Scythe by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Shusterman has a produced an original and compelling story about a world where humanity has conquered mortality. The Scythe exist to keep the population levels under control, performing regular "gleanings" of the population. The story follows two teenagers chosen to be trained as Scythe apprentices. The story raises deep and important questions about the meaning of life, the role of mortality in being human, and the importance of moral character, especially how to maintain one's character while wielding incredible power.
The author does a good job of balancing these heady existential questions with the action of the story and the world-building. The world he creates is all-too familiar, but utterly foreign as well. At nearly every point where I though I knew where the story was going and it seemed in danger of becoming trite, Shusterman throws you are curve that keep things fresh. For a book about death and killing, it could still be funny and sweet.
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