‘Scythe’ Book Review: Neither Good Nor Bad

Two stars



Neal Schusterman

Published: 2016

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd.

Pages: 440, paperback

Neal Schusterman’s “Scythe” is set in a utopian world where humans have overcome poverty, various social ills, and even death. There are no diseases, people don’t die of old age – they can reset their age whenever they feel like it, and if they have accidents or whatever, they are taken to revival centers where they are brought back to life in moments. days.

However, the only habitable planet is the earth. Missions to the Moon and Mars failed. And so, the population has to be reduced, which is why there are these groups of people known as scythes who have the power to “glean” (i.e. kill) people to their own discretion. Each fake has a quota of people whose lives must end within a certain time. Thus, fakes are also revered and feared in this world where everything seems perfect.

However, although scythes are supposed to glean without bias and killing people is not supposed to be enjoyable, there are corrupted ones who treat it like a sport of hunting, choosing to glean in droves and loving the bloodbath. The teenagers Citra and Rowan are taken on as false apprentices. After their one-year training, they are told that one of them will become fake and the other will return to their old life. But halfway through their training, it is decided that the winner will have to glean the other.

The two, who are mutually attracted to each other, don’t know how to handle this new development but each is determined to save the other. They also discover that some fakes break the rules, terrorize people and kill without mercy. The two apprentices suddenly find themselves propelled into a world where nothing is as it seems and where the future of humanity is at stake.

The writing is good. The story is correct. Scythe isn’t boring but it’s not as fascinating as it could have been. I didn’t want to give up as I wanted to know if and how Citra and Rowan would escape their doomed fate. Things happen that make you gasp and shiver, but they’re rare, making this a slow read.

There are all these interesting ideas about what life would be like if you had everything you ever wanted and there was no conflict. It gets you thinking, but it’s not enough to keep you hooked. Overall, Scythe is forgettable but good enough for quiet reading.

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