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Scythe (Arc of a Scythe Book 1) by Neal…

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe Book 1) (original 2016; edition 2016)

by Neal Shusterman (Author)

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6744114,200 (4.31)6
Title:Scythe (Arc of a Scythe Book 1)
Authors:Neal Shusterman (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2016), Edition: Reprint, 449 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman (2016)



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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
*Free e-book ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss/Above the Treeline in exchange for an honest review. No money or other goods were exchanged, and all views are my own.*

In a future where disease, pain, and need is gone, all humanity would live immortally except for Scythes. These particular humans are above the law and necessary to society - after all, the population would get out of control if there wasn't a bit of judicious gleaning. Rowan and Citra, two teens living very different lives, are suddenly brought together by Scythe Faraday, who takes them on as apprentices. They must compete with each other to become a Scythe, and soon they're drawn in to this dark and political world with high stakes for the winner and loser.

I enjoy Neal Shusterman's books for their provocative, eerily possible premises that engage a teen (or adult) audience with real-world issues. Scythe is no exception. For a book about death and immortality, it's not ridiculously graphic or gratuitously violent, but it is in a dark topic and there are some mass murder scenes, so go in with eyes wide open. I couldn't read it before bed, or I would've finished it even faster. ( )
  bell7 | Apr 17, 2018 |
I purchased this book to read with @halflostbutterflyreadalong. All opinions are my own. 🔥Scythe by Neal Schusterman. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 In a Utopian Earth where natural death is no longer a threat to humanity there must be a way to control the population. This is the job of the Scythe. But everyone fears them so how are they selected? Rowan and Citra are selected to become apprentice Scythes only to run a gauntlet of tests before actually having to take the final test. Their conscious will be tested, the lives shaken, and their feelings hurt in much more than a training course. As soon as this one ended I wanted more. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥Review also posted on Instagram @borenbooks, Library Thing, Go Read, Goodreads/StacieBoren, Twitter @jason_stacie and my blog at readsbystacie.com ( )
  SBoren | Apr 11, 2018 |
This book had so much potential. I thought the premise was intriguing, and I actually thought the two main characters, and side characters, were engaging. However, the story took forever to really get going, and the entire book from start to finish was very negative in nature. I could live with that, but the premise of the world is that everyone is immortal and no one wants for anything, so it was hard to read a book where literally none of the characters seem to enjoy anything. I also was disappointed in the ending because it felt far too simple after the long buildup. I thought I would enjoy this more. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
First published at Booking in Heels.

So. Science has developed to the point where any injury, even death, can be healed almost instantaneously. People are therefore living pretty much indefinitely, which is causing exactly the problems with over-population that you’d imagine. To combat this, we have the Scythes, who have to ‘glean’ a set number of people per annum in order to keep the world ticking along smoothly. It’s well-regulated, with rules, codes, conclaves and different methods of practice. And I love it.

What I particularly appreciate about Scythe is that the world-building is properly and 100% established before the overarching plot gets going. I loved knowing about the details of Citra and Rowan’s apprenticeships, the gleanings that they experienced and the minutiae of how the system worked. It really established the system as a whole, and it’s so inventive and well thought out. I kept trying to poke holes to find one thing that didn’t make perfect sense, and there just wasn’t one.

I actually temporarily felt very grudging about the fact there was an over-arching plot at all. I was quite happy just dealing with the fact that Citra or Rowan will have to glean the other. Compared to the world-building (which we have already established I was completely in love with), I didn’t really need anything else. In the end though, I did really like it. It fits in neatly with the concept of gleaning and doesn’t detract from the world – this isn’t a YA novel where they’re fighting to bring the whole system down. It’s a plot within the profession of gleaning. It was a slowbuild, and it was great, honestly.

The characters could possibly have benefited from a bit of fleshing out. Citra and Rowan were a tiny bit flat, the former in particular was annoyingly prickly. I understand she’s strong and rebellious or whatever, but she doesn’t need to take umbrage at everything that’s said to her. I did like the older Scythes though – the extracts from their offically-required journals really helped to give them a little more colour. I’m also not buying the romantic aspects of Scythe – it doesn’t make sense and I think it would have worked better with a platonic friendship, but luckily it doesn’t play a huge factor at all.

As a very minor point, I loved the fact that Scythes name themselves after famous individuals who have benefited the world. Scythe Curie, Scythe, Goddard, Scythe Rand… I really enjoyed googling the lesser known names and learning a bit more.

I was actually pretty happy with the ending as well. It’s a self-contained book, so there’s no cliff-hanger ending or loose threads. The next book, Thunderhead, is more of a sequel, I think. The same characters and the same world, but the plot has moved on slightly. That’s perfect in my eyes, and it makes a refreshing change. I’d ordered it before I’d even finished Scythe, naturally.

In case I haven’t made it blindingly obvious thus far, I loved Scythe. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t make it to my favourite books of the year. I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel and I’ll definitely be reading it the second it arrives. ( )
  generalkala | Apr 9, 2018 |
Recommended by another teacher. Scythe is the first in a science fiction trilogy set in a future world where a benevolent AI called the Thunderhead has taken over the world - ending war, famine, politics and even death. To ensure that the world's population does not overwhelm the planet's capacity, Thunderhead appoints a group of people known as Scythes to "glean" people based on death statistics from the time when humans were mortal. That is - by race, age, situation, etc. Citra and Rowan are thrust into this world when they are chosen to be apprentices to a scythe called Faraday. Only one of them can be chosen to be a scythe and the reward is immunity for their entire family from gleaning.
The two are taught how to kill by various means by Faraday and reluctantly follow him as he goes through the city gleaning random people. But they are also soon drawn into a sinister underworld of Scythe culture when Faraday is pushed /leaps (?) in front of a train.
Citra is apprenticed to the Grand Dame Curie and Rowan to the psychopathic new order Scythe Goddard who specialises in mass murder "gleaning". What is worse, is that whoever is chosen out of the 2 to be a scythe will have to "glean " the other one!
Intriguing concept of a benevolent AI instead of a murderous rampaging "kill all humans" one, and one that does not interfere with scythedom in anyway so as not to appear biased. Looking forward to the next book. For older readers due to the violent nature of some of the deaths and the whole concept on which the book is based.
One for fans of Hunger Games and the like. ( )
  nicsreads | Apr 2, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neal Shustermanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tremblay, GregNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Olga (Ludovika) Nødtvedt, a faraway fan and friend
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We must, by law, keep a record of the innocents we kill.
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"In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed ('gleaned') by professional reapers ('scythes'). Two teens must compete with each other to become a scythe--a position neither of them wants. The one who becomes a scythe must kill the one who doesn't"--… (more)

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