reasoned and came to the conclusion that there was a lot of truth in this society. They work in a complicated way, but not everyone is bad. There are also good people that perform their "work" with high morale, despite others that become and act as "a stone in the shoe".

Final Verdict:

Scythe is a phenomenal dystopian book and it has become my new favorite read from this genre. Aaah, I feel that I won't ever do this book justice, but seriously it is epic, thrilling and a definite must read! 

If you love Dystopian books, READ THIS! If you don't, STILL READ THIS. You won't regret it.

Happy reading! -- The Chef 

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