Scythe by Neal Shusterman
(Book #1 of Arc of a Scythe)
Publishing Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 400 pages
Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy
The Premise from the Publisher: "Two teens are forced to murder—maybe each other—in the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology. In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation—they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do. Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives" (SS).
My overall thoughts and review: I don't often post a review for a book prior to publication date and if I do, it is only for good reason and that is because I truly believe you should pre-order this book as soon as possible. I have to admit, this is my first time reading some by Neal Shusterman. I own most of his other works, but I never got around to reading them. When I was first pitched this book, I was instantly intrigued. It sounded like The Giver but with reapers. I was really curious about the world that was proposed to me, how disease has been eliminated and how professional reapers are chosen. I was actually supposed to be buddy-reading this with a friend (sorry again, Joey!) but I could not put this book down, I enjoyed it so much. You are first introduced to two characters: Citra and Rowan. They both become the apprentice to Scythe Faraday. In the beginning, it sounds like an interesting proposition, they both would compete and only one would be chosen as the final apprentice. The other will simply return to their life with all they have learned without the ability to do anything with it. Things over course get complicated because it ends up being a fight for their life when they are pitted against each other. I really enjoyed how many twists and turns there were, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat to find out who was really good and who was really bad. I particularly enjoyed the journal entries that were in between chapters from the journals of various Scythes. This is the first book in what I believe to be a series (not sure how long), but I'm already dying for the next book. If you want a good dystopian read, this is the one for you! It's been a while since I've read a dystopian novel and loved it. Shusterman offers great world building, strong characters and keep-you-always-guessing plots. So yes, please go out and secure your pre-order today for the book. You will not be disappointed.
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)
Available for preorder at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)
Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was sent by Simon and Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. All opinions of the book are my own.