I’ll admit I did not have high hopes for this book. I have this irrational fear of YA novels where I always assume I won’t like them. To be fair, I often don’t, but it is hard not to hear so much praise for this series and not give it a try. What’s more, the premise is pretty cool. I made a last second decision to include this book in my January AYEARATHON because I was reading so many nonfiction novels and wanted an easy read. Obviously, I am glad I did. I have not been so excited about a book in so long. It is so refreshing to be this excited over a new series, so excited that I have to resist the urge not to drop everything and finish the series.
Let’s start with the premise. In a twisted utopia free from death, population control requires that Scythe’s be tasked with deciding who should die, albeit at a much lower rate than was once natural. Admittedly, it feels like a stretch. One could argue population is already running out of control even with the natural levels of death. One might say the better approach is to have stricter rules on certain types of care. For instance, one kid rebels by making his parents pay to have him revived after several near deaths experiences. I find it hard to believe that type of abuse of resources would be allowed. Nevertheless, this is fiction, and I am perfectly capable of accepting the premise necessary to set up the story.
The story itself is fantastic. I thought Shusterman did a great job exploring the morality of this world and the morality that Scythes have (or don’t have). What’s more, I was surprised multiple times in this novel. Every-time I thought, “I’m loving this but it is clearly going this direction”, Shusterman would prove me wrong. To me, that is part of the reason I can so readily let go of the stretched premise. It also speaks to an expert level of writing that I need more of. I am eager to read more of his books, even beyond the Scythe trilogy.
It is written in a way that is engaging and exciting. It was indeed easy to read as I had hoped, but I don’t think Shusterman had to sacrifice the substance to make that happen. To me, that is the making of a great book. Lastly, I could so easily reread this book. I rated it 8/10 on re-readability but really, it may be more. I loved it. Highly recommend. 5/5 stars
Rating Break Down
Writing Style (7%): 10/10
Plot (15%): 10/10
Characters (15%): 8/10
Ending (1%): 9/10
Engagement (5%): 10/10
Enjoyment (25%): 10/10
Comprehension (20%): 10/10
Pacing (2%): 10/10
Desire to Reread (5%): 8/10
Special (5%): 10/10
Final Rating: 4.80/5
Note, each rating is weighted based on personal importance.
4 thoughts on “Scythe by Neal Shusterman ★★★★★”