The Arc of they Scythe series by Neal Shusterman is nothing short of captivating. Set in the far future, the inaugural novel Scythe, follows two teens, Citra and Rowan, that have been chosen to become scythes. During this time, death is no longer an inevitable consequence of life due to scientific and technological advances. For example, some kids, like Rowan, like to “splat.” This is a fun activity where you jump off a building and splat onto the ground, to only wake up in a revival center. So what’s the problem with having a world without death? It sounds great, right? Well, it is realized that death is what gives life meaning. The idea that there could be no tomorrow gives substance to the lives we live. This is what brings the dawning of the Scythedom. Scythes take on a lifetime commitment to kill, and the deaths that they impose are permanent.
“Never lose your humanity, or you’ll be nothing more than a killing machine.”
The Trilogy follows Citra and Rowan on their journey of becoming scythes (well, only one of them will get the official title), the influence of their mentors, the rift between the new and old orders of scythes, and the Thunderhead. Did I forget to mention the Thunderhead? Oh, well the Thunderhead is like a universal cloud AI that basically runs the entire world. It calculates the needs of the entire planet and orchestrates everything way above. The Thunderhead can speak to you and tell you anything that you want to know. It also monitors everything that everyone does and catalogues it in a database – the ultimate Big Brother. The Thunderhead was created to with the sole purpose of serving mankind. The only aspect that the Thunderhead has no control over is the Scythedom.