Book Review: Scythe

written by Neal Schusterman

“Thou shalt kill.” With those words, Citra's and Rowan's lives changed forever.

Apprenticed to a master Scythe named Scythe Faraday, they train in the act of gleaning , which is the art of killing performed by a Scythe. Scythes are individuals chosen to keep the global population controlled since people can't naturally die, unless by fire. In the year 2045, people are only able to die officially by the hand of a Scythe. Instead of death, Scythes render people to a “deadish” state. They then the people are taken to a revival center where they are fixed up and returned to their own lives, good as new. People can also reset their age so that they don't have to grow old unless they desire it and can be “young and pretty once again.” They refer to the earlier 21st century as the “Age of Mortals” or the “Mortal Age,” which they aren't very knowledgeable about, especially the newer generations.

When their apprenticeships go askew, Citra and Rowan end up apprenticed to two different Scythes, one stern but caring and the other full of malicious intent and wrongdoing. Citra gets the better end of the deal, being apprenticed to Scythe Curie. Meanwhile, Rowan is apprenticed to Scythe Goddard, who loves to glean mass groups of people; he enjoys the job even though the rule clearly states,” Those who wish for the job should not have it, while those who don't should.” Being apprenticed to these very different Scythes seriously affects their personalities and guides their futures. Scythe Goddard attempts to turn Rowan into a cold, cunning, and calculating killing machine, while Scythe Curie teaches Citra to be brave and stay true to herself. These two apprentices are running out of time, one destined to slaughter the other in the end.

Scythe was an incredible book to read. It's full of many twists and turns that are nearly impossible to predict. I'd recommend it to anyone, especially teens and young adults, who would like to read a very interesting and action-packed story. Neal Shusterman did an amazing job writing this futuristic novel –full of adventure, action, and mystery– building characters and background stories. He also ended the story well, tying many loose ends together. I am so excited to read the sequel!