Thou Shalt Kill
Welcome to the future. At a certain point in time, everyone will be immortal. No more diseases or tragedies because everyone can be brought back. Sound perfect?
Except, over-population leads to the creation of the Scythedom. Scythes are in charge of “gleaning” a certain amount of people to keep the population size in check.
Scythe Faraday believes that the best Scythes hate taking human life. It keeps them compassionate. When he comes across Citra and Rowan, he knows they’d make excellent apprentices because of their strong moral character.
Both of them will compete and at the end of one year, one will become a Scythe and the other can return to their normal life. Or so they think. But Scythe Goddard, who always needs the spotlight, and his associates don’t believe this is right. Scythe Goddard wants the winner to have to glean the loser…so it’s no longer a fight for prestige, it’s a fight for their lives.
The problem: Citra and Rowan don’t want to be Scythes or die. The two cannot work together or get attached to the other because the inevitable that awaits them at the end of the apprenticeship.
Shusterman knows how to world build better than almost any other YA author! His Unwind series had us captivated the entire time. So, we had high expectations when beginning the Arc of Scythe series. It did not disappoint.
Shusterman brings you into a seemingly perfect future where people no longer fear mortality. But, that comes with a price. The Scythes incite fear wherever they go. Some do only what must be done and feel remorse and others enjoy it. That’s where the political divide in the book comes in. The unrest and dispute in the Scythedom seem to grow at every conclave.
Then, Citra and Rowan are brought into the middle of the political issues and are used as pawns by some of the higher members of the Scythedom. The two main characters felt well developed. They start as normal teenagers and grow throughout a year of training and being away from their families. The two had instant chemistry, but any romantic feelings were put on the back-burner because of their unique situation.
Shusterman’s books typically comment on human nature. With the power of the Scythedom comes corruption. However, he also describes that a world without conventional mortality leads to people lacking any creative desires. Everything in life has been accomplished. There is nothing really to strive for. Everyone goes to school or work without a desire to think outside the box. Everything in life has been determined by the Thunderhead, the all knowing computer system that houses all human knowledge.
This thought-provoking plot will keep you up all night. We’re already excited to read Thunderhead, book two in the Arc of Scythe series. If you consider yourself a fan of creative plots and dystopian societies, go to your nearest bookstore immediately!