Author: Neal Shusterman
My Rating: 4.25 stars! ⭐️
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.
Wooooooow what a book! Can you believe it, I haven’t read a dystopian novel since 2015?! That’s 3 years! I was so shocked when I found out the last one I read was Angelfall by Susan Ee.
I think one of the main reasons I enjoyed this book so much was because of the long gap I took from reading Dystopian novels. It’s still not my favorite genre, but from time to time I do enjoy it!
This book has such an interesting premise. Basically generations ago, (because of the highly advanced technology) humans had developed a way to sustain their life even after death. So if you die, you can easily be brought back to life, or choose when you want to revert to a different age. However, since Earth cannot support every single life, individuals called Scythes were introduced, to randomly eliminate lives in order to keep the population under control.
In this book we follow the perspective of two characters, Rowan and Citra, who have been taken under the wing of Scythe Faraday as apprentices—in which one of them will actually move on to become a Scythe.
I think my favorite thing about this book, was the whole concept of Scythes. It was definitely something that kept me so invested in the book, and wanting to find out more of how they originated. (WHICH WAS SO INTERESTING!) I loved reading the Scythes diary entries at the end of each chapter since it really gave us insight to how much killing had affected them.
I also enjoyed how much this book made me think. It arises all these questions on mortality and humanity as a whole, as well as different opinions characters have in this book that can be seen as morally correct or incorrect.
It was interesting to read their thought process behind those specific beliefs, which was also provided by the diary entries.
As much as I enjoyed the book, this was one of those cases where I found the plot of the story to be more interesting than the characters themselves. It felt like they weren’t developed enough for me, or that I didn’t know them well enough to form a better connection to them, especially our two main characters Rowan and Citra. (I felt the same way towards the romantic aspect of the book based on the fact that we barely saw any proper interaction between the characters).
Coming off of this, I felt like each chapter length was too short. There were some parts of the book where I felt like part of the story itself wasn’t developed thoroughly enough? Like they would be at one place but immediately the chapter would end and something totally different was occurring.
It threw me off a bit, especially since I wanted to see a specific characters reaction or the journey to this place but instead we just jumped from one chapter to the next.
ALSO, (something I just wanted to mention as an aside) to those of you who have read this book, did you get any vibes from the book Animal Farm by George Orwell? Especially with the ten commandments part? I was totally getting Animal Farm vibes and I kept comparing the two books, and I found that to be SO cool.
Regardless of all these little bumps that caused me to lower my rating, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend this to any of you who have been feeling the dystopian genre lately! It’s definitely a thought-provoking book and a series I am certain to continue very soon!
Thanks for reading!