Sunday, November 5, 2017

"Scythe" (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman Was Even Better Than We Expected

In Scythe by Neal Shusterman, there is no war, no disease, and nobody goes hungry in the world.  The only problem is overpopulation!  That is where being a scythe comes into play.  You fix that problem.  Citra and Rowan are both picked to try to be a scythe, but do not want any part of it!  However, to decline is not in their best interest.

This book was way better than I thought it would be.  Citra and Rowan are both really good.  The story flows well and the twists and turns are well done to say the least!  Do not miss this one--it's a must read!  I look forward to book 2.
(Gerard's review 10/30/17, 5++ stars)

Teaser from page 29:  But a perfect world needs no improvement.  Like most everything else we do, education, from grade school through the highest of universities, is just a way to keep us busy.

We both also liked Unwind by this author too and also recommend that one.

(Karen's review, 5 stars:  LOVED THIS BOOK!  SO GLAD I READ IT!)
Scythe by Neal Shusterman is about a utopia future where humanity has overcome disease, aging, crime, and natural death.  Government has been replaced with the Thunderhead that makes sure everyone in the world has what they need.  It watches everything that happens and stores people's memories.  (Anyway, guess we'll find out more about the Thunderhead in book two.)  People can still get hurt, but what normally would kill someone like falling 12 stories from a window now makes them "deadish."  They can be taken to a revival center where they get good as new in just 2-3 days and get delicious ice cream when they wake up.  Since there is a problem of overpopulation, a special group called Scythes do the service of "gleaning" people on a random basis.  Gleaning is just a nice word for legalized killing.  The Scythdom have their own set of laws they must follow.  When Citra and Rowan are chosen by Scythe Faraday to become his apprentices on the road to becoming a scythe, both reluctantly accept for different reasons.  Scythes have power not only to take life, but also to grant immunity from being gleaned to people and Scythe's families have immunity as long as the Scythe lives.

I was very intrigued by this book.  It is well written and very thought provoking with several twists tossed in that really shocked me!  I loved this book so much, I think I will actually re-read it just to make sure I didn't miss anything.  Citra and Rowan come from very different backgrounds but are both smart, moral and find themselves in difficult situations.  I also liked all the humor, some of which made me actually laugh out loud, and really cool things in this book like being able to "turn the corner" and go back to being any age you want, having years named after animals, and having healing nanites so wounds can heal themselves.  I highly recommend this to older teens or adults who like thought provoking books about the future.  This is one of my top 2 favorites of the year, the other being Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst.  


(1)  Exactly how did Scythe Faraday fake his own death and how did Scythe Curie know about it?

(2)  Why did Citra's fingers turn really cold when Scythe Faraday let her try on his ring, but when Scythe Goddard gave his ring to Rowan to take over giving immunity to the loved ones of those they gleaned, nothing happened.  Nor did anything happen when Rowan put it on after decapitating Scythe Goddard (which I really liked by the way).  I thought it was funny he put it in the dirty water bowl at the monastery.

(3)  I thought the ending was fantastic and was so happy it didn't end with a cliffhanger as to which one was chosen or stop before knowing if the winner gleaned the loser.  What did you think about the ending?


  1. I seem to be the only one who didn't like this book! I usually love Shusterman, but this one just rubbed me the wrong way. Plus, it was sooooooooo unnecessarily long. I'm glad you guys enjoyed it, though!

  2. Ah, so humanity takes on the quality of video game characters who can be "deadish" and still be revived. Interesting. Did you ever read Logun's Run? Classic sci-fi where to control population, no one is allowed to live past age 30--but one 30 year old escapes.


Thanks for commenting and happy reading!

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