“You have three hundred sixty-five days of immunity.” And then, looking him in the eye, said, “And I’ll be seeing you on day three hundred sixty-six.” ― Neal Shusterman,
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.
Eden: I’m going to keep this blurb short and sweet today. Overall I gave Scythe 5/5 stars. It was a book I expected to take a lot of concentration as a new world was built, but really Schusterman did a phenomenal job taking a complex world and simplifying it in a way that doesn’t make it dull. It speaks to Schusterman’s ability as a writer and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
Caitlynn: Wow, I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did. I thought the premise was so unique and it kept me intrigued through the whole book. Everything about Scythe was just what I needed and I didn’t even know it. 5/5 stars!
Jenn: This book blew me away! I had no expectations going into this book. However, it’s a book that deserves a great deal of hype. Shusterman’s writing is intricate yet accessible. Anybody can read this book despite there being symbols and commentary a plenty. I would recommend this book to anybody who loves fantasy. I cannot say enough about how much I love this story. 5/5 stars.
Caitlynn: I loved Scythe.
Jenn: I loved it also.
Eden: I really liked it. Did you guys come in with expectations?
C: I actually had pretty low expectations honestly. When I heard about it I was like, “Oh I don’t want to read about death all the time. I don’t want to read about the Grim Reaper.”
E: Favorite parts about the book?
J: My favorite part was probably just the whole lore behind the scythes and how they came to be and how we’re becoming desensitized to death and murder and taking it to a higher level.
C: I thought the concept was so good.
E: I quite liked the way certain scythes were shown. At the beginning of the book I read the first chapter and I was like “Jenn you’re going to love this book,”and Jenn was like, “Oh yeah?” And the reason was because the way Faraday acted in that first chapter was the way that Jenn would treat people if she were a scythe. When he told Citra’s mother to kiss his ring I was laughing so hard because it was just seemed so absurd.
C: I liked Marie Curie and Citra’s relationship.
J & E: Me too.
E: I think the characters were really interesting. This was a book where he didn’t give us a ton on the characters. I mean, he gave us a bit about them and who they are but he totally could have gone so much deeper on who these characters were but he was so good at giving us an amazing story. It was a nice balance.
J: I appreciated that nobody was wholly right. There were reasons behind every person’s actions. Nobody was really wrong or right. He also did an excellent job sneaking in that commentary on suicide with Marie Curie not gleaning the woman that wanted to die and the woman coming back to Curie and later thanking her for it.
E: There was commentary on many things, I found. At the end they have the whole commentary on the right to bare arms and what should and should not be allowed for gleaning. This novel came off really political in some ways if you looked at it in that light. It’s not overtly political with Neal Schusterman stuffing his opinion down your throat but at the same time if you’re looking for it you’ll definitely find it in this novel.
C: Going off of that, when Citra got to Curie, I just felt like the way Curie gleaned was wrong but it grew on me because we were so used to the way Faraday gleaned at that point. I mean she wasn’t Goddard at killing or anything.
E: You know when I first started reading Goddard’s part I was talking to Jenn about it and I was like, “I kind of get him.” and it was because Goddard was asking what species hates themselves for hunting? For doing what is expected of them? All I could think was that Goddard wasn’t wrong. Not entirely at least. Then he added that Rowan needed to experience true physical pain to be able to fully understand what it meant to be mortal. I really appreciated that idea. It was something I thought was a good point because many scythes took physical pain and mortality for granted.
J: But his acknowledgment of the pain made everything ten times worse. The brutal blood baths he caused and his refusal to use poison or anything that provided a fast death made his whole stand point on how gleaning should go even more atrocious. Also, he’s not a different species. You weren’t born into this.
C: He was basically picked off the street for the job.
J: Exactly so he’s not like a species denying what he is born and bred to do. It’s him making an excuse in reveling in murdering people.
C: And I was thinking mass tragedies happen in mortal times and I was literally trying to justify it with that thought but then I realized well actually many of those situations were mass murders which is so tragic.
J: If he rationalized it the same way as Faraday did and went in planning to make it as easy on the people as possible it would have been so different. Instead he was reveling in killing them.
E: When Goddard was first introduced and he steps onto that plane and says, “You’ve all been chosen to be gleaned,” I thought it had to do with the statistics that Faraday used as if it were like a plane crash. Then they showed how much he enjoyed the hunt that it changed my perspective.
E: Final thoughts?
J: It was nice getting back into a fantasy style book. This was a good one to start back with because it wasn’t overly complex and it was set in a world that was very accessible. At the same time it was so fleshed out and so wholly his that it was just rich and interesting.
E: Overall I think the book was really good. This was a nice introduction to Neal Schusterman for me. It’s nice to realize that I enjoy his writing and his writing style. I think he’s an excellent writer and he created a brilliant world.
C: I think you guys said it all, honestly. I loved the world and the sci-fi feel to everything. The whole futuristic world thing was really intriguing and done in a unique way.