Review: Scythe

by Neal Shusterman

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“I have special permission from our High Blade to fore on you if necessary.”
“And I have no permission from anyone, but I am more than happy to do the same.”
-Page 355

Title: Scythe
Author: Neal Shusterman 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Book: #1 of Arc of a Scythe
Genre: Utopian/Dystopian YA
Found: Sent in a book box!
Rating: 4.5 Voodoos

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.


I got this book in the December 2016 My Bookish Crate box and I have to say I don’t think I’d have bought it myself. I’ve read Unwind by Neal Shusterman and while it was a good book, it never drove me to finish the series. There are so many good books out there that I’d have assumed this one simply ‘alright’ and moved on. I’m so pleased this didn’t happen as I really liked this book and I’ll be keeping up with this series!

This is set in a Utopian future. No hunger, no disease, no death. Which is the problem. With people able to ‘reset’ to 21 again they can have as many brand new lives as they like, over and over, having more and more children, who will then do the same thing over again.
THIS is why the scythedom is so important. Those they kill are the only ones that stay dead. Methods are varied and their reasons for this are fascinating.
They have a list of 10 commandments, but like anything without strict detail, they can be interpreted how you wish and people rarely see eye to eye.

Citra and Rowan are both apprenticed to the same scythe – which is unusual, two apprentices at once. This sets off a chain of events which had been a long time coming.I think out of them all, I only saw one event coming which isn’t really that impressive, I don’t tend to think forward in book too often, I like the surprises.

I found the book a little slow to start with, not boring or anything, but more careful. I did peek at the end of this book, sorrynotsorry, I’m pretty convinced this encouraged me to enjoy the last half of this book far more thank I would have! I was getting quite tense about the whole affair. The end was fantastic however and I’m looking forward to what’s coming next!

There are books I want to watch as films – with a ten hour running time covering EVERYTHING, of course. Rarely does a book convince me that it will convert nicely into a standard length film and be good. This one did. Though the world is complex, I’m convinced that most of it can be covered visually and that little of the actual book would be lost in translation.
And of course, there’s plenty of blood and a tiny splash of romance enough to keep audiences entertained. Not to mention all the funny lines.

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