Author: Neal Shusterman
Page Count: 435
Natural death, disease and illness are not things humanity has to deal with anymore. We now have nanites in our system that prevent us from feeling pain and if we die, from jumping off a building, we are revived. Unless a scythe comes to your home, at random, to glean you. That is the only way you will meet death because the human population needs to be kept under control. Scythe’s can take an apprentice on to train and teach so that they become the next Scythe. That’s how Citra and Rowan come to meet Scythe Faraday. He brings them both on as apprentices, even though neither of them wants it, but only one will be ordained. As they train and learn about the scythdom they both learn things about themselves and each other.
First off, let me say that I went into this book with HIGH expectations and they exceeded those expectations. I can’t believe this book came out two years ago and I’m just now reading it. Thank goodness that Thunderhead is already released so that I can jump right into that one. This book had so many twists and turns that I never saw coming and it was just an amazing experience. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to tell everyone to read it. Right now!
I almost immediately loved Citra from the beginning. The book starts with her, her parents and her little brother Ben at home, when a scythe knocks on their door. Now, people are super nice to Scythe’s because Scythe’s have the ability to grant immunity if the person kisses their ring. And they will have immunity for 1 year. So people are nice to them in hopes that they will get immunity. But Citra is so blunt and honest with this Scythe and I loved it! She’s also very caring to her little brother and I love to see a good sibling relationship in stories. Rowan on the other hand wasn’t someone I loved immediately. I didn’t dislike him but he just seemed like an average joe. With death not being a concern (unless you are gleaned) people are living to be hundreds of years old and people are having so many children that they forget about those children and tend not to care. That’s how Rowan is to his family. So when he is chosen to be Scythe Faraday’s apprentice, they could care less.
Now Scythe Faraday is amazing! Each Scythe has different methods to how they glean. Scythe Faraday chooses to research his subjects by the mortal statistics. So, if a teenage drunk driver is killed back in the mortal days, Scythe Faraday will choose a teenager, at random, who maybe likes to party. They get this research information from the Thunderhead. The Thunderhead was a little confusing to me. I first pictured it as like the internet but more advanced. Kind of like in the movie Eagle Eye. But then I pictured it more like a god. It is able to communicate with humans except for Scythe’s. The Thunderhead cannot intervene with the scythdom.
The story line in this is just phenomenal and I recommend it to everyone. I know a lot of us got into young adult because of dystopians like The Hunger Games, Uglies, The Giver, Divergent and The Maze Runner and a lot of us are kind of over that genre and the appeal of it. But trust me, this one is better than any that I have read. If you don’t trust me, read other reviews on it and you will see just how much it is loved.