Nov 10, 2017

Review--Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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.

Neal Shusterman's Scythe definitely puts death into a new light! Taking place in the far future the world is now cured of disease, poverty, death, and practically all other ailments. But on order to keep society balanced, there are ones known as scythes who glean--aka kill--people. You may think this might be a dark and gory sort of novel, but in fact it's not that at all.

Citra and Rowan are two totally different teenagers in their first life (there's better explanations to this, if one were to be in a situation that would normally kills us, the body is revived at a revival center for everyone in the world has in them nanites--spelling might be off, sorry!--that basically heal them. People can also always reset themselves at certain points but only as far back as 21.) who have both witnessed death at the hands of scythe Faraday. Both are equally surprised when he decides to take them both on as apprentices, when normally a scythe will only take on one.

And so begins Citra and Rowan's journey to scythedom. They train together everyday in a different matter of things, different kinds of self-defense courses, learning how to use a variety of weapons, knowing their poisons. It's a little grim in some aspects, but it's what you would expect of becoming a scythe and basically killing people for a living.

It later becomes posed at a quarterly meeting of the scythes that having two apprentices is just not right and a stipulation is presented. By the end of the first year of training, only one will be made into a junior scythe and the winner must glean the loser. 

The stakes are set higher than ever before as both Citra and Rowan are determined to save the other. You would think when we have a heroine and hero cast together that there is likely to be romance between them, I was actually quite surprised to find a lack of romance at all. Sure, Citra and Rowan begin to care for one another, but it's more of a friendship than anything else.

To add to the excitement, there was also a murder afoot one that will lead to dangerous results for both Citra and Rowan. Citra is more determined than anyone to prove that it was murder and not a suicide like everyone else suspects. I was actually taken totally surprised by this whole outcome! Most shocking indeed!

I also want to note that though I did rather enjoy this one, I was a bit surprised by that because the pacing was quite slow. It's hard to explain how these rare books with a slow buildup end up capturing my attention as I continue to turn the page. The characters are definitely one of the positive elements! They were rather complex. It's definitely going to make for interesting things to come with the next book which I just read what it was about and wow!!

There's also the fact that everyone keeps telling them you will have to kill the other really made me want to see what the final outcome would be. Who would win? Who would be sentenced to die? It was all very intense and truthfully one of the main reasons why I kept reading, and also to find out the whodunit of course!

While it's not my usual kind of read I can easily say that I enjoyed Scythe and am most curious to see what will happen in the sequel, Thunderhead next year! Scythe was quite the intriguing read, I think anyone might enjoy it!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars


  1. I started this book a while back but had to put it down due to scheduling issues but I was really enjoying it. Though I would probably prefer more romance haha.

    Thanks for sharing,
    ~Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

  2. I’ve had this book on my TBR list since before it came out. I really need to get around to reading it. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. I read the first two chapters and loved the voice and story telling--it felt tangible (is that weird?). I chickened out though because I'm squeamish, but after reading your review that this book isn't gory, I want to try again. I am more than intrigued by the premise.

  4. I can't wait to get my hands on this one!

  5. I have the audio for this one and am really looking forward to it. I am so glad you enjoyed it, Jessica!


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