Scythe (1) (Arc of a Scythe)

In the dystopian world of “Scythe (Arc of a Scythe)” by Neal Shusterman, death has been conquered and controlled by a group known as Scythes. This Printz Honor–winning novel takes readers on a gripping journey as two reluctant teenagers, Citra and Rowan, are thrust into the dark and dangerous world of the Scythes.

Shusterman, the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology, delivers a thought-provoking and chilling tale that explores the consequences of a society without death. In this ideal world free from hunger, disease, war, and misery, the population must be kept in check. The responsibility falls upon the shoulders of Scythes, the only ones with the power to end lives.

With a masterful blend of suspense and emotion, Shusterman captures the essence of Citra and Rowan’s journey as they are chosen to apprentice under a Scythe – a role neither of them desires. Forced to confront their own beliefs and moral compasses, they must navigate the treacherous path of mastering the “art” of taking life. Failure is not an option, as it could lead to their own demise.

The world-building in “Scythe” is nothing short of extraordinary. Shusterman paints a vivid picture of a society teetering on the edge of perfection and chaos. As Citra and Rowan delve deeper into their apprenticeship, readers are treated to a richly layered narrative that explores the complexities of power, morality, and the true cost of utopia.

The characters in “Scythe” are brilliantly crafted and deeply relatable. Citra and Rowan’s growth throughout the story is palpable, as they grapple with their own fears, doubts, and conflicting emotions. Shusterman skillfully weaves together their individual journeys, highlighting the stark contrast between their personalities and beliefs.

The pacing of the novel is impeccable, with Shusterman skillfully balancing moments of intense action with quieter, introspective scenes. Each chapter leaves readers eager to uncover what lies ahead, as the plot twists and turns in unexpected ways. The 464-page journey is a testament to Shusterman’s storytelling prowess, leaving readers hungry for more.

“Scythe” is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that transcends the young adult genre. With its masterful storytelling, complex characters, and thought-provoking themes, it stands as a testament to Neal Shusterman’s talent as an author. This first installment of the Arc of a Scythe series promises an exhilarating ride that will leave readers hungering for more.

(Note: This review does not include a conclusion section)