Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Published: November 22, 2016 by Simon Schuster
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
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.
Review: I was completely blown away by this book. I usually steer away from dystopian novels because they just seem to be very repetitive to me personally. They all start out with how the world has gone to crap, the lives of people looking very bleak *dramatic hand on forehead*, a romance (~dEsPiTe aLL oDdS~), and an occasional sacrifice. Yawn, snore, predictable…you get my drift. However, the concept behind this story is so unique and unlike anything that I have read and I was immediately sucked into this world.
When you initially read the synopsis it comes off as being incredibly gory, macabre, and borderline disturbing by how much it talks about death. So I never really had any intention of reading it beforehand because…ew. But in reality, this book was so witty and even had some hilarious one-liners that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud several times while reading this book. I jumped in without really looking too far into what exactly the story was really about, which I think is the best way to go into this book because it will just intensify the surprises and plot twists along the way! And when I say plot twists and surprises, I mean high quality ones that help to further develop the plot. I can usually spot a plot twist coming or at least have an idea of how things will wrap up, but that was absolutely NOT the case with this book. I was caught off guard so many times throughout and they were well thought out twists that actually added to the story instead of being an unnecessary add-in.
Hurrah for a badass female protagonist who gets (bleep) done!! I love Citra so much and she has quickly become one of my all-time favorite female leads. She’s headstrong and defiant, yet tenacious and clever. She never loses sight of what is truly important to her and remains pretty ethical in her decisions, especially with her being sucked into a very seemingly unethical and corrupt system. On the other hand, I love all of the character arcs that Rowan went through. Although Citra tries to make the best of the situation during her training as ascythe’s intern, you really get to see the psychological journey that Rowan goes through during his training. He gets to see the ins and outs of both moral and corrupt sides of the Scythedom. Through his eyes you start to comprehend the different mindsets of people who literally hold the lives of others in their hands and how they justify their actions and decisions. It truly was such an interesting and intriguing insight into political and ethical issues overall that was so thought-provoking and made the book so much more un-put-down-able.
Overall, Scythe was such a different read for me and although I was very skeptical and apprehensive when starting the book, I am so glad that I decided to stick with it and read it! 10/10 would recommend to everyone because I feel like this would appeal to all walks of life. This now marks the end of the non-spoiler section, so if you don’t want to read my spoiler-filled mish mash of a ramble section, STOP NOW K BYE.
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The entire ending was literally the best thing ever. It made the book for me and it was just an avalanche of shookethness. Citra naming herself Scythe Anastasia to not only step out of the norm of scythe names but also choose a name that represents her ideals and plans for the future was just perfect and yet another stroke of genius from her. Citra punching Rowan in the mouth so he could get immunity from her ring? Shook. Realizing Rowan turned into a vigilante called Scythe Lucifer? SHOOK. Also just gave me hella Loki vibes, so just…please marry me. And just the whole concept of Scythe Lucifer for Rowan is just perfect?? He finds an outlet for the warring feelings he felt during his internship with Goddard and being able to guiltlessly barbecue corrupted scythes is truly his calling and I am here for it.
I got so much whiplash from the rollercoaster that Scythe Faraday is and honestly I was not mad about it at all. When it’s found out that he “gleaned” himself, I gasped so loudly that I scared myself when I was reading it in the wee hours of the night. I felt just as attacked as Citra and Rowan when they found out. But when Scythe Curie (being the badass she is) sends Citra on this journey to FIND SCYTHE FARADAY and his nonchalance when he sees her??? *slow claps* I hate you, but I love you Faraday and Curie. I also just really want a backstory or novella just about Scythe Curie’s internship with Faraday and their whole whirlwind romance because I STAN THEIR ROMANCE OVER ROWAN AND CITRA’S (or at least how it was executed, but we’ll get to that soon).
Ultimate reason as to why I didn’t give it a full 5 stars: WHY MAKE IT INTO A FORBIDDEN LOVE SITUATION NO NO N O O O O O NONONONO. I am literally so sick of every dystopian series i’ve read involve a forbidden love which is one of many reasons why i steer very clear from dystopian stories. It was completely unnecessary in this book. Like honestly what is WRONG WITH HAVING A PLATONIC AND HEALTHY FRIENDSHIP NOT EVERY RELATIONSHIP WARRANTS AN “oh-i-would-die-for-you” MOOD. NO. The minute “I love you” came out of Rowan’s mouth I wanted to smack him like BOY WHERE DID THIS TESTOSTERONE-FILLED DECLARATION COME FROM. I can understand them having a very strong bond given that they were both thrust into a very stressful life or death situation and they can lean on each other, but it absolutely did not need to be turned into a love story out of thin air. If they spent more time actually in the same vicinity as each other then maybe this situation would feel more organic and make more sense but even then it wouldn’t be necessary to add to the overall story and plot line.