I would like to give this book a short synopsis before delving into my review of the actual book. I will try to avoid spoilers at all cost during this review and warn the reader if a spoiler does slip in.

Synopsis: In a utopian world there is no more crime, politics, war, or famine. Thanks to the most advance version of the cloud known as the Thunderhead. The Thunderhead has learned all that there is to know about the world and humanity itself. It has the perfect algorithm for life and for survival. Part of that survival relies on population control of the world, but without crime, murder or controlling birth rates there has to be another way to keep the population in line. That control was given to the Scythes. They are above the law and they are the final reapers of life. When a Scythe comes for you it is because you are going to die. Rowan and Citra are two unsuspecting students that are pulled into the scythedom as apprentices to learn the trade in hopes that one of them will one day become a scythe, but the thunderhead can’t control the Scythes and soon the two apprentices learn not only how to fight, kill, and have compassion but also learn about the corruption in the scythedom and the rippling effects It has on the community.

Review: This book blew my mind away. There was corruption, political intrigue, a little bit of badass and a great deal of world building. I finished this book 2 days ago and I haven’t been about to stop thinking about it.
The world: I love the world that Shusterman created in this series. I can see it so vividly in my mind and I can picture myself being a part of it. It’s a world similar to the one that we live in, only a little more perfect and a little more technologically advanced. This is a science fiction novel but it is still grounded in reality which makes it vibrant and interesting yet still plausible.

The Concept: The concept of this book is brilliant. I have never read anything like this and I can’t wait to read the next book. Politics have been wiped from the world due to the Thunderhead but there is still a great deal of politics in the Scythes world. The idea that these are merely humans that have been picked and trained to control the world’s population by killing people of is such an interesting idea. But what I find even more interesting is that there isn’t a specific way that these people have to be killed. It can be brutal and caused by weapons or poison or it could be something more subtle. Death is completely in the hands of the Scythes. I loved seeing Rowan and Citra being trained and the different methods of teaching. We get to see different mentors train the students and see the drastic outcome from those two methods.

The Characters: Rowan is your typical teenage boy without a whole lot going on for him. He’s average, has one friend and really doesn’t have the attention from his parents. But what he does have is compassion, which draws the attention of a Scythe leading him on a journey. I feel like Rowan had the most depth and character development in the story. He goes from a normal teenage boy, to a scythe in training first in the eyes of compassion, then through the eyes of corruption. He had the biggest changes and he has to figure out if he can stay grounded or if he will falter and become a person he thought he’d never be. His story intrigued me and I loved his growth and development through the novel.
Citra again is a nothing special teenage girl. She’s a perfectionist that does her best but doesn’t over achieve. I love how she was never afraid to speak her mind or ask the questions that were in her mind. She was strong and steady through the entire novel but her journey wasn’t as drastic as Rowan. She remained the same person that she started as, she had growth but not in the same way as Rowan. She learned things and gained respect for a world she didn’t want to be a part of but her character never wavered.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I recommend this book. It had good character development, a slow burning plot that you can’t get enough of, good world building and it leaves you wanting more. I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did but I can’t stop thinking about and wondering what will happen next.

Beth S.


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