Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Synopsis from Goodreads
I noticed Scythe a lot at the end of last year and put it on my TBR list...where it sat for months. When I found out the sequel, Thunderhead, was coming out I finally pulled it from the stack and gave it a read. And I’m so happy I did! This book was very different from what I was expecting and I enjoyed reading it.
Really Cool Concept
I thought the whole concept behind this novel was brilliant. The minute I read the synopsis I was immediately interested in understanding why people had to take on the role of a Scythe, and how had humanity gotten to a point where death was no longer a concern. It also brought up a lot of questions: will humans run out of room? What has caused this global peace? What is the world look like now? Schuster does an excellent job of answering many of these questions and giving us very plausible answer as to how this new world has come to be. The role of Scythes is so important and yet horrifying to me, because it’s allowing someone to kills whomever they choose. And as we get further into the book, it’s clear how loopholes in the Scythe code allow the rise of a very dark and twisted code of ethics.
A Non-Vindictive “Robot”
I love that the Thunderhead is not a vindictive being in anyway. So often in sci-fi novels, the robots, the computer, or the omnipotent sentinel being ends up having this very cruel or “trying to take over the world” mentality that drives the novel. I love that in novel, the Thunderhead is simply a being that is there to support humans, to make the world a better place; it’s a program that genuinely cares about the future of humanity. In every way, the Thunderhead has become the new God for humanity. It was great of the author to create a being that so dramatically differs from the way movies like the Terminator show technology, which essentially is computers taking over and ruining the world.
Citra and Rowen Not As Developed
My biggest complaint about this novel is that it never felt like the two main protagonists were ever fully developed. We get both of their perspectives throughout the novel, which is important as their eventually separated from each other, but I never really felt like I got to know them completely. The even bigger issue because of that comment is that the relationship that they have is never very apparent to the reader. I felt like I had to fill in the blank‘s, and often I wondered how did they get to that point, or how did they get to those feelings, because it never really felt like they were spending that much time together in the pages that we were given. I’m fine with filling in the blanks for novels if some things need to happen behind the scenes, but it often felt like Citra and Rowan’s entire relationship was off scene, and we were just meant to assume that they were slowly falling in love.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I like the world that we’ve been introduced to and there are so many hints to look forward too in the next book — honestly, Scythe ends with such a good cliffhanger that I’m pretty excited to read Thunderhead. I’m interested to see how Rowen is going to be changing in the sequel, what Citra’s new role means for her and what kind of Scythe she will be, and how their relationship with each other might develop further. I have the second book ready to go and am already diving into it.
FINAL RATING: 4/5
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Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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2020 Reading Challenge
Alexandra has read 20 books toward her goal of 85 books.
2019 Reading Challenge
Alexandra has read 5 books toward her goal of 90 books.
2018 Reading Challenge
Alexandra has completed her goal of reading 80 books in 2018!
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