Fanna's Reviews > Scythe

Scythe by Neal Shusterman
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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 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.”


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.”


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.”


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 thoughts on it.

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Initial Reaction: RTC. Let me just be sad that this book is over~
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Reading Progress

November 22, 2018 – Started Reading
November 22, 2018 – Shelved
November 22, 2018 – 0.0% "Lol. That's my biggest fear. Like, what if someday my life can only be spared for good food? That'll be my last day!"
November 22, 2018 –
7.0% "I'm already hooked. Like yessss, give me all the death and the perfect dystopian world where there's no mortality."
November 22, 2018 –
9.0% "Woah, I did NOT expect Rowan to do that but ummm okay~"
November 22, 2018 –
11.0% "The world made up in this book is so utopian that it's actually dystopian and I love that deeper thought put into it. Also, if you had to become a scythe, would you have?"
November 22, 2018 –
17.0% "I want to keep on reading this but ahhhh, life comes in the way XD"
November 23, 2018 –
22.0% "This book really puts you in a dilemma. Like, Rowan did such a good job but should I be happy about that or sad LOL."
November 23, 2018 –
25.0% "And the feelings are coming up~"
November 23, 2018 –
32.0% "If my eyes weren't drooping right now, I swear I would have finished this!"
November 24, 2018 –
36.0% "WTF? That's so absurd and ugh, I can't stop reading.

['Which is worse? To be despised or to be ignored?']"
November 24, 2018 –
39.0% "NOOOO WAY! Why would he do that?!"
November 24, 2018 –
42.0% "[Death was unfamiliar to most of them. It needed to exist in its own bubble, as long as they could stay just beyond its outer edge, peering in.]"
November 24, 2018 –
46.0% "I can't believe Faraday is out of the scene but I'm also liking Curie as Citra's mentor,"
November 25, 2018 –
50.0% "[Rightmindedness is overrated...I'd much rather have a clear mind than a right mind.]"
November 25, 2018 –
55.0% "I'm so scared for Rowan because what if his ideologies change in Goddard's influence?! NOOOO!"
November 25, 2018 –
61.0% "Esme makes me curious and I just hope the connection between her and Goddard isn't something that would make me cry---good tears or bad tears, I don't even care.

Also, the characters are super complex and YAS, LOVING IT <3"
November 25, 2018 –
66.0% "[She could beat him at everything. Even at losing.]"
November 26, 2018 –
68.0% "The choices are like so limited....and scary! Like, every possibility is just dark; there's no way there's gonna be a happy ending. If there is, I'll be the most shocked person XD"
November 26, 2018 –
73.0%
November 26, 2018 –
82.0% "I love Curie and I just don't like Xenocrates right now. Like, is he blind?! Can't he see?"
November 26, 2018 –
85.0% "OHH!"
November 26, 2018 –
89.0% "[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.]"
November 27, 2018 –
99.0% "DO I WANT THIS TO END? NO!

Also, gotta add Thunderhead to my ever-growing TBR asap :)))))"
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: dystopia
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: science-fiction
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: multiple-pov
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: third-person
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: female-protagonist
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: male-protagonist
November 27, 2018 – Finished Reading
December 24, 2018 – Shelved as: read-in-2018
December 24, 2018 – Shelved as: read-on-rivetedlit
December 24, 2018 – Shelved as: will-die-for-the-next-book
December 24, 2018 – Shelved as: series
December 24, 2018 – Shelved as: will-recommend-till-my-last-breath
December 24, 2018 – Shelved as: male-author

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