Scythe by Neal Shusterman

When I told someone I had finished a young adult sci-fi book, they asked me what I was doing reading young adult books. I find that the young adult demographic novels has had a good range of dystopian and sci-fi novels.

It also made me think about how when I was a young adult or teenager, the young adult genre hadn’t really ballooned the way it has in the last ten years. This was before The Hunger Games, Twilight, and John Green novels. I am somewhat thankful for that and it’s not that I missed much. I sent most of my teens reading classics and adult books. I did have Harry Potter and a few other series, but it was not part of the mainstream book or pop culture of the time. I digress.

Scythe is set in not so distant future, probably a couple of hundred years off. It has some dark ideas about the future and backs it up with some intriguing world building. I wouldn’t say it is the best in terms of details, but this is the first book.

This series’s ideas reflects much more on mortality which is one of the reasons I wanted to read the book. The idea of life without death is a bit abhorrent to me; I have not ever been someone who wants to live forever. I understand human ambition for it, but as this book explores, death is also what makes many people human.

As I was reading this novel, I liked it more objectively than emotionally. I think it was because I was not invested in the two teenage protagonists very much. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been a teenager in a long time. The author does not really explore them as much as I feel he could have. There is a lot of plot in this novel. I did adore two of the mentor characters.

By the end of the novel, I did like the teenagers a bit more and the plot had twisted enough that I am looking forward to the sequel.

Read January 9-10, 2018.

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