Young Adult Book Review: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman

Posted August 5, 2022 by jrsbookr in Horror / 0 Comments

Young Adult Book Review: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman

by neal shusterman
Young Adult Book Review: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal ShustermanScythe Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on November 22, 2016
Source: Owned Paperback
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Action & Adventure / General, Young Adult Fiction / Science Fiction / General
Pages: 448
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr
Format: Paperback
Buy on Amazon

A Time Best YA Book of All Time (2021)

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.


In a world where death has concurred, the disease is a thing of the past, no government, no crime, no starvation, and all the world’s significant problems are entirely wiped out. It sounds ideal; who wouldn’t want to live in this world, but it’s not that simple? Enter the scythes. Scythes were created to keep the balance, take life through gleaning, and manage population control correctly. They have laws and rules to follow, but they are governed entirely by themselves, selected and trained as teens to become conscientious killing machines. Scythes live in normal society with one task: killing. It’s a great premise, and that alone made the novel enjoyable because you can instantly put yourself into everyone’s shoes. How you’d feel if a scythe lived next door, how you’d feel if you were selected to be one, the world-building is excellent, and you can’t ask for much more from Shusterman on that front.

I found the scythes themselves fascinating; the differences in their personalities and methods and the internal politics were what kept the novel going. However, I discovered that the extremeness from one to the next sometimes made for a rather gory reading. But, on the other hand, I thought the author did justice to those in the extreme mass slayings, so that made me happy.

I enjoyed every chapter, and I was so pleased I took the chance to read Scythe. It blasted through my expectations. If you’re a young adult fan or not, you may be surprised by how much there is to enjoy out of Scythe. It felt like an urban fantasy story, even though it was set on future Earth.


About neal shusterman

Neal Shusterman is the author of many novels for young adults, including Unwind, which was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers, Everlost, and Downsiders, which was nominated for twelve state reading awards. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows such as Animorphs and Goosebumps. The father of four children, Neal lives in southern California.

Tags: , ,