Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

The world has conquered hunger, disease, war and misery but people are randomly selected to die to keep the population down. There are assigned people to do these – these people are called Scythes. The premise for this book is highly intriguing and will likely draw you in by itself. Then two apprentices come along who’ll change the way the world works forever. This is the premise for Scythe and below is my book review.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman review
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Plot – 5/5

The premise for Scythe is great – when you describe it to others it definitely intrigues them and the plot as you read it is truly captivating. Shusterman has thought of a unique idea and executed it to perfection here. The idea is great and all, but if you don’t bring in politics, opposing thoughts and controversy, it could quite quickly become quite dull. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen here at all.

To back up the overarching story is the tale of Citra and Rowen who become apprentices to Scythes – two young people who have very different thoughts about the idea of society and have differing opinions on how it could be improved. There’s an ongoing love story between the pair of them too that creates a great dimension to the rivalry and different opinions they form.

Characters – 4/5

I have to admit the characters in Scythe weren’t the most multi-dimensional – however, this was likely due to them being younger characters. I’ve read the sequels (which I’ll put reviews up of soon) and the characters definitely improved, new ones are introduced and the current ones’ personalities become more refined.

Despite the lack of dimensions – as I’ve put it – never did I feel like this hampered the book. They had enough dialogue, back story and passion to keep me interested in them and their journeys. This is a sign of well-written characters – you’re interested in their journey. That’s enough for me.

Scythe summary – 4/5

This book has a wonderful premise and Shusterman has executed it really well. The follow-up sequels ramp up the action and the politics and I look forward to sharing my review of those with you too.

The characters themselves aren’t the most fascinating but are interesting enough to make you care more about the plot which is important enough. I often try to finish these reviews with whom I would recommend the book to and I would honestly recommend this to anybody. It’s an easy read so would be great for teens and up and isn’t too fantastical or Sci-Fi based for those turned off by anti-realism – there aren’t aliens! I read this alongside my girlfriend and we both enjoyed it and it was one of her first forays into Sci-Fi – she was intrigued by the plot also.

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