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School of Deaths

(The Scythe Wielder's Secret #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  368 ratings  ·  178 reviews
Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmate ...more
Audiobook, 270 pages
Published May 2nd 2014 by Muse it Up Publishing
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Christopher Mannino No- there are some mentions of the b-word used by the other students against the main character Susan, but no significant swearing and no sexual conte…moreNo- there are some mentions of the b-word used by the other students against the main character Susan, but no significant swearing and no sexual content at all in this book. (less)

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Ben Alderson
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book twice now and I can't get enough. Just the introduction to such a unqiue world! I am SO excited to get back into book three!
I have read book two twice now as well!
Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf)
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this YA fantasy. It was different than I was expecting.

Suzie is thrust from her life with her family and friends in the mortal world, and is forced to become a student in the school of deaths, a school that trains 'grim reapers' to harvest souls to take to the after life. There hasn't been another female student in a million years, and Suzie is faced with sexism, ridicule and violence, and she is an outcast. Thankfully not everyone hates her, and with a few friends, Suzie must
I have received this book in exchange for an honest review.


So we have main character, Suzie, who at the beginning of the story, is having symptoms of anorexia. She is losing weight and no one knows why or how to stop it. One day a mysterious man came and took her to the Land of the Dead, claiming she is a Death and cannot survive in the human world. Thing is, I she is the first female Death in a million years, the first female Death before her betray
Joan Curtis
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This YA fantasy book was too good to put down. I devoured it in two days. I'm not typically a young adult reader (even though I loved the Book Thief). But this one caught my attention right away and kept it.

Many reviewers talked about it being reminiscent of Harry Potter.I felt it was more reminiscent to the Hunger Games without the children killing children. I can imagine the staging and special effects were it ever to become a movie.

The thirteen-year-old female protagonist captured my heart ri
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Christopher Mannino does an excellent job with his depiction of the Grim Reaper. He takes you into the world of Deaths, where Suzie finds herself to be the only girl. She is taken from her home, her family, and is roomed with Jason and Billy. The two boys quickly become her friends, which doesn't come easy. The World of the Dead is a man's world and Suzie faces challenges with bullies and arrogant teaches. Not to mention, tasks that lay before Suzie that only she can complete. Like changing the ...more
Ann Andrews
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Loved this book! Suzie is a wonderfully well written and in depth main character. I understood her struggle and appreciated her growth throughout the book. I enjoyed reading about grim reapers as it was a nice and refreshing take on the paranormal genre for me. Highly recommended.
Hannah Cassie
May 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-oct-2016-oct, arc, ya
MORE? MORE! @ P.S. I love that book!

I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review! Also, magic, fantasy and school of deaths? What is that? Never heard of such a story before, exciting!

THE WORLD: So at first it seems all normal, our every day world. But then boom our main character gets kidnapped by a death and taken to the world of deaths. Here she has to complete a year of training in order to take the test that might let her go home. If not she is stuck
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy and YA fans
*I received a free copy of this book through NetGallery in exchange for an honest review.*

I really enjoyed this book. It was quite different than I thought it would be and it actually pleasantly surprised me.

Basically, the book is about this 13 year old girl Suzie, who turns out to be the first female death in a million years. After being forced to enter the Death's college she has to stay there for at least a year to learn how to reap, etc. However, since she is the only girl there, she faces
C.J. Anaya
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting and well plotted young adult/middle grade novel about a girl being forced to enter a world and accept a life she never would have chosen for herself. Suzie is the first female death in a million years, but she has huge obstacles to face because of the strong hatred held for women at the School of Deaths. Her struggles to brave the bullying and continue forward are commendable, and I think addressing the issue of bullying at this early age is important to note. We feel the ...more
This was such a unique and enjoyable take on the Grim Reaper. I ended up thoroughly enjoying it!!

