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☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ FIVE STARS
Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme that was originally created by It’s Book Talk as a way to share reviews on old favourites as well as books that we FINALLY got around to reading. Our endless TBR list continues to grow, so this is a great opportunity for us to get around to all of those books we’ve been wanting to read!
This week’s read is: Scythe by Neal Shusterman
It’s been a week since I’ve read this book yet I keep finding myself thinking about it at random times. It’s safe to say this is a book that has really resonated with me. The story follows two young teens on their unexpected journey into life as a Scythe’s apprentice. Pulled out of their lives for seemingly unapparent reasons, Citra and Rowan are forced to come to terms with the expectations thrust upon them – an honourable life of killing.
As a fan of YA fantasy I’ve read my fair share of assassin-in-training tropes, but this one really stood out. I was captivated by the confronting nature of being a Scythe. The moral and emotional effect it had on Citra and Rowan really caught my attention and sympathy. Their story was not one I would have liked to join. And yet, I couldn’t put this book down. If not for the bothersome tasks of eating, sleeping and studying I would have read this in one sitting. If you haven’t tried this book yet… what are you waiting for? You won’t get a higher recommendation from me.
Citra and Rowan were complex, well-developed characters. My favourite characters in the book though, were Faraday and Curie. Their commitment to maintaining the honour of being a Scythe, despite the negative impact it still had on their lives after years in service, gained my respect.
While I enjoyed the characters in this book immensely, what really made it a 5-star read was the idea behind it and its execution. This was a very well written book that featured a unique take on the future. In a world where artificial intelligence, the Thunderhead, has removed the need to want (to want for eternal life, medicine, food, wealth etc.) and humans have conquered death, there are Scythe’s chosen for the task of gleaning; a form of methodical killing. Gleaning is essential to prevent the Earth from over-populating in a time when death and mortality have been erased. Along with its demise are the loss of aspects of humanity that relate to the concept of want and survival, such as those seen in art.
I loved the unique concept of artificial intelligence in this book as being an ally in a dark, dystopian story. Usually this is the other way around in sci-fi reads. The only remaining humans without intervention from the Thunderhead were the Scythe. Despite the honour bestowed upon them, the Scythe’s feature as both the heroes and villains in this story. Bereft of humanity, the Scythedom faces an era of corruption as a new order of scythes, keen for the kill and eager for cruel methods of gleaning, begin to gain power.
Overall this story was utterly gripping and sought to question the roles of heroes and villains by show-casing a cast of imperfect characters each capable of generous and despicable acts. I would highly recommend this book!
// have you read this book? what were your thoughts on it? //