Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Scythe (Neal Shusterman)

37378443

Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 21 of My Book List 2020

“My greatest wish for humanity is not for peace or comfort or joy. It is that we all still die a little inside every time we witness the death of another. For only the pain of empathy will keep us human. There’s no version of God that can help us if we ever lose that.”

Every once in a while there comes a book I’m not prepared for and I guess this year this nomination goes to “Scythe”. I read the blurb and the idea sounded intriguing, all of my fellow goodreaders seemed to enjoy it and so I didn’t even hesitate when I decided to put the book on “My Book List 2020”. So much to the thought process that led me to read this book.

What I didn’t know and therefore didn’t take into account was how invested I would be! I mean HOLY FEAKING MOLY!!! This was one hell of a freaky ride and even though my mind is reeling faster than a rat race I still loved every second of it. There were plenty of moments I thought I’d go bananas and even though the plot twists in “Scythe” weren’t as brutal as in – let’s say “Illuminae” – they were still pretty ferocious! Like, really, really, fierce. *lol*

I lost count of how often I went all “WHAT??!! NO!!! THIS CAN’T BE TRUE!” and “ADSFJKLMNÖAKDJASKDFJ” because I just couldn’t put my exasperation into words! If you take a closer look at my updates while I read the book you might get an idea though! ;-P Still, regardless of my crazy reactions this book was nothing but amazing! I loved how it made me think and question the decisions of the MCs and I adored that even though at first everything in this world seemed to be black and white it ultimately turned out to be all different shades of grey! From light grey to dark-grey and everything in between. Okay, admittedly there was one character that was completely black but I’ll get to that in my characters section.

So without further ado, let’s get ready to rumble!

2

Beware! You are about to enter the all-seeing and all-knowing Thunderhead! Nothing is secret in here and spoilers will hit you at every corner! If you’re not ready to know it all you better retreat and come back another time! ;-P

Citra Terranova:

”You see through the facades of the world, Citra Terranova. You’d make a good scythe.”
Citra recoiled. “I’d never want to be one.”
“That,” he said, “is the first requirement.”
Then he left to kill their neighbor.

I just noticed that this is the only quote I wrote down when it comes to Citra! Which is pretty strange but then again I think nothing gives a better first impression about her character than this statement. Citra doesn’t want to be a Scythe and when she starts her apprenticeship with Scythe Faraday she always seems to ask the right questions. Citra was a really interesting character because she never took things for granted. There was always her curiosity that caused her to second guess decisions others made and I loved to watch how she grew into her role! I’m sure she’ll make a really good Scythe and I have absolutely no doubt that she’ll glean with compassion. Citra was lucky to have Scythe Faraday and Scythe Curie as her mentors and boy did I wish Rowan would have had the same training! >_<

Rowan Damisch:

”Can you at least give him a few minutes to prepare?” Rowan asked.
“Are you telling me how to do my job?”
“I’m asking you for some mercy!”

I LOVED ROWAN!!!! Mostly because I could relate to him so much! That boy had guts and whilst Citra asked the right questions he refused to make the wrong decisions. ❤ I hated that he became Scythe Goddard’s apprentice and I felt so damn sorry for him! I wish he would have gotten a nice Scythe like Curie but of course he had to end up with Goddard. =(( I swear I felt so much with him. He had to survive his apprenticeship with that despicable man and all the time he knew that he’d eventually die at the hands of Citra in the end. For Rowan there was no doubt that she’d become a Scythe and it broke my heart!!! T_T His constant fight against becoming a monster was so painful to watch. It were his circumstances that forced him to act in a way he never wanted to and it were his circumstances that made him the man he became at the end. Gosh, my heart is still bleeding for him! There is so much good in Rowan and no one is able to see it because they only see Scythe Goddard’s training. It’s so unfair, I can’t even!!!!! ADFLKASDFJASLKDFJASDLKFSAJDF! Erm, yes, I guess it’s obvious that I still feel very strongly about this! *lol* My poor boy! *sobs* Also Scythe Volta… I’ll never get over his death. He was so broken at the end. T_T

”Numb. Rowan could feel himself growing numb – and while it might have been a good thing for his beleaguered sanity, it was not a good thing for his soul.”

”And Rowan found himself smiling. Something had torn loose inside of him. He didn’t know whether it was a good thing or not. And while part of him felt like falling to his knees and hurling up breakfast, another part of him wanted to howl to the moon like a wolf.”

