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Monday, October 1, 2018

Review: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)
















A Utopian world without death, Scythes are restoring balance. 

Buy it here: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe)


Total Rating: 10/10

Originality: 10/10

Language: 10/10
Atmosphere: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
World building: 10/10
Fun: 10/10
Predictability: 10/10
Believable: 10/10
Relevancy: 10/10
Cover: 10/10

Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Sci Fi, YA

For You if you like: Dystopian/Utopian society, apprenticeships
Similar Books / Authors: Legacy of Orisha, Darkest Minds, Skinful of Shadows
Time It Took Me To Read: approx. 4.5 hours


“Hope in the shadow of fear is the world's most powerful motivator.” 



THE BOOK:

In a world (Put your movie trailer voice on!) where death does not exist anymore, and AI has solved all of humanities imperfections, two hero's rise to save the world (Cleaning my throat). Scythedom, the group of trained killers, are the only ones that bring balance into the world. We meet Rowan and Citra, two young adults that have been chosen for an internship. We follow them as they confront their moral conflicts, struggle with feelings, and fight for survival.

Originality: 10/10
The idea caught my interest immediately. You are thrown in the first chapter into a scene of Citra and her family, as they host a Scythe for dinner. She is young and angry, as she does not understand Scythedom, and despises it. As the story continues, she becomes an apprentice. The idea to train to become a killer, but not for the joy, but for the necessity, is a very new perspective that took me a long while to come to term with, but which in the end I absolutely loved.

Language: 10/10

The language was immersive, and I did found myself forgetting where I actually was. My favourite chapters were by the Thunderhead, the all knowing AI which helped humanity beat death.

“If you’ve ever studied mortal age cartoons, you’ll remember this one. A coyote was always plotting the demise of a smirking long-necked bird. The coyote never succeeded; instead, his plans always backfired. He would blow up, or get shot, or splat from a ridiculous height.

And it was funny.

Because no matter how deadly his failure, he was always back in the next scene, as if there were a revival center just beyond the edge of the animation cell.

I’ve seen human foibles that have resulted in temporary maiming or momentary loss of life. People stumble into manholes, are hit by falling objects, trip into the paths of speeding vehicles.

And when it happens, people laugh, because no matter how gruesome the event, that person, just like the coyote, will be back in a day or two, as good as new, and no worse—or wiser—for the wear.

Immortality has turned us all into cartoons.” 


Another quote to give you an idea about how beautiful it is:


“Mortals fantasied that love was eternal and its loss unimaginable. Now we know neither is true. Love remained mortal, while we became eternal.” 


Atmosphere: 10/10

What I found absolutely fascinating is how through the first half of the novel, I felt complete disgust and judgemental towards the idea of killing people once death did not exist anymore. The AI must be clever enough to find solutions for overpopulation and limited resources, as it can beat death, no? But not agreeing with the world is exactly what makes this atmosphere so unique, before you start to learn and understand with the characters.

Characters: 10/10

While reading, you develop with the characters, learn about Scythedom and Scythes. They have morals and feelings that they follow, despite difficult situations they are thrown in. Even the "villains" in the story have understandable motives, as they believe being a Scythe makes you some kind of god who should enjoy killing people. While this was maybe presented a bit simple in a black and white world, I could overlook it because it still worked really well.

World building: 10/10

The world building is phenomenal. I love that this is a version of the future that does not have flying cars or VR, but stayed fairly the same except the fact that death and disease does not exist anymore. And the result of this is immense; because you can be resurrected upon death (except when a Scythe kills you, or your body is gone e.g. burned). That resulted in leisure activities such as "splatting" which involves youths jumping from high cliffs or buildings to "splash" on the floor. Technology to make people look whatever age they chose means people can "pick" their age once they have surpassed it.

Fun: 10/10

Despite my moral conflicts and internal struggle with the world, learning and getting to like and even love it was immense fun. It was uncomfortable at the beginning, but a good kind of uncomfortable. And towards the end I started to read slower because I did not want it to end - but then I really DID want to know how it ended so I did read it incredibly fast.

Predictability: 10/10

Multiple twists and mysteries across the story keep you on your tows. I did not expect any of the twists, and they felt natural, unlike other novels where they are just put in to have some twists in, if that makes sense.

Believable: 10/10

I love how Neal Shusterman really thought out every aspect, as said the "splatting", or thinking about what it would mean for love (see quote above). Neal thought a great deal about what the lack of death means to the world and humanity, and has answered pretty much all my major questions that I came up with during the story. I can actually believe this version of the future very much, and part of me hopes it never comes.

Relevancy: 10/10

We all wish for immortality, and every second super villain chases the secret to beating death. But the novel manages asks the question: What would life be like if we would never die naturally? Would that not be awesome? First you think, totally! Yes! But as you dip into the world, you learn that immortality should maybe not the ultimate desire:

“Without the threat of suffering, we can’t experience true joy.” 


Utopia basically turns into Dystopia.  


Cover: 10/10

I really love the comic / cartoon style of the cover, despite the serious topic. The red works well - it is about death, about blood flowing. 

Total Verdict: 10/10

Completely loved it. Don't miss it, and get it now! 


Buy it now for Kindle, less than £5 here: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe)

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