Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman
I was put off by the concept of this book at first, but some other people were recommending it so when I spotted it at the library I picked it up and read the back cover and went wow, sounds cool. (And also better than the other two books I was looking at borrowing) But after reading the back cover I just could not put it down, I was intrigued.
The book is clean (though there are hints at the fact that affairs had happened in the past and hints of romance), there was the expected level of violence for such a book (they are killing a lot of the time) but nothing overly descriptive (except once when there was a lot of blood). Scythe is not written from a chrisatain perspective at all, but it still holds to truths about human nature and that we just cannot be perfect. I enjoyed being able to delve into the themes and perspectives of this book, not of course that I agree with them, but they are what many people believe so it is good to be able to see that this is how other people may see life. To be able to see that humanity cannot ever have a utopia on this earth. And that where there is power there is always corruption. Sure there are some fatal flaws in the worldview, but it still holds truths. Scythe talks about the subjects of death and killing (Obviously) but it is interesting because society usually won't talk about it at all.
The concept was really amazing, and though the technology is not explained (it just works.) I enjoyed it for how far flung and cool it all was. I read it in three days, and that was only because I started it really late one evening. I also really liked the journal entries at the end of chapters, so much foreboding in them, and terrifying thoughts about humanity! I like books that make me think and are also clear on what they think, so even if I don't agree with their thoughts I can still learn from them.
The characters were also petty good. I ended up not liking one who I liked a lot at the beginning, still I could understand why he did what he did, but I was still happy with how his character arc turned out, it was as it had to be, yet not what I expected. The whole thing also tied off nicely and could be a stand alone, though apparently a second book is coming.
Further notes on the romance: it was kind of unnecessary, it would have worked fine had they been friends. So I kind of imagined it more that way. It also felt like it was put there just to be there.
It was humourous at times too, in a morbid way. And it makes you realize that living in a 'perfect' stagnant world like the story paints is not something I would want. I am glad for the age of mortality, and that lives can have purpose. But most of all that I have a better answer as to what happens after death than "I don't know."