Author: Neal Shusterman
Publishing Date: November 22nd 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Let me start by revealing two secrets here…
First, this is my first time to read a work by Mr. Shusterman. I know this sounds very strange for someone such as myself who has been devouring books for quite a while now, but what can I say? Mistakes happen.
Second, I picked up this book because of…erm…because of this incredible cover…
Yeah, sorry for that last one. I usually pick up books either because I have read something by the author before or because one of my good friends — who are quite a lot, thank you people — made a recommendation. But picking books solely because they’ve got a nice cover sounds…uh, never mind.
So the concept of the book here is pretty fresh for me. We have a society where disease and pain are no more, and death happens at the hands of “scythes”, those trained to do the job. Two teenagers compete for the position of an apprentice scythe, Rowan and Citra, and then it turns out the winner will — of course — take out the other.
Sure enough, you might be tempted to say, “not another YA dystopia!” but if you do, then you will miss. Big time. Once you start reading, you will know why it is very difficult for this book not to be a best seller. You’ve got two incredibly fleshed-out protagonists, a new take on the dystopia genre, and beautiful prose. That is, if all you are looking for is a nice ride, but if you are looking for the deeper layers, then you’re in for a treat. The book subtly deals with themes such as mortality, longevity and death, without throwing them in the reader’s face, but in a way that compels you to think and find your own answers.
Verdict? Go read the book. I have Mr. Shusterman’s page on Goodreads open right now, trying to find out his other works.