SCYTHE is the first book a new series by young adult author Neal Shusterman. In this utopian novel, life as we know it has been perfected. There are no diseases, fatal accidents or anything that can cause death (including old age!). Except for the Scythes – figures who are given the duty of culling the population. They are able to kill whomever they would like, whenever they would like, or exclude people from being gleaned, a nicer term for being killed. Scythes are not allowed to kill for pleasure, but that doesn’t stop some Scythes from enjoying the act.
Two reluctant teenagers, Citra and Rowen, are given apprenticeships for this role and must learn the different ways of killing. Only one will be allowed to take up the position at the end of their apprenticeships. And while neither are eager to take the lives of others, they both find themselves considering the different benefits the position can offer to them or their families.
This novel is an interesting read for lovers of the utopian/dystopian genre. If you liked Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games, Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, and Neal Shusterman’s other series Unwind, you’ll enjoy Scythe and what it has offer about life and death.