Sickness and injury are no longer problems, the world has reached the stage where people don’t die from natural causes anymore, technology has broken all the boundaries of mortality. But if everyone can live forever you need some method of population control, the answer to that is the Sythes. They select those who will be culled to keep the population at a manageable level. This is the story of two teenagers who are chosen for the role of Sythe by one of the most respected of the Sythes. They have no choice, if you are chosen you must conform, but in this case they must compete against each other for one position, the winner of the role of Sythe must kill the other. This is a problem as the two gradually go from being very intolerant of each other to becoming friends and having respect for each other.
Neal Shusterman has written a great novel. It is really grim, and I expect that from this author, but it is full of interesting moral dilemmas along with loads of action. Nicely complicated and with excellent dialogue. It was a fabulous read and I’m going to recommend it far and wide.