Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review: Scythe

Scythe Scythe by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A new book from the author of Unwind? Of course I'm in.

Scythe proves to be another interesting little look at an apocalyptic future that could very easily come to pass. When death no longer occurs naturally, thanks to a number of technological advances (some of which have something to do with the Thunderhead, an all-powerful ASI descended from today's Apple products, unless I miss my guess), there needs to be an agency devoted to ensuring that people die as needed.

Of course, no system is immune from corruption, which is a recipe for dystopian disaster any way you slice it.

Though the book does suffer from a pretty slow-paced first third or so, Shusterman more than makes up for that with impressive world-building. This world, in particular, carries shades of In Time and Brave New World all over the place. The Scythes pretend to be equal-opportunity dealers in death (there are numerous instances of Scythes being punished for targeting people based on wealth, ethnicity, etc.), but are of course predominantly interested in saving their own skins.

Even when the book starts out slowly, there's always that world-building to keep things very, very interesting. When the sequel comes out, I'll be waiting very impatiently for it.

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