What would happen if people never died? Neal Shusterman’s Scythe explores this idea. In 2041 the modern day ‘cloud’ became “The Thunderhead” and solved the world’s problems. All diseases and injuries were cured, the effects of global warming have been stopped, and resources have been carefully distributed to eliminate hunger. The order of Scythe’s are chosen to control overpopulation, the one thing the Thunderhead cannot control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to be apprentice scythes and only one of them can move on to become a full Scythe. They slowly start to learn that the perfect world they live in might not be so perfect after all.
What is really cool about this book is that as the story progresses the seemingly perfect utopia becomes less and less perfect. In some utopian/dystopian books it seems clear that there are major flaws but at first glance this world really does seem idealistic. Shusterman does a really good job of delving into the moral implications of creating a perfect world. The world has such a fascinating history that gets explored in a way that helps bring out the subtle themes of the book. History and the moral issues presented combine to reveal why this utopia is not so perfect but it is presented in such a subtle way that I just love!
The plot of the story is also fascinating and certainly enhanced by the compelling characters Shusterman created! This is the first book of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy and unlike some series, this one keeps getting better! The last two books (ThunderHead and The Toll) do a great job of progressing the story set up in book one while adding plenty of new concepts to keep things exciting. With an intriguing plot, great characters, and amazing writing I would highly recommend Scythe for your next read!