Scythe by Neal ShustermanScythe by Neal Shusterman


byNeal Shusterman

Hardcover | November 22, 2016

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Two teens must learn the “art of killing” in this Printz Honor–winning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.

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.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.
Neal Shusterman was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 12, 1962. He received degrees in psychology and drama from the University of California, Irvine. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal and a screenwriting job. He has written numerous books including The Dark Side of Nowhere, Red Rider's Hood, The Shadow Club,...
Title:ScytheFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:448 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.4 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.5 × 1.4 inPublished:November 22, 2016Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1442472421

ISBN - 13:9781442472426

Appropriate for ages: 12


Rated 4 out of 5 by from PICK THIS UP RIGHT AWAY!!!!! I read Scythe back at the beginning of the year and loved it! It was definitely something outside of my comfort zone but I was so glad I didn't listen to myself. I LOVE IT! A futuristic world where everyone is immortal unless a scythe kills you? Yes a must read. There were cameos to what is currently happening in the world, which is scare. I could not put it down!
Date published: 2018-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing After Hunger Game this was another book that I couldn't put down and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is not just a book that's entertaining, it also shows humanity and our desire and what ifs... It's engaging and it makes you think and wonder... I can't wait for the next one.
Date published: 2017-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Almost perfect! Holy hell, this book was freaking fantastic! I will admit that the first few chapters were a little slow and I kept thinking “is anything actually going to happen?” I am so glad I pushed through that because this is one of my favourite reads of the year so far. Rowan and Citra were both really likeable and interesting characters on their own but their relationship and kind of romance was also really interesting to root for. They’re never given an opportunity for that relationship to become anything and that’s why I found it such a refreshing situation. The ending when Scythe Anastasia punches Rowan and then they say “I love you” made me gasp and smile saying “why is that my #relationshipgoals?!” There’s a bit of violence here but the I feel like the words and dialogue were so much more impactful. when Citra explained her reasoning for choosing the name Anastasia (which my inner Russian history nerd adored) I wanted to stand up and start a slow clap. The ending journal entry by her also made my heart freeze for a second. I am forever now going to tell people to “Go glean yourself.” I couldn’t help but laugh and love the use of the conferences/big meetings as time markers since this is literally how I function in my professional life. My jaw dropped and I wanted to again start a slow clap when the last conference made a massive blatently obvious comment and reference to pro-gun advocates and their arguments. I feel like I’m a reader who picks up on breadcrumbs and tend to figure out “shocking twists” like five chapters before they happen. All three of the ties/getting around the “You must glean the loser” totally shocked me! The end with Citra/Anastasia punching Rowan made me gasp and it was freaking brilliant! Lastly, I like to think of myself as a good person but I’m also someone who can hold a grudge and be petty so I feel like I could have taken on the duties of a Scythe–and I wouldn’t have used it to burn down a religious institution like some douche bag in this book–but I don’t know that I’m honest enough to be unbiased
Date published: 2017-10-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from meh thought-provoking at times, but the writing style wasn't really to my taste. Also the mc's were kinda bland
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Finally an original dystopian novel! The entire concept of the Scythes felt believable and realistic, especially when a world like this being reality feels near impossible. Parts of this book felt slow and dragged a bit but I think it lended to the amazing world building. I do think that portions of this book could have been left out and it would have still been an enjoyable and less boring in some parts. The characters got better and better throughout the book, and I really felt for their struggles with their humanity and whats right and whats wrong in this universe. Scythe is certainly a one of a kind book, and if you're looking to read a unique dystopian then here you go!
Date published: 2017-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! Finished this book and now can't wait for the second one! What a twist!
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A Very Detached Read Though the premise seemed promising and the plot, especially in the latter half, was rather entertaining, the writing style itself was extremely detached and it was difficult to even care about what was happening to the main characters. This, in part, came from the fact that a lot of events happened "off-screen" and were merely summarised on the page. The basis of the utopian society itself also seemed rather flimsy and ridden with holes. Overall not a very remarkable read.
