What if death was the only thing left to control?
In a perfect world, the only way to be die is to be gleaned by a professional scythe. When Citra and Rowan are chosen to be apprentice scythes, they know they option but to learn the art of killing. However, the terrifying responsibility of choosing their victims is just the start.
Corruption is the order of they day and Citra and Rowan need to stick together to fight it.
Then they are told one of them will have to glean the other…
Author: Neal Shusterman
Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Release date: 22nd November 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but not enough for me to give it a 5 star rating, but it was close. This is the book that revived me from my almost 2 year reading slump and I’ll tell you as for why.
If there is one thing I love, it is a good, solid dystopian novel, where the main characters rebel against the system, with one of the protagonists being a strong, independent female – this book delivered on all of this.
Although the novel follows the perspective of both Citra and Rowan, Citra was at the forefront of the novel, and rightly so that girl is an icon. She is resilient, brave, perceptive and dangerous but with the right amount of compassion and sympathy to not make her an arsehole. We grow with her and Rowan as we follow them on their journey from being two average teenagers in a world where everything is provided for them and deemed ‘perfect’ to when they are thrust into an entirely alien environment and taught to be ruthless.
The world in which Citra and Rowan reside is set many, many years in the future where there are no governments or ruling bodies, but something called the Thunderhead, that provides every citizen with everything they need – there is no poverty, starvation or desire for anything – everyone is very well looked after. To make things even more perfect, no one dies – not of old age, disease, falling from a building or any bizarre accident, there isn’t even any pain. Now, this is where the scythes come in, once you’re gleaned by a scythe then that’s it, it is game over for you. These are a select group of people, who are the only people who can permit death. Some are kind, gentle and do the work they do because they know it is necessary, but take no pride in it, yet there are others that relish in the power they have, committing mass murder and soaking up all the fear they bring. In a world where no one wants for nothing, there is always someone who wants more – power.
You are constantly rooting for Rowan and Citra throughout, their mentor on the right side of humanity, but when they are pitted against each other and told that the loser will have to be the bearer of death to the other, tensions rise. We follow both of them as they undergo brutal physical training, learn fighting techniques and how to use weapons and administers poisons and learn the ways of becoming a scythe, dealing with the responsibility of administering death, choosing targets and manoeuvring the inner workings of the scythedom’s politics – a corrupt and difficult thing.
The entire novel takes you on an adventure, that is one that reminds me of The Hunger Games – two nobodies that were plucked from the flock and have their lives changed forever. There was never a dull moment when reading and most times it was very difficult to put down. The switching of perspectives always left you craving for more and always withheld the right amount of information, so you’d be shocked at the big reveal – and there were many.
I’ve already ordered the next book in this series and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. If the next two books in the series are anything like the first, then I can safely say that this series may become one of my favourites. It has a lot of potential, lets hope it delivers.
If you’ve read this series or have any other recommendations of books, stand alone or series that are similar then please let me know, because I simply can not get enough of dystopian novels, especially since we are currently living in one.
ps: STAY HOME AND WASH YOUR HANDS.