Scythe by Neal Shusterman

28954189 (1)
Scythe
Neal Shusterman
Goodreads

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Review:

No one in the whole world can die, except when they’re gleaned by a scythe. The human race has reached this kind of stagnate perfection, brought about by the cloud, the Internet evolving into an all-knowing, all-seeing force that controls the world to make it function perfectly.

(Honestly, this is greatly interesting to me, but only the surface gets scratched in the novel. I’m hoping for more when the next two come out.)

Citra and Rowan are thrust into an increasingly corrupt system of Scythedom, designed, in theory, to keep the human population in check. They are above the law and untouchable and therefore, of course, have plenty of evils lurking around in the shadows. The romance between the two is a bit pasteded on yay, but because of that it’s hugely background, which I liked. This is a great world-building story and definitely something that’ll interest me into the next two books.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

32075662 (1)

Our Dark Duet
Victoria Schwab

THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

Review:

The second in the series Monsters of Verity (sequel to This Savage Song), Our Dark Duet hits the ground running and never stops. The pace is much faster and the tone much more desperate than This Savage Song, making the whole experience a bit like a thrill ride.

While I really enjoyed all the characters for different reasons, I do have to pay some special attention to the character of Soro, who is genderqueer. It’s not often you find a genderqueer character in fiction, let alone young adult fiction, so this was a pleasant surprise. Soro’s a flute playing, monster killing, stone cold badass who is oftentimes the voice of reason in highly emotional situations. I would have loved an entire series about them and their adventures.

Get on that, Victoria Schwab.