Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman
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*Published November 8, 2017*
I have read this book before and had bought Thunderhead at ALA last year AND I have heard from friends at work that the third one is coming out this fall, so I needed to start reading this series once again! Here we go!
Two teens must learn the “art of killing” in this Printz Honor–winning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.
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.
I think what is so interesting about this story is that dead is still held in the hands of humans. In a world where a utopia has been created, death has been defeated, and everyone is taken care of by an AI called the Thunderhead, death must still happen to keep the world’s population under control. This is where the scythes come in, they are humans who are chosen to apprentice under a current scythe and learn the craft of killing.
Within the scythes, as with all structures run by humans, there are politics and corruption and there seems to be something happening within the Scythedom when Citra and Rowan are tapped for apprenticeship. As they learn, they learn not only much about themselves, but they learn that the scythes are not infallible; they are as corruptible as humans of old, not held accountable to anyone but themselves. This has started to create a rift between those in the Scythedom that hold to the old laws, and those who call themselves the New Order, those who wish to just kill with wild abandon and glee.
The majority of this book is set-up for the series, which makes sense as it is the first in a series where the world is nearly perfect in a almost happy way. It’s also a good look into what human nature is. In a world where you are completely taken care of, you don’t have to work if you don’t want to, you don’t have to worry about providing for your family, you can literally sit at home all day should you so desire; what would you do? Who would you become?
I honestly don’t know what I would do. I would like to think that I would still be who I am now. But I may not feel as pressured to figure out what I want to do. I’m inclined to be lazy and unmotivated when I don’t have something to do or work towards. But in this world of peace and tranquility, you can still work towards something, if you so desire.
So, if in a perfect world, what would you do? Would you strive for a goal in a world where you are completely taken care of? Comment below and let me know!