”He was too quick. He hurled himself like a fireball down the center aisle. The scythes closest to him leaped into action, trying to stop him, but he kicked and spun, and sliced and flipped. No one could get a hand on him. To Scythe Anastasia he seemed some deadly force of nature.”

Scythe Goddard:

”Let’s clarify,” Goddard said calmly. “We are not here to barter and bargain. We are scythes – which means that by law, anything we want we can take. Any life we wish to end, we will. Simple as that. You have no power here. Do I make myself clear?”

I ABSOLUTELY HATED THIS MAN!!! With the fierce fire of a thousand hells and the burning eternity of the sun!! ARGH!!! Just to think about him already makes me angry! How dare he to play god? How dare he to kill for pleasure?! In his hands Scythedom became nothing but a brutal sport! He misused his power in the worst possible way and I was not okay with his training methods! Those people they killed for sport were still living, breathing and feeling human beings! Just because they could be revived doesn’t mean that it was okay to slaughter them like that. His teachings were so unacceptable and morally reprehensible, I have no words!!! The problem with Goddard was that between his madness and his wish to feel pleasure when he did this job, there were still moments when his words rang true and appealed to people like us who still live in a world in which you feel pain and die. I mean if you can live forever and never have to worry about death when you do something stupid, are you even capable of enjoying your life? Isn’t every day just like the last? There comes a certain thrill with being mortal and I suppose they lost this after the Thunderhead and Scythedom were invented. So maybe people like Goddard were a homemade problem of the invention of those two? I dunno. Boy, this book made me think so much. >_<

”Take great satisfaction and pleasure in this, Rowan,” said Scythe Goddard, “or you’ll be nothing more than a killing machine.”

”We are angels of death,” said Scythe Goddard. “It is only fitting that we swoop in from the heavens.”

Scythe Faraday:

”Ha!” said the unsavoury, puffing up at his strategic triumph. “I’ve got immunity for a year – and you can’t undo it! I know the rules!”
Scythe Faraday was unfazed. “Yes, good for you,” he said. “You have three hundred sixty-five days of immunity.” And then, looking him in the eye, said, “And I’ll be seeing you on day three hundred sixty-six.”

I really liked Scythe Faraday and the way he taught Citra and Rowan. If there would have been more Scythes like him they probably would have never had the trouble with Scythe Goddard. Faraday still had compassion for the people he gleaned even though I’ve to admit that I sometimes didn’t like the way he did it. I understand that he wanted to give every person an individual death because in our world people die from various and different reasons and he wanted to keep close to the origins of mortality. I would have never been able to drown someone though. It’s a cruel way to go and if the people you glean are already afraid of you it would have been merciful to gift them with a quick death. I mean the moment a Scythe tells you that you’re going to be gleaned you feel afraid, you feel all those feelings you eluded for decades, maybe even centuries. So they ARE scared shitless and worry about their family and friends. With the prospect of imminent death they become so very human again and I couldn’t for the life of me, glean them with a painful or cruel method. So yeah, I suppose even Scythe Faraday had his grey sides.

”Never lose your humanity,” Scythe Faraday had told him, “or you’ll be nothing more than a killing machine.”

Scythe Curie:

”The killers are rising to power,” Scythe Curie said. “And if they do, the days of this world will be very dark indeed. It is left to the truly honourable scythes to stand firm against it. I look forward to the day you join in that fight.”

Judging by the way Scythe Curie acted I would have never believed that she and Scythe Faraday had a romantic relationship! They did though and that was quite some revelation. *lol* I admit at first I was no big fan of her. I mean the first test Citra and Rowan had to take was so unfair! All the others got questions that had to do with their apprenticeship and Citra and Rowan got really personal questions no person in their right mind would have answered truthfully in a room full of Scythes! Like seriously! How could you even ask them a question like that!? I mean okay, Rowan’s question would have been easy to answer but still, I understand why he didn’t want to yell it out into the world. XD Still, the more I got to know Scythe Curie the better I began to understand her motives. I was glad that she didn’t only believe Citra but also helped her to escape into another country. The machinations of Scythe Goddard were quite effective but in the end Citra’s reputation was restored and no one believed that she killed Faraday. Jeez! His suicide was a surprise and that Citra was accused of murdering him was just the icing on the cake! I never saw those plot twists coming!

