Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

28954189Title: Scythe

Author: Neal Shusterman

Publication Date: November 22, 2016

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Synopsis: 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.


A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

What happens when everything that has plagued the human race has been destroyed? Disease, hunger, and even death no longer have a place in this world. How does one control over-population if people no longer die? The answer…scythes. Scythes are the only beings that have the authority to kill (glean). Their gleans are based off of algorithms from the time when people used to die from natural or accidental causes. The top requirement for becoming a scythe? You must hate the idea of ending a person’s life.

There were so many fantastic characters throughout this book. Scythe Faraday easily became one of my favorite characters. One would think that he has lost his connection with humanity because of all the people he has gleaned, but he is a very humble character. Citra and Rowan are taken under the wing of Scythe Faraday and only one of them will become a scythe at the end of their apprenticeship. I enjoyed the fact that they had a friendship, but were not romantically involved. It is very rare that I read a book without a romance and it was quite refreshing.

The idea behind Scythe is unlike anything I have ever read before. This story is so, so unique.
From the very first page, I was extremely intrigued. It is hard to pull away from this story. There were twists and turns that I never saw coming. This story is compelling and thought-provoking. I haven’t read a book this interesting in a very long time.

The end of this book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger and could be read as a standalone. However, I am very exiting that there will be a sequel. I cannot wait to jump back into this world. If you have been on the edge of deciding to read this book…just take the plunge. Scythe is a story you will never forget.

4.75 out of 5 stars

Meet The Author


Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movie script.

In the years since, Neal has made his mark as a successful novelist, screenwriter, and television writer. As a full-time writer, he claims to be his own hardest task-master, always at work creating new stories to tell. His books have received many awards from organizations such as the International Reading Association, and the American Library Association, as well as garnering a myriad of state and local awards across the country. Neal’s talents range from film directing (two short films he directed won him the coveted CINE Golden Eagle Awards) to writing music and stage plays – including book and lyrical contributions to “American Twistory,” which is currently playing in Boston. He has even tried his hand at creating Games, having developed three successful “How to Host a Mystery” game for teens, as well as seven “How to Host a Murder” games.

As a screen and TV writer, Neal has written for the “Goosebumps” and “Animorphs” TV series, and wrote the Disney Channel Original Movie “Pixel Perfect”. Currently Neal is adapting his novel Everlost as a feature film for Universal Studios.

Wherever Neal goes, he quickly earns a reputation as a storyteller and dynamic speaker. Much of his fiction is traceable back to stories he tells to large audiences of children and teenagers — such as his novel The Eyes of Kid Midas. As a speaker, Neal is in constant demand at schools and conferences. Degrees in both psychology and drama give Neal a unique approach to writing. Neal’s novels always deal with topics that appeal to adults as well as teens, weaving true-to-life characters into sensitive and riveting issues, and binding it all together with a unique and entertaining sense of humor.

Of Everlost, School Library Journal wrote: “Shusterman has reimagined what happens after death and questions power and the meaning of charity. While all this is going on, he has also managed to write a rip-roaring adventure…”

Of What Daddy Did, Voice of Youth Advocates wrote; “This is a compelling, spell-binding story… A stunning novel, impossible to put down once begun.

Of The Schwa Was Here, School Library Journal wrote: “Shusterman’s characters–reminiscent of those crafted by E. L. Konigsburg and Jerry Spinelli–are infused with the kind of controlled, precocious improbability that magically vivifies the finest children’s classics.

Of Scorpion Shards, Publisher’s Weekly wrote: “Shusterman takes an outlandish comic-book concept, and, through the sheer audacity and breadth of his imagination makes it stunningly believable. A spellbinder.”

And of The Eyes of Kid Midas, The Midwest Book Review wrote “This wins our vote as one of the best young-adult titles of the year” and was called “Inspired and hypnotically readable” by School Library Journal.

Neal Shusterman lives in Southern California with his children Brendan, Jarrod, Joelle, and Erin, who are a constant source of inspiration!

You can find him on Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, and his website.


6 thoughts on “Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

  1. This sounds like such a great read, and pretty much everyone I know has given it glowing reviews so far! I’m going to have to pick this one up soon. So glad that it doesn’t have a cliffhanger, but that there is going to be sequel!


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