Author: Neal Shusterman
Synopsis: Thou Shalt Kill
A world with no hunger. No disease. No war. No misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life-and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe-a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. They learn living in a perfect comes only with a heavy price.
Review (Spoiler Free): This book honestly surprised me. It has been so long since I have picked up a honest and good futuristic novel. You can talk to my best friend, I raved about it to her. She probably thought I was insane, it was just that good. I would totally recommend it to anyone who is willing to read such a different yet interesting novel.
Characters: ⅗ I honestly did not like the characters as much as i expected to. They seemed to have absolutely no backstory for that matter. I feel like their lives began right as the book began. I don’t hear anything about what they did before the Scythe came into their lives. I don’t know what they did, who the hung out with, they don’t even talk about being raised. Clearly, family was a very important thing to Citra, yet after she made a big deal about them, she stopped mentioning them and certainly didn’t even think back on memories of them.
The characters obviously should grow throughout the book and change, but I feel like the author did not allow that to happen. Several times they just seem so out of place, and it didn’t make sense for them to be acting the way the were. Especially Rowan, he was obviously changing, but the author wanted to stick to Rowan’s original thought or plan, and it no longer fit his character.
Plot: ⅗ This was a wonderful part of the book. The beginning was the perfect pace. There was just enough going on that it wasn’t boring or pointless to read about, but it was also the right information for us. Middle was where the plot struggled, and it was honestly the reason it took me so long to read it. It felt very pointless to hear about their routines everyday. There were some very pivotal parts of the story that occured during these moments, but I feel that it did drag on and become very repetitive. Towards the end, the plot picked up again, and i once again found myself engaged. It was just that middle section where nothing seemed to happen.
The lack of action was disappointing. Much of this was setting up the world, the characters, and in the next book, I hope to get more rebellion and fighting between the two sides.
World Building: 5/5 This was my favorite part of the book. The author didn’t feel like he was giving a info dump, all the while I was learning so much of the world. He left a good amount that has me wondering for the second book, that is already out. I can not wait to see what direction he takes the book. He gave himself a lot of room to grow. It is also so different than you see futuristic society. They always have problems they can’t solve but in this world, it’s the lack of problems. The creativity of this world was something that I have yet to see in anything else.
Writing Style: ⅘ It didn’t bother me that much, but I do feel like he wrote very surface. He liked to focus on how things made them feel rather than looked. That’s a really good thing to have, but I found myself creating this own world that looked completely from his.
Overall, i loved this book so much. The problems I had with it can easily be solved in the second book. What did you think of it?