Scythe by Neal Shusterman – Review

Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Publication Date: November 2016
Pages: 435 
My Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis (1)

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

Goodreads link: Scythe


Unfortunately, it looks like I have an unpopular opinion once more and I’m so sad about it. The hype for the book is big and the concept of it made me really want to read it and I was sure I’ll like it. But alas…

Things I like:

  • The main idea of the book sounded very unique and interesting. A future society where humanity had overcome death and all diseases and the only way to keep the population to a normal number is having a group of people how must obey to a certain set of rule, randomly killing other members of the society. Such a nice concept and so many topics that you could dive in.
  • There were a couple of nice twists.
  • Scyth Curie was an interesting character with a nice backstory.
  • Volta. He is a side character and yet, he was one of the most interesting ones.

Things I didn’t like

  • Everything came down to execution. As I mentioned the concept was unique but yet we get very little world-building and very little description in general. And this is coming for someone that despises lengthy descriptions. By the end of the book the only thing that I knew is that people don’t die, they have a way to become young again but there is nothing left for them to do and they are bored. That’s a missed opportunity to elaborate and dive into what would actually people do in these circumstances.
  • Because we don’t get enough information and rules in this world I was left with questions and also instances that looked like plot holes.
  • The main characters. Throughout the book, we are constantly being told what characters are feeling, never shown through their actions, which made it very difficult for me to connect with them and believe what I was told they felt. An example was during Rowan training where he had to perform some actions and the only thing we got was “I don’t like this” but this was never followed with actions to show us that he didn’t like what he needed to do.
  • It’s hinted in the book that Rowan slowly turns into a bad person that is enjoying killing, but again this is never back with his action and I never felt that this was what was happening to him.
  • The love story. So I’ve seen many people saying that there was instant love and unfortunately I agree. The two main characters fall in love within 3 months which I would argue that that makes it not instant love but, because once again we brush over everything we go to “I don’t like you” to “I’m in love with you”  without been shown how this happened. Yes, they are supposed to spend 3 months training together but if you don’t show me how they slowly bonded and fall in love I’ll never believe it. And this what happened to me.
  • The climax. The book build-up to the final moment where one of the main characters will have to kill the other. This moment is in the last 5 pages off the book and once again just gets brush over the events and makes it looks too easy.

To sum up this could have been an amazing story but unfortunately, I felt like it was rushed and not well executed.

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