Wednesday 23 May 2018

Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Last Updated: 18 July 2021

Scythe by Neal Shusterman book cover

AD* | Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life - and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe - a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Right from the very start, I was intrigued by the idea and concept of this book. When it comes to dystopian fiction, it takes only the most special premise to really grab me and make me pay attention, even more so to make me want to pick it up and start reading. Scythe was one of these rare books.

Billed as the next Hunger Games and raved about by book bloggers and the publishing industry alike, it's certainly clear that I wasn't the only one to have enjoyed reading Scythe. And to me, there definitely wasn't much wrong at all with this book.

Featuring the perfect blend of true-to-life realism and dystopian sci-fi elements, Shusterman expertly crafts a story that grips you right from the very start. Although I wouldn't go so far as to call the plot fast-paced, it's undeniable that a sense of urgency is cleverly woven into the story - it's this that keeps you reading page after page, long after you vowed to set down the book for the night!

Similarly, it is this realism and a sense of a world that is like our own but not our own that really sets the book apart. Yes, the concept is clever, the prose on point and the characters engaging, but the care and attention taken over world-building are what stole the show for me.

Right from the start to the finish, I was undeniably hooked - I had to find out what happened and I was kept guessing all the way through the book. Packed full of action, adventure, twists and turns, there is always something unexpected lurking across the page!

Even with such a brilliant premise, there are still certain other factors that must be top-notch in order to warrant a five-star review from The Writing Greyhound. Each character was fully developed and engaging, with a multi-faceted approach to their role in the story and complex relationships and dynamics creating intriguing avenues to be explored later. Of course, let's not forget that the quality of Shusterman's writing is second-to-none - is it just me, or does a story simply work so much better when the words seem to flow naturally and bring each page to life?

As soon as I finished the last page I was online, checking out the sequel and adding it to my ever-expanding tbr list. Now, I don't know about you, but I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

Rating: 5 stars

Scythe is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Have you read Scythe? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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