In a world where disease, murder, and even death have been conquered, there is the need for scythes to kill in order to keep the population from growing too rapidly. Teenagers Citra and Rowan are thrown into an scythe apprenticeship that neither of them wants.
Spoiler Free Review:
I read this book around a year ago and I enjoyed it, but this time around, I loved it!! I planning on just looking up a synopsis before reading the third book, but after it was announced as the Barnes & Noble YA Book Club pick for December, I decided to give it a reread. I’m honestly so glad I reread it because now I am obsessed with this series!
The premise of the books has always been interesting to me. I love the moral questions about death that it raises. If humans should be in charge of choosing who dies, is there a right type of person for that job? Should they enjoy it? The book also features an AI that governs people, but has nothing to do with scythes. Should an AI be allowed to choose who dies, or if life is a human affair, should death also be a human affair? The characters struggle with all of these questions and more throughout the book.
As far as Neal Shusterman’s books go, I have only read Scythe, the sequel, and Dry, but I feel like they all tend to be more plot driven. It’s not that I don’t like the characters, because I do like Rowan and Citra for the most part, it’s just that the plot is way more interesting than the characters for me. Even though this was a reread, the plot twists still had me on the edge of my seat! Normally, I prefer character-driven books, but the plot and world of this book kept me so engaged.
The romance in this book is a little…abrupt in my opinion. I don’t dislike it, but there is very little lead up to it. I know it is because we don’t spend much time in the day to day lives of the characters, but it’s worth noting that if you are looking for well-developed romance, you’re not going to find it here.
I’m loving this series! As I am writing this, I have reread Thunderhead and I’m in the middle of The Toll. I love the world and what it says about humanity, as well as the plot and it’s twists. I highly recommend this series!