“There's a fine line between love and hate. Love frees a soul and in the same breath can sometimes suffocate it.”
The book takes place in the future where there are no deaths from disease, accidents, or murder. Everyone self-heals if they are injured. They go to the revival center or the nanites in their bodies simply block the pain and heal them. There are no more diseases. It seems like the perfect future. But….if no one dies and the population keeps growing, what next? Society has taken care of that problem...the Scythe. Scythes are a special group of people that it is their job to thin the population. They do this by “gleaning” (killing) individuals at random. “...but our founders saw fit to call us scythes-because we are weapons in mankind's immortal hand…” Scythes live in their own special groups governing themselves. They do not have to follow society’s laws. They are almost “god-like”. This book features two apprentices Scythes: Rowan and Crita. They are introduced into the world of Scythes as students studying to one day be official Scythes. They must go through intense mental and physical training, watch gleanings, talk to the surviving family, and choose sides in the turmoil in the Sychedom.
This book is very well written. In fact, it is a Printz Honor–winning book. This book has several plot twists that I never saw coming. Schusterman does an excellent job with his character development. It is unique how the author exposes the characters to the reader making them fearless and vulnerable at the same time. I had my favorite characters and ones I wish I could glean. This book is very violent and has lots of death. Some of the gleaning scenes are very graphic. If you do not like violence and its details, do not read this book.
This is the first book in the Arc of the Scythes series. Book two, Thunderhead, will be out November 21, 2017, by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. I will definitely be waiting for book two’s release.