Looking for a New Dystopia? The Arc of a Scythe Trilogy Is for You!
Ironically, Neal Shusterman has created a perfect dystopia.
After the huge success of The Hunger Games, the time for young adult dystopian literature seemed to be over. On the rise were newer genres like urban fantasy or fantasy in general.
Until Neil Shusterman wrote Scythe.
Why should you care, you ask?
You might have read all of the dystopian classics like George Orwell’s 1984 and no longer thirst for the genre, or you might never have read it in the first place. Honestly though, if you haven’t at least seen the movies of The Hunger Games, I don’t know where you’ve been …
The Hunger Games series was so widely popular — Suzanne Collins really had a one-billion-dollar-idea there — that many lovers of the series feared there might never be anything like it again.
But believe me, the Arc of a Scythe trilogy by Neil Shusterman comes close. Very close. And there will be movies, too!
A Quick Summary
So in case you haven’t heard of the series before, let me give you a brief overview:
Scythe is set in a dystopian society in which all evil has been conquered — there is no poverty, no sickness, no death. A sentient artificial intelligence called Thunderhead is in control of everything (except the Scythedom, but we’ll get to that …).
The only way one can die in this post-mortal age is to be gleaned by a Scythe, whose only job is to kill people to keep the population growth under control.
Book 1: Scythe
In book 1, our two protagonists Citra and Rowan are selected as apprentices of the honourable Scythe Faraday, even though neither of them wants to be a Scythe. But as it turns out, this is the most important prerequisites of a good Scythe.
As the story continues, the politics within the worldwide Scythedom start being revealed; there is a split happening between the “old guard” and the “new order”, led by the infamous Scythe Goddard.
Book 2: Thunderhead
When the regional leader of the MidMerican region, High Blade Xenocrates, vacates his position, the political quarrel between the old guard and the new order really sets off.
We meet several new characters in book 2, the religious cult of the Tonists is introduced and we learn more about the Unsavory, an expulsed group of people whom the Thunderhead no longer talks to. One of them is Greyson Tolliver.
There is a massive cliffhanger at the end of book 2, but luckily, you won’t have to wait for book 3 to come out and can read straight on.
Book 3: The Toll
Just like in The Hunger Games, the final book in the trilogy is almost entirely based on politics. Some of our most beloved characters are still around and we follow them as they try to fight Goddard’s new order once and for all.
I am going to leave it there — I don’t want to spoil all the fun for you.
Epic Story, Epic Characters
The Arc of a Scythe trilogy is a truly epic addition to the dystopian genre. Due to the main characters’ initial age, it is marketed towards young adult readers, but it is definitely the kind of book you will enjoy just as much if you are older.
There are a few romance elements, especially in book 2, but they never take over the epic political plot that lies at the basis of the story. The main characters are awesome, even Scythe Goddard is an awesome villain.
Neal Shusterman adds new main characters in every book. To me, that was a little confusing at first because I didn’t care about these characters as long as I didn’t really know them.
But in the end, it all comes together and we truly need every single one of them to be there.
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