Ever since I read Unwind, Neal Shusterman has made quite a remarkable impression as one of my favorite authors. Whereas Rainbow Rowell is known for her feel good romances, Neal Shusterman has a way of leaving his readers truly amazed by the endless possibilities that stem from his imagination.
Scythe is no exception. The premise is that humans have surged into a future where immortality is now possible with the technology that we've achieved. Yet, since there's nothing controlling an exponentially growing population, there are professional reapers called 'scythes' who choose people to kill everyday. This is their cure to control a world of immortals. Just by that alone - how are you not enticed by a refreshing take on life and death??
The plot is wonderfully executed (LOL) and the characters have just the right amount of depth to them that you find yourself getting attached to the protagonists and hoping for the demise of the antagonists. The story is told from multiple perspectives, which interweave to produce an adventurous fantasy/sci-fi whirlwind.
Shusterman has literary trademarks that I find interesting to note because they're so consistent, I feel like I would be able to identify his work even if he wrote it anonymously:
- multiple characters, multiple perspectives
- main protagonists usually involve one boy and one girl who somehow become romantically involved with one another
- the romance is well done carrying a realistic love/hate undertone; it's there to propel the story and engage the readers in fun companionship. it's not overly irrational or sappy.
- the girls are not merely there to assist the boys. they are analytical and strong and not annoying and overall badass
- countless "what happens next?" moments. due to the nature of his unprecedented ideas, there is never really a cookie-cutter way to predict how his stories unfold. every twist and turn is surprising and keeps you hooked
- unfortunately, if there was a siiiiiingle "eh" thing that I would say about Shusterman's novels, it's that the first of the series is typically the best and after that, it just seems like he doesn't know how to wrap it up (but maybe that's just me) they're still good though!
No matter what anyone says, there's no doubt - the man's a genius.
I recommend Scythe 100%; it's definitely now one of my favorites of all time.
Goodreads Summary: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28954189-scythe?from_search=true