13 yer old Suzie is rapidly losing weight and her parents are worried. Despite her reassuring them that there is nothing wrong with her, and she is eating, she is like a skeleton. Test after test comes back with the result that she is healthy, so why is he like this? Well that's answered one evening when a man dressed up like a reaper with a real scythe come knocking at her door. Nest thing she knows
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Book Review originally posted here:

In School of Deaths, thirteen-year-old Suzie has been having some trouble as of late: she lost a lot of wait, and starts to look like a skeleton. When it turns out this transformation is due to her becoming a Grim Reaper, she’s less than pleased. She will go to the College of Deaths for a year, where she will learn everything there is to know about being a Death, and bringing souls to the Hereafter. She has one year to p
Naturalbri (Bri Wignall)
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a really great book. It had a really good plot, based round the life of the grimms.

The characters were created very well. They all worked well in their groups, and made the story very real. I liked that each of them interacted in the way you would expect from a group of school children, sometimes this leads to laughter and happiness, but others it leads to anger and sadness, especially for our main character.

I love that the book approaches so many of the problems and life points that's
Stefany Rattles
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent YA Paranormal Fantasy book!

Like many will say, this book will remind you of Harry Potter (it is not the same). It does have its own story that has a mix of Paranormal & Fantasy in it. The main character, Suzie is also young, just at thirteen when she is introduced to us. Part of this story hit a spot with me. The bullying made me cringe a little inside because I could relate to what Suzie was going through. That's all I'm going to say about that so I don't it for you readers.
Mikayla Kennaugh
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Overall it had a great plot and awesome characters. I only though the characters should have maybe been a little bit older, mostly because there seems to be a romance brewing and the main character is only 13. So, I feel high school age might have been a little bit better. Though overall I could hardly put this book down and was dying to keep reading until the end. I loved the idea of the world of deaths. Also there was a plot twist in it that I totally did not see co ...more
I received a review copy of this title from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book.

This was a quick entertaining read with just enough mystery and intrigue to keep me vested, however, there were some things that fell a little flat for me.

The concept and the world was intriguing. You have the Living World, The In-Between- where the College of Deaths resides and Deaths train to reap souls, and the Hereafter-where the Deaths t
The Book Breeze
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This YA fantasy has an unusual setting and a somewhat bizarre plot. At the beginning of the story, Suzie struggles to deal with an illness that mystifies doctors. No matter how much she eats, she continues to lose weight and nobody can tell her why. Then, a stranger arrives and tells her that she is a “Death” – she needs to travel with him to a new school and learn to deal with her powers or she’ll die in the mortal realm.

Suzie reluctantly begins this adventure only to find herself enmeshed in a
Mike Siedschlag
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a print copy of School of Deaths from author Christopher Mannino for review.

School of Deaths is the first installment of The Scythe Wielder's Secret series, and a great first installment I might add.

This young adult novel is a well crafted story that will appeal to readers of all ages. Our heroine is a thirteen year old girl who has been snatched from the real world and taken to train to become a "Death". She is literally the only female in a male world (not a spoiler, it's on the bac
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This book was provided by the author and Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock in exchange for a review.

Susan Sarnio is a typical 13 year old girl. Except she is slowly wasting away and no doctor can figure out what is wrong with her. Until the hooded figure she dreams of at night comes for her and takes her to another world where she will be trained for her true be a Death, a Grim Reaper. She is an anomaly - the first female Death in a million years. The only female at the Coll
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was captivated from the beginning, having been sucked in by Suzie's bizarre illness and her refreshingly pragmatic attitude. She is such a strong, strong female protagonist. Her tenacity and grace in the face of ridicule and throughout extremely difficult situations were uplifting, and so missing in many leading females in fiction. I almost want to criticize her fleeting feelings of self-doubt, but it was bel ...more
I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Suzie Sarnio is the first female Death in a million years, and has to go to school in a whole other world to learn how to become one. Suzie faces hatred, misogny and a whole load of other travels as she attempts to learn how to become something she never wanted to be in the first place.

