Customer Review

24 January 2017
Scythe has a lot of impressed readers and high reviews. I am in that minority that didn't enjoy the book. I have found it difficult to rate it and most likely won't read further novels in the series.

What I most struggled with in Scythe was the fact that it was too implausible. This is a world where death is no longer permanent, where people are revived and returned to health from injury, where sickness no longer exists, where aging has been defeated. The population is growing constantly, with some characters referred to as having ten or more children. The solution to a growing, immortal population is to give certain people, Scythes, the authority to kill anyone, any way they like, to meet a quota. People are chosen however the Scythe feels, regardless of their age, value to society, role in the world, anything. I struggled with that enough but even harder to believe was the fact that Scythes killed people any way they felt like- knives, guns, bombs, poison, electrocution, drowning, hand to hand fighting, on and on. Why would that be the solution? Why violently end lives with, say, a flame thrower? Why spend an apprenticeship learning poisons and martial arts and weaponry? Why not have birth control and population management, rather than grisly, often painful deaths at random? What psychopath came up with this system? To me, it just seemed an excuse for violence and to lay claim to being dark and edgy. I found it nonsensical and thus hard to engage in the novel as a whole.

The characters were quite flat and underdeveloped. The two main characters, Rowan and Citra, had very limited identities outside of being apprentice Scythes. Citra is the popular girl. Rowan is the loner. Little is added to that throughout the storyline. The threat that one of them was going to have to kill the other was fairly pointless tension and the romantic plotline felt like it happened because it must, not because the two actually had any reason to fall in love.

A lot of people have thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It isn't for me though and I likely won't be picking up book two.
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