The scythe is a tool used to harvest living humans and reanimate them. It’s also used for killing. What else would you call someone who pulls the trigger? A teenager named Scythe discovers that her parents are scythes, and that she was made from their blood—a weapon being used to control the population of a world called Arcadia, where humans have finally been free from hunger, disease, war, and poverty.
In this chilling novel by Shusterman, the existence of a disease called “scythe” has created a society where one-third of the population is chosen to be executed at the age of eighteen. Each person has one last wish he or she wants granted—a dream, an emotion, a memory—and if the scythes fail them, then they may live on for another day. As Holden tries to keep his sire from executing him, he discovers that others out there want to change things. But how far is too far when your choice is kill or die?
The story follows Connor, a 16-year-old scythe who is tasked with the duty of harvesting the children of freshly executed murderers. During his training, Connor sees that the world has become dull and lifeless without want and ambition, and he fights against this by trying to keep as many people around him happy as possible. But when he falls in love with a girl named Cassie—the target of his mission—he discovers that not everyone can be cut down so easily.
Life is perfect in our utopia: a world without hunger, disease, war and misery. But scythes, who can take life at will, have to be killed to avoid population overshoot, which would cause overcrowding and endless starvation. Which leads us to question if it’s really worth it to have a glorified executioner living in your perfect society.
About Scythe Book
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 neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.