The premise of this is really good and I really enjoyed learning all about the college for Deaths, and the cla
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Man, being the only girl in a school full of boys? Sounds like the dream, doesn't it? It does until you learn about the last female that walked those halls a million years ago - the one that was powerful and seen as the enemy to those same people within those halls. That's the world that young Suzie finds herself in when she is taken from her life in order to attend the school that will train her to be a "death" - the people that escort the freshly dead to the hereafter. She is met by suspicion, ...more
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Suzie Sarnio from Damascus, Maryland is having a rough summer – no matter how much she eats, she’s skin and bones. Her family is worried and has even sent her to a counselor. However, she doesn’t have an eating disorder or any other psychological issues. She finds out she’s been chosen to be a Death. Leaving behind her friends and family, she travels to the World of Deaths only to find out she’s the first female Death in a million years. A majority of the other Deaths, including her teachers, ha ...more
Amanda  B Gillespie
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA fantasy readers, Grim Reapers, Dragon Lovers and Magical Beings of any kind.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Suzie Sarnio is a 13-year-old girl starting 8th grade. She is literally skin and bones and no doctor can explain it. She is also having dreams of a robed man with a scythe. She is taken by this man as her mom watches and brought to the in between as the first female Death in a million years. She must spend a year learning how to be a Death and all that the job entails. Not only does she have to suffer the loss she feels from b
Patrick Hodges
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Imagine that you're an awkward 13-year-old girl just trying to muddle her way through her awkward early-teen years when you discover that you're literally wasting away before your eyes.

Imagine then that you're transported to a strange new place, a school where you are to be trained as a Death, one of those black-hooded, scythe-wielding specters you've read about, responsible for transporting souls to the afterlife.

Now imagine that you're the first female death at this training academy in a MILLI
Amanda Shelley-Masters
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*This Book Was Given To Me By The Author In Exchange For An Honest Review*

Amazing Story! I found myself immersed in the story from the first page! Christopher Mannino is a fabulous author who really knows how to captivate his audience. The characters where captivating and the storyline adventurous, mysterious and fascinating.

the one girl in a all boys world was a genius idea, it not only leaves her vulnerable but helps her to find her strengths at the same time. Frank was my favourite character,
Heath Greenis
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Occasionally, a book touches a person’s soul. It may simply be timing in a person’s life. For whatever reason, School of Deaths touched me. It brought tears to my eyes. I admit, I am a softy. I have a soft, compassionate heart.
Right from the beginning, I was hooked. An introduction to the heroine Susie. A normal teenager who is losing weight for no apparent reason. It isn’t the first time an illness, or so it would seem, stumps the medical world. The unthinkable happens and Suzie finds herself i
Sue Brooks
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Christopher Mannino is a new author for me to read - and I have to say, that I am totally impressed with his writing skills!!!

School of Deaths is about thirteen-year-old Suzie. Suzie has been having a problem with loosing weight and looking like a skeleton. Her family and dr's all think that she has a serious medical problem, but can't figure out what it is. When the Grim Reaper comes and takes her away, Suzie doesn't know what to think. I don't write spoilers - so, if you want to know what happ
AK Mama Reads
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-review
I enjoyed the story of Suzie and her friends, but felt that there were a few things missing. For instance, a bit less explanation of why things are the way they are, and more explanation of how she reacts to this rather bizarre world would have given us more insight into Suzie's personality. At times I felt like I understood her naivety, but often I felt that she was unrealistically unaware of typical social expectations. On the plus side, the magical world had me rather intrigued so I picked th ...more
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Let's start with one simple statement:


This book, the characters and the world created by Mannino is absolutely spectacular.
Thirteen year old Susie steps into a world filled with what we call monsters and faces the challenges of being the only female death in a million years and being judged by the legacy that the only other female death left behind.

It's a thrilling story of a girl finding her place in a world meant for men, making friends, finding herself and facing challenges no other thirt
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Susan is a young girl of 13 who has found herself very sickly over a summer. Her doctors are stumped, all her tests show nothing wrong but she's losing weight.. Very quickly. Skin and bones, sunken in cheeks. Her mom is constantly shoving food down her throat... No one can figure it out. One day there is a knock at the doors. And her whole world changes.... She discovers she has been chosen to be a death.... A grim reaper of souls. The adventure she goes on, is emotional and difficult. She disco ...more
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Christopher Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.

Mannino is currently working on an adult high fantasy series.

Other books in the series

The Scythe Wielder's Secret (3 books)
  • Sword of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder's Secret #2)
  • Daughter of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder's Secret, #3)

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