3

Citra & Rowan:

”They were partners; they were adversaries – and Rowan found it increasingly hard to parse his feelings about her. All he knew was that he liked watching her write.”

Their relationship was doomed right from the moment they met! At first they had to compete for an apprenticeship neither of them even wanted and then they were sentenced to kill whoever failed to get said apprenticeship! Which was so UNFAIR I CAN’T EVEN!!!! Hell, was I angry when I read about the decision of the Conclave. How dare they to force them to make each other their first gleaning? ARGH!!! There were so many obstacles that got in their way and all I wanted was for them to be happy! No matter what happened, no matter how much they grew apart they still loved each other and this made all the difference! They trusted each other even though others didn’t and I loved them for their faith! <33 That moment when Rowan broke Citra’s neck though!!! AAKDFSAFJDSAKFDJ! I can’t believe he actually did this and I can’t believe Citra saw through it!!! And that FREAKING ENDING??!!! I was just glad I wasn’t on my lounger at my parent’s garden. Otherwise I would have swallowed about a thousand gnats. Yes, I was so gobsmacked I wasn’t able to close my mouth! *lol* Citra saving Rowan by getting his blood on her ring was such a calculated and smooth move I couldn’t help but be in awe of her genius! Just brilliant! Also they said I love you!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!! *dies a thousand deaths*

”I haven’t fallen in love with you, Rowan. And now I want to keep it that way.”Rowan got up and moved to the safety of the threshold before turning back to her. “It’s all right, Citra,” he told her. “I haven’t fallen in love with you, either.”

”It’s good to see you, Citra,” he said. “But it hurts to see you. It hurts a lot, and I don’t know what to do about it.”

He thought he could not be more impressed by her. She had just proved him wrong.

“I love you,” he said.
“Same here,” she responded. “Now get lost.”

Scythe Goddard & Rowan:

”That’s such a load of crap.” Rowan said, not even caring what response it might evoke.
Goddard merely raised an eyebrow. “Perhaps … but you can’t deny this is a turning point in your life, and every turning point must be marked by an event – one that burns itself into you as indelibly as a brand.”

O_o Their relationship was sooo twisted and it blew my mind big time. And their dynamic? Well, it was crazy! I mean Goddard was Rowan’s mentor and taught him all the wrong things, yet Rowan refused to become the killing machine Goddard wanted him to be. He became a killing machine with a conscience instead and I still don’t know if this is good or bad. Rowan certainly didn’t choose the easy path and I loved how he defied Goddard whenever he got a chance. Also one of the strangest things about their relationship was that Goddard actually seemed to be awed by Rowan’s skill. He was proud of him the way a parent would have been and he sort of admired him as well?! Their relationship was so weird… Poor Rowan, I guess in the end he partly became what he never wanted to be. The suicide of Scythe Volta was such a shock but what shocked me even more was how Rowan slaughtered Goddard and his followers. That chapter at the Tonist cult was so … OMG!! Hell, he killed them all and made it look like it was an accident! He killed Scythes and no one could prove it! JEEZ! He gleaned them and made sure that nothing of their remains was left so they couldn’t be resurrected again! ADLFASDFJSALDFJASLDFJALSDFJSALDFJ! I think I’ll never get over this! I love Rowan so much but this was so, so… wrong. ARGH! Also his name as a Scythe! Scythe Lucifer!!! So perfect but also so GAH! Seriously, I just can’t put my emotions into words. *pulls at hair*

”We could have been called reapers,” Goddard said, “but our founders saw fit to call us scythes – because we are the weapons in mankind’s immortal hand. You are a fine weapon, Rowan, sharp, and precise. And when you strike, you are glorious to behold.”

”I am what you made me,” he told Goddard. “And you’re right: I enjoyed that. I enjoyed that more than anything I’ve ever done in my life.”

4

The more I think about this book the more I get agitated! “Scythe” blew my mind in the best and worst possible way and I think it’s undeniable that it was thought-provoking as hell! It is one of those rare books that still resonates in your head even though you finished it weeks ago! It poses the right questions but leaves the answers up to you and I don’t know about you, but I for my part, am hooked! Suspenseful, mind blowing, thought-provoking and extremely unsettling! Ladies and Gents, this is the real deal! 😉