A world where humanity has achieved the unachievable — immortality. Death is no longer an inevitable truth that could ensnare you at a moments notice because death no longer exists. There is no war, no hunger, and no disease. Death is simply a vexation of past generations who didn’t have “nanite” technology that can dictate an individuals rate of metabolism, suppress emotions from raging wild, and instantly dull pain receptors and beginning healing ones body. Past generations didn’t have recovery centers that could take people with snapped spines or in any other state of “deadish-ness” and return them to perfect health in four days tops.
Citra Terranova and Rowan Damisch live in this seemingly perfect world. They live in vastly separate humdrum lives, with little chance of intersecting, until one day Scythe Faraday sets their lives on a collision course. The Scythedom is the order of men and women who stand above all else. An entity who is above the law, held accountable to no one but themselves as they are charged with the job of “gleaning”. They are the only ones with the power to take life and are charged to do so in order to control the ever growing population. Citra and Rowan are taken on as Scythe Faraday’s apprentices in Neal Shusterman’s Scythe and their journey is far from anything you could expect.
Fast moving, beguiling and through-provoking Shusterman engages the reader on every level. He creates a lexicon unique to the Scythe world and showcases his own impressive vocabulary without causing the reader to feel unintelligent. I’ll be honest – I had to look up many of the words and I mean MANY. At least fifteen, but I feel good about admitting that because I learned something. I not only added words to my vocabulary but realized how lax in my vocabulary I’ve become. The English language is so extensive and yet my generation is known for “Y.O.L.O.” and “lol”. I don’t want to fall in that pit fall of the “millennial generation”. The word cloud you can see above contains words I noticed and loved in Scythe.
The book touches on current day issues of: morality, government, corruption, and human decency in a new way. More than anything I took away from Shusterman’s book a commentary on how our society is comprised of such deep felt emotions and how we try to suppress or enhance those emotions. Everyone from children to the elderly are consumed by depression, elation, anxiety, greed and everything in between. Shusterman’s world eliminates the nuisance of strong felt emotions with nanites that “subdue” them but the world he creates isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Taking emotion out of the equation isn’t the answer because without the ability to feel, how does one know they’re alive? If death were no longer a looming shadow, would their still be purpose?
” We can put things off far more effectively than those doomed to die, because death has become the exception instead of the rule. The stagnation that I so fervently glean on a daily basis seems an epidemic that only grows. There are times I feel I am fighting a losing battle against an old-fashioned apocalypse of the living dead.”
“What should I take away from your review?”, you ask ⇒ READ SCYTHE BY NEAL SHUSTERMAN!!!! I soaked up every word and can NOT WAIT for the next book in the series. Read. The. Book. Also comment and tell me what your scythe name would be! Tiny spoiler below because it must be said…
CITRA AND ROWAN ARE THE CUTEST WITH THEIR LAST LINES TO ONE ANOTHER!!!
“I love you,” he said.
“Same here,” she responded. “Now get lost.”