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic book! I found the entire concept of the book really refreshing. The author developed an amazing Utopian world that I had a hard time comprehending simply because it was so well done. It is a world where there are people whose jobs are to kill other people and that's normal. His spin on this world was awesome and being able to slowly dive deeper into this Utopia was fascinating. The characters were well developed and I loved them. I never knew where the book was going, I was always kept on my toes. It is a wonderful, suspenseful and a thought provoking book. I couldn't put it down. I loved it and I cannot wait for the next book.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I love books by Neal Shusterman and this one was no exception. Such an interesting concept a dystopian world where humanity has practically obtained immortality. It's a quick read at an easy going pace.
Date published: 2017-03-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Definitely worth a read Scythe takes place in an interesting, utopian world where humans have abolished death, so they need to mete it out themselves to avoid overpopulation. Unlike everything else, which they let the cloud-based AI Thundercloud handle, they think it's best left in the hands of humans. And one day, Citra and Rowan--two humans who have stood by during a Gleaning--are summoned to become a Scythe's apprentices. If that premise interests you, you need to read this book. The worldbuilding is great and it'll keep you engaged the whole way through.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!!! Excellent, so, so excellent, there are enough stars for all the excellence. Right from the get-go, readers are immersed in a spectacular, unique world with fantastic and memorable characters and a compelling story that was as unexpected as it was exciting. I was completely hooked, and I'm dying for the next book. The world is unlike any I've ever read before, with the rules and politics engaging and things I wanted to learn about. The characters are fantastic. Citra is a headstrong, powerful young woman who I absolutely loved. Rowan is equally as interesting. My heart broke during his story, and I have to say that while I was always supporting him, he spooked me! The ending was nail-biting right until the very last page, and I can only imagine where it's going to go from here. Like I said, I couldn't get enough of it. Such an engaging, remarkable story about trials and choices and endurance. If you haven't checked it out yet, be sure to do so as soon as possible––you'll love it!
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Read *****I read an ARC copy of this novel****** I have never read a novel by Neal Shusterman, although many students and my own son have really enjoyed the Unwind dystology. From the first sentence this book had my attention. It is set in the near future (2042) where the Thunderhead has taken over and eliminated death, accidents, disease and crime. Indeed, the reader wonders if this is a utopia or a dystopia. Human population is controlled by Scythes who are honoured and respected members of society who are tasked with keeping the population in control by "gleaning" (AKA killing). Teens Citra and Rowan are both apprentices to a scythe to learn the trade of gleaning. However, at a scythe meeting it is decided that the unconventional allowing of two apprentices will be addressed by only one becoming a full scythe and the "winner" needs to glean the losing apprentice. Thus the apprenticeship and budding camaraderie between Citra and Rowan becomes a fight to the death. In the midst of this, a scythe is gleaned and the age old issues of human greed, envy, morality and mortality are brought to a fast paced and action filled climax. Highly recommended for both teen and adult readers. Warning: this is the first book in a planned series
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Absolutely Stunning * I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion.* Scythe almost flew under my radar. I've never read anything by Neal Shusterman before and hadn't heard about this one until all of a sudden those closest to me kept talking about it. Then I went to the Simon & Schuster Canada preview and they built up even more hype for this title for me. I'm always scared going into titles with that much excitement but let me tell blew my expectations OUT OF THE WATER! There are so many incredibly powerful questions raised through the plot of Scythe and what I love is that nothing is easily resolved or quick-fixed. It looks at morality, human nature, power, corruption, and the actual feasibility of a Utopian society. We are complex creatures and even when we think we have it all figured out, we probably (usually) haven't figured out as much as we think. Scythe doesn't give you any answers to the burning questions and conundrums of humanity but it definitely makes you think. I was also super invested in the plot and the well-being of all (okay almost all) the characters. For me, if I'm not sucked into the story within the first couple of chapters then you've lost me. I was in from the very start, there was no question. The premise is so interesting and the characters are very compelling. I adore Citra, Rowan, and Scythe Faraday and on the other end of the spectrum straight up despise Scythe Goddard and his flashy posse; I love when characters make me feel so intensely. I not only highly recommend this book but would likely do some questionable things to get my hands on book 2 right this second. It's honestly so good and intense. Just read it, okay?
