Book review: The Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman - a book series to make you question society's morals and get you thinking about the world’s biggest questions.

Why we think combining audio books with the nations new love of walking is a duo we predict will stay post pandemic.

By Laura Andrew
Monday, 5th April 2021, 12:00 pm

Due to the never ending lockdown I have become somewhat of a part time rambler.

But there are only so many times you can walk the same path around your neighbourhood beauty spot and still find it entertaining.

So back in April of 2020 I started listening to audiobooks on my daily walks.

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Audio books combined with walking has been a great hobby for our book reviewer.

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I started with The Scythe, then moved onto The Thunderhead and finally concluded with The Toll.

Three vastly different books all part of the same series written by Shusterman.

We start by being introduced to a ‘perfect’ society’ which is run by an all knowing AI god like system.

If that doesn’t sound whacky enough add Scythe’s to the mix.

As the world is running smoothly people no longer die of natural causes and so there are figures in charge of who gets to live and who dies.

A warning to anyone who isn’t looking for heavy moral dilemmas.

Don’t read these books, seriously.

There is a reason it’s taken me almost a year to finish off the series.

I couldn’t inhale them at my usual reading rate.

Not to say they weren't brilliant, they are thought provoking, intense and filled with interesting characters.

But it’s no calm stroll of a read that’s for sure.

I may have looked a little silly walking around gasping at the huge plot twists - which are never ending.

When I tell you that the end of the final book broke me I’m not kidding.

Shusterman crafts characters that you become attached to and throws them away without a second warning.

He is a brutal writer but I loved the excitement of listening to these books.

But I’m not dying to watch any movies with AI technology or robots any time soon - this series put a new fear in me that I never even considered before.

Follow me on Instagram for more book thoughts @lauraandrew95

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden editor.