Scythe by Neal Shusterman


All right, so how do I even start to recite how much I loved this book?! In fact, I’m offended I didn’t even know about it and it’s been right here for the past two years! Anyway, let’s get back on track and start pronouncing my love for death…givers? Umm, scythes I mean. 

Sythe is a story that lays out the journey of two young adults who have been selected as apprentices by a respected Scythe, in a world where immortality is the norm and only scythes can ‘glean’ (kill) people, and only one can be ordained while the other…while the other won’t walk back but will die at the hands of the ordained apprentice. Yes, the stakes get so high, I was hyperventilating the entire time!

Citra and Rowan are the two teenagers picked out by Scythe Faraday to train for a year and then pass three tests at the three Scythe Conclaves held at intervals during the year. However, for some unfortunate reasons, either only Citra or Rowan can be awarded the Scythe title and the first person this scythe gleans would be the loser. There are twists and turns, and logical yet untoward decisions that make matters worse for not only the characters but even the readers–because there’s only so much hyperventilating that’s good for you. 

the utopia makes this world dystopian

F A N N A [Book Review of Scythe]
red cloth book cover red scythe neal shusterman five star rating phone ebook kindle scifi dystopia

The story is not only unique but even a newer take on the dystopian worlds seen in books. In this future, everything is perfect but that’s the biggest downfall for life moves toward a state of stagnation that’s worse than being dead. Basically, the utopia makes this world dystopian. There’s increased technology and artificial intelligence (called the Thunderhead) that governs the entire world and, through technical calculations and logical expressions, has eradicated any and every problem from the world–hunger, world population, crimes, etc.

“I have become the monster of monsters, he thought as he watched it all burn. The butcher of lions. The executioner of eagles.”

Scythe, Neal Shusterman

The characters are well developed, well crafted, and well used as the story propellers. Whether it’s Citra or Rowan or Faraday or Curie or Goddard or anyone else who at some point has been used in the story, the characters are so real, raw, and honest to their distinctive personalities that they capture the exact emotion they desire from you–you’ll hate who you need to hate and love who you need to love. For me, humanity is the biggest strength of any human and seeing this trait being strongly spoken about and highlighted in this book makes it an all-time favorite of mine. 

“My greatest wish for humanity is not for peace or comfort or joy. It is that we all still die a little inside every time we witness the death of another. For only the pain of empathy will keep us human. There’s no version of God that can help us if we ever lose that.”

Scythe, Neal Shusterman

The writing is an absolute pleasure to read with no excessive world-descriptions or unnecessary banter, and only on-point recounting of thoughts and scenes through third-person limited, multiple POVs. The writer makes you feel where you need to and makes you think where you have to; there’s no doubt I’m looking forward to reading more of Neal Shusterman’s works. 

“Hope in the shadow of fear is the world’s most powerful motivator.”

Scythe, Neal Shusterman

Overall, this was an amazing read and strongly recommended by me if you’re a fan of science-fiction dystopias that flawlessly intertwine a great story with great characters. 

I read this book on RivetedLit but that, in no way, influences my rating and/or my opinions about it. This post may contain affiliate links; to know more click here.

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