Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Scythe

In the future, humanity has cured death.  Nothing is fatal anymore--not aging, disease, or even freak accidents.  But if no one ever dies, and we continue having children, the population grows exponentially.  Thus the order of Scythes is born.  Every country in the world has scythes, and it is their duty to determine who will die and the method of the death.  If you are gleaned by a scythe, you are truly dead.  There will recovery.

Citra and Rowan have been chosen to train as apprentices.  The idea spending an eternity as a killer is distasteful to both of them, but their families will be granted immunity from gleaning during the apprenticeship, and that is a large inducement.

As they set out to learn the killing arts from Scythe Faraday, they learn his method of gleaning using statistics and compassion, but as they enter the world of the Scythedom, they also find a world of politics and machinations.  It's a dangerous world they've entered, and it seems unlikely that they can both survive.

This is another masterfully told story by one of my favorite authors.  In the hands of Neal Shusterman, what could have just been a gory power play becomes a nuanced story about corruption, mortality, and the meaning of life.  I can't wait for the next book!