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The Student Prints

The Student Prints



What are the consequences of immortality?

The dangerous and opportunistic world of “Scythe” is used to its fullest in this future where death is reversible, and immortality is the norm. How do these characters deal with their longer lives and their overpopulated planet? Morality is questioned and the will of our protagonist’s are tested throughout this beloved trilogy. “Arc of a Scythe” is without a doubt one of the best trilogies out there in dystopian literature.

Author Neil Shusterman, an experienced writer at this point and time, primarily focuses his attention on the dystopian genre. He has a taste for the more morally gray and darker stories that he can bring into reality. Shusterman’s debut was in 1989. Ever since, he has been happily producing books with unique world-building and questionable morals. He has also made a few books to address real world issues.

In the first installment of “Scythe,” readers are given a very thorough and in depth introduction to the series world. Settings, rules and characters that are present in the novel are cleverly introduced and intertwined into the beginning sections. The world is completely immersed in technology with a government that was relinquished from humans a very long time ago.

The terrifying part that interests readers around the world are the stakes at play. Due to the extensive overpopulation of the planet many years into the future, scythes are those that are specifically selected to end the lives of citizens at random. It is a painstaking and mentally draining part of the job that the main characters are made to experience.

In “Scythe,” there are POVs for both main characters that serve as our protagonists. The main characters are very likable and realistic. Their actions and dialogue follow loyally to how a teenager would react to being put in this morally straining situation. The well-paced plot of the large book focuses enough attention on a driving force, as well as character development.

As well as well-written main leads, the brilliance of the side characters is really the shining point of the series. They captivate, guide and push the plot forward either through a unique action or an action of antagonization. A combination of these elements puts our characters through trials and tribulations and pushes them to the final act of the novel.

In the sequel “Thunderhead,” everything is flipped on its head with our main characters trying to follow up the previous book. The situation is a direct result of the horrible actions and atrocities that were discovered in the prequel. The sequel shows the readers the disastrous results of “Scythe.” The twists and turns are excellently written. As well as featuring heartbreaking character deaths. This book is regarded as a well written and satisfying sequel containing disastrous losses.

In the third installment of the series, “The Toll” goes fully dystopian when the guise of a utopia is lifted in favor of the darkness of the series. The book starts off right where “Thunderhead” ended. Eager readers have plenty of questions with little answers and plenty of mystery to uncover. The book is packed full of adventure and exposition, featuring even a large sum of violence throughout the novel.

The final installment to the “Arc of a Scythe” series comes to an end while exploring the effects of an intricate system falling to pieces on a civilization so dependent on it. The conclusion is very satisfying and answers the most burning questions that have been raised. This concludes the end of the series but not the end of the scythe universe.

There is a fourth installment, called “Gleanings.” This is an official continuation of short stories combined into a single book. It is not a part of the original story but provides extra details and information for curious fans that need more of the series. This is something Shusterman does for a lot of his books with more questions to answer.

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About the Contributor
Julie Douglass, Entertainment Writer
Julie is a Senior at Struthers High School, and is currently 18 years old. She is a creative writer for entertainment articles in Journalism I. Her favorite part of school is being able to make various inspired projects and express her creative talents. She is in advanced art class, as well as the Art Club and other designer classes, such as computer graphics. She has been in the Struthers band program for 4 years, but has played the trombone for 8 years. Outside of school, she reads and paints on her own time, often trying new mediums of art to see what she can create. She plans on taking her love of the arts a step further, hoping to make a career out of it. A more unique hobby she picked was scuba diving with her grandfather. She has dove in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other more tropical areas. Currently, she has been on 16 dives and has gone down to 70 feet. Her interest in English in general is what charmed Julie to sign up for Journalism. The class offers the chance to write articles for the school newspaper, with freedom to express opinions or commentate on interesting topics of the author’s own choosing. Journalism provides a real-life experience she can carry with her in the next step into maturity. She is enjoying the class and opportunities it offers to her, and believes that it will only continue to improve throughout the year.
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