Scythe: Book 1
I resisted reading Scythe because I didn't think it could live up to my high expectation after Unwind, but Neal Shusterman has done it again! Scythe is a great story of what might ordinarily would be the unimaginable, but Neal Shusterman is a master at convincing the reader that these scenarios could indeed happen in a society like ours given a little more time, along with some continued advancement of technology.
I love the political depth within the story as well, but as always with this author, fear not if politics aren't your jam, you will easily read through it and probably miss the indication completely and just take it in as the good story that it is.
I adored how Shusterman tackled this problem.
“I have become the monster of monsters, he thought as he watched it all burn. The butcher of lions. The executioner of eagles.”
I wasn't entirely sure what the plot of the story was gonna be like when I started - just that it had something to do with a person in a grim reaper suit. And boy was I delightfully surprised by how much I truly engaged with the entire concept.
The world-building in this book is a big big winner for me. I mean I just want the sequel to understand more of the world more than anything.
It is pretty classic dystopia - we have loads of tech; humans aren't really 'developing' anymore, rather we are just 'being'; everyone lives to an age at which they have stopped counting. But the key of the story is how we manage this lifestyle. Because people aren't dying. Instead, we need to deal with the overpopulation.
Hence we have Scythes, people whose entire life is now dedicating to culling the population to something reasonable.
More than the Sycthedom concept, is the idea of the Thunderhead: basically a big AI cloud that now manages humans in a much better way than humans ever could. No more politics or police forces etc. It's all managed by the Thunderhead. Despite all the books that focus on AI that I've read, I've never come across something quite like this. Hence, I am super keen for the sequel (which is called Thunderhead).
“The greatest achievement of the human race was not conquering death. It was ending government.”
Citra and Rowan are the main characters - two adolescents who have been chosen by Scythe Faraday to begin a scythe apprenticeship. They begin a journey where they must confront their own ideas and moral on human life in a world where being mortal is only a historic tale.
While I did not mind the MCs, they were not the most engaging characters for me in the book. Understandably, the way they viewed the entire concept of the Scythedom was narrow, compared to their ancient mentors. Overall I found their character development lacking and the romance (?) was unnecessary and very poorly done.
For me, however, the other characters made up for this however. Scythe Faraday is an incredibly complex character and forces the MCs and the reader to contemplate many confronting notions of humanity and mortality.
Scythe Curie was an absolute gem. Never in a book have I come across a character more elegant, fierce, steadfast, aware, and intelligent as this character. I truly admire the craftsmanship of this character and think everyone should read the book solely to meet her.
Even Scythe Goddard is interesting and raises a lot of questions as you get to know more of his thoughts and moral grounds.
“I think all young women are cursed with a streak of unrelenting foolishness, and all young men are cursed with a streak of absolute stupidity."
At times the story was slower than I typically enjoyed, but I loved the moral questioning in this book so much that it didn't bother me all that much. I adore everything this book offered and can not wait to read the sequel.
My biggest question though. Who is wearing the red scythe robe on the cover?
More reviewshref> | Twitterhref> | Pinteresthref> | Books gnaw at me from around the edges of my life, demanding more time and attention. I am always left hungry. (P. Paul)