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A unique look at a very possible not-too-distant future! Everyone in the bookish community has always highly praised the work of Neal Shusterman. I finally had the chance to pick up my first Shusterman book earlier this year when I read Bruiser. It blew my mind so hard that I knew I needed to continue on and read as many more Neal Shusterman books as possible. When I was asked by Simon and Schuster Canada if I would like to read and review his newest novel Scythe, I of course enthusiastically said yes! What I Liked The concept. The concept behind Scythe was absolutely fantastic. It was a really unique read in a world wear dystopian novels have all started to feel the same. It was so creative and unlike anything I have ever read before. The idea of a futuristic world in which death is a thing of the past and the only solve to overpopulation is to be killed (gleaned) by a Scythe. The Scythes are here to make sure that the natural order of the world still happens by making sure they glean the right amount of people each year to meet their quota. That concept alone is unique in itself. Then we bring in these two young teens, both chosen as apprentices to become scythes. While at first they were both chosen, a chain of events causes the two to be forced to fight against one another, as now only one of them can become a scythe…that has to glean the loser. On top of all that, we have the Thunderhead, which was once the Cloud (yes, the same cloud that exists in our world today) only it has now become a sentient being that basically governs the world. The only thing it can’t touch or control is the Scythedom. I mean…how interesting does all of that sound?! So unique, so brilliant. The characters. Citra and Rowan were both fantastic main characters. I loved their friendship and the complications that later effected it. I loved that they both had different personalities, while also having a similar outlook that attracted Scythe Faraday to initiate both of them as scythe apprentices. Scythe Faraday became one of my favourite characters within this novel. He was honourable and thoughtful and had qualities that made him stand out as a fantastic scythe. In other news, Scythe Goddard was just an awful person. I completely despised him which I think was exactly what Shusterman wanted from readers. Is it weird that I kept picturing Scythe Goddard as Matt Bomer? These characters are fantastic and I absolutely loved them all. The question of right & wrong. This novel definitely touches on the idea of making good decisions. Choosing between right and wrong. Following the rules or taking advantage of the privilege that you have been given. Nature versus nurture. This has always been an intriguing concept for me. How two different people make decisions based on the way they were raised…or in this case, based on the way that they were trained. It felt real? Yes, this book took place in the future…but it doesn’t feel that far fetched at all. I can definitely see something like “The Cloud” becoming a sentient being. I can see human eventually achieving something like a longer lifespan. I can see how this might cause overpopulation issues which would bring forth the ides of “scythes” that would need to strategically fix this issue. While this story does feel futuristic, it seems quite possible. -- What I Didn’t Like I literally loved everything about this book. Can I get book 2 now please? -- Scythe definitely did not disappoint and I am 100% on my way to becoming a huge Neal Shusterman fan. I have already acquired two more of his novels and I absolutely cannot wait to dive right in. READ THIS BOOK.
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A dystopian world without death needs the Scythes to control population 2042 is a world that has beaten disease, death and war, and Scythes are the only ones who are sanctioned to kill to control the population. They have their own rules and govern themselves. When Rowan and Citra are chosen to be apprenticed they struggle to hold on to their humanity and their own mortality. An intriguing and thought provoking read for ages 12 and up who are fans of dystopia.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Scythes must uphold the task of maintaining population control in a world where death is otherwise avoidable. People pay to "turn the corner" and go back to whatever age they would like as many times as they want as disease, poverty, and ageing have been eliminated. Every element of life is controlled by the Thunderhead - a conscious, decisive, all-seeing being that originated from the "cloud" that we currently store data, photos, and music in now. Those who become Scythes have both the power to kill and the power to grant immunity - meaning they have great responsibility. With that amount of power, it is easy to see how corruption can lead Scythes to become unrestrained killers and ignore the sacred vows they swore to upkeep. When two children are chosen to apprentice as Scythes, we soon realize how complex being a Scythe is and how power dramatically changes a person. This was a phenomenal read, it would be engaging and exciting for both teens and adults alike. Similar teen titles would be Metaltown by Kristen Simmons.
Date published: 2016-08-28

Read from the Book

Scythe It is the most difficult thing a person can be asked to do. And knowing that it is for the greater good doesn’t make it any easier. People used to die naturally. Old age used to be a terminal affliction, not a temporary state. There were invisible killers called “diseases” that broke the body down. Aging couldn’t be reversed, and there were accidents from which there was no return. Planes fell from the sky. Cars actually crashed. There was pain, misery, despair. It’s hard for most of us to imagine a world so unsafe, with dangers lurking in every unseen, unplanned corner. ?All of that is behind us now, and yet a simple truth remains: People have to die. It’s not as if we can go somewhere else; the disasters on the moon and Mars colonies proved that. We have one very limited world, and although death has been defeated as completely as polio, people still must die. The ending of human life used to be in the hands of nature. But we stole it. Now we have a monopoly on death. We are its sole distributor. I understand why there are scythes, and how important and how necessary the work is . . . but I often wonder why I had to be chosen. And if there is some eternal world after this one, what fate awaits a taker of lives? —From the gleaning journal of H.S. Curie