Scythe (Simon and Schuster books for Young Readers, 2016) by Neal Shusterman is a WOW of a book.
Is it a utopian or dystopian novel? There’s no sickness, disease, politics, war, or natural death. Yet people keep being born and so the population has to be controlled somehow. That’s where the scythes come in–they are gleaners who must take life to reduce the size of the population. They are set apart–can’t marry or have children. And they must record the deaths of those they take.
Here are the Scythes’ Commandments
Thou shalt kill.
Thou shalt kill with no bias, bigotry, or malice aforethought.
Thou shalt grant an annum of immunity to the beloved of those who accept your coming . . .
Thou shalt kill the beloved of those who resist . . .
As you can imagine, the scythes in their identifiable robes are to be avoided if at all possible. So when two teens are asked to be the apprentice of Scythe Faraday, you can imagine that neither Citra or Rowan are pleased. On the other hand, scythes never are in want, and their families have immunity as long as the scythe lives. And that’s just the beginning of the story.
Mixed in with the narrative are excepts from different scythe journals. It’s a compelling read–hard to put down. Not a surprise since Neal Shusterman is a bestselling author. Go here to see learn more about him. I personally love his Antsy Bonano books.