- Published: 2017
- Number of pages:
- Format: Epub
- File Size: 9.36 MB
- Authors: Neal Shusterman
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 best-selling Unwind Dystology series.
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.
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⭐ Let me see if I can write a review for this book that doesn’t sound like a bunch of nonsense.I heard so many people raving about this book and I just had to see what all the fuss was about!I REALLY enjoyed this book! If you were to explain this book to someone, it might not sound like there cup of tea.So this book is set in a world where people don’t die, you become deadish, because immediately upon the stopping of your heart, you are taken to a revival center and brought back to life. There are no diseases, no strife. Everyone has a good life, a satisfying life.To combat with over population, the Scythedom was created. Scythes have one job, and that is to kill. Citra and Rowan are chosen to become scythes because they don’t want to be a scythe, and that makes them perfect.So much happens in this book, so much growth from the first encounter with Citra and Rowan to the very last page.The world was beautifully built and wonderfully described. There was a lot of foreshadowing that you don’t understand until after the fact. I love it when books have foreshadowing because there little subtle hints towards the bigger picture.I fell in love with certain characters and despised others. There were parts were there was some humor to make light of the situation, but not in a way that was out of place.I love the development between the two main characters, even through the tough times.“’I love you.’ He said.‘Same here,’ she responded. ‘now get lost.’”As for the content in this book, it was relatively mild.Violence: There is lots of violence. Gun violence, stabbing, poisoning, breaking spines, snapping necks so far as to have the head turn and the lifeless eyes stare back. Burning, decapitation, mass murder, and just about anything you could think of. A scythe whole purpose is to kill.Romance: mentions of hormones, mentions of attractions, a kiss, multiple occasions of innuendo, talk about how a character tried to “climb into his bed and be with him” but the other character wakes up and thinks she was trying to kill him.Language: There are several occasions where cuss words are used.Other: a mention of testicles, mention of a girl in a skimpy bikini, mentions of extremities, a joke about making his robe color invisible, walking up the steps naked. There are two instances where someone insinuates that a character is gay (he is not).
⭐ I LOVED this twisted and intriguing story!The synopsis describes this book pretty well so I’ll mention a few other things:- The characters are brilliant. Each one of them, including the villains, are deeply established and have some decent layers of complexity. I loved reading how these two main characters grew and changed over time and through their experiences.- Chilling concepts! We are reading about how a group of designated people are privileged with the task of human population control. They have quotas and are the only ones allowed to/required to murder. Naturally this author dove into the many ways in which this can be achieved. Some Scythes are ruthless, others humbled, all of them haunted.- Exciting plot twists! This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I was desperate to learn more about the fates of these characters.- Talented writing. This author is brilliant at what he does! Thank you Shusterman for creating this unique and fresh story, and for telling it with beautifully smooth detail.I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a thought provoking and exciting new dystopian! Can’t wait for the next one!!
⭐ Thanks to an incredibly long queue at the bank, I managed to finish the last quarter of Neal Shusterman’s Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1). Grim reaper stories always fascinate me, and on paper, Scythe and I seems like a match made in…well…heaven. On its own, however, Scythe wasn’t nearly as awesome as I anticipated. But as far as the premise and—ahem!—execution are concerned, Scythe did bring something new and unexpected to the table.Shusterman’s take on a world that has conquered death has many intriguing elements—the cloud that evolved into the Thunderhead, the vanities and diversions of immortal people, and the odd jobs that only the undying will take on (Moving target for killcraft practice, anyone?). But there are also things about this world that seem silly (e.g., Scythes as the solution to overpopulation) or make little sense to me (e.g., most political machinations within the Scythedom). Most of these things you can shrug off, but there are a few that negatively impact the story’s pacing and predictability. The one “big twist” that the book has been building up to was a little too obvious, generating frustration instead of suspense. Fortunately, Scythe tied up a lot of loose ends by the last chapter, ending Citra’s and Rowan’s stories on a relatively satisfying note.The array of characters offered by Scythe were, regrettably, not memorable. The villains were almost ridiculously cartoonish, and the protagonists were so unremarkable that relating to any of them proved to be a feat. There’s Citra, a typical overachiever who finds something that she didn’t want to succeed in for the first time in her life. Then there’s Rowan, a self-described “lettuce kid”—a child sandwiched in the middle of a large family—whose selfless act suddenly thrusts him into the limelight…and into an unwanted apprenticeship with a scythe. By the story’s conclusion, I could only recall these two as kind of a charmless Hermione Granger and a less likable Peeta Mellark.As far as the writing goes, the prose in Scythe is generally underwhelming. It’s enough to convey mood, enough to narrate events clearly, but there isn’t a single moment that I’d pinpoint as amazing or breathtaking. The scythes’ journal excerpts are enjoyable to read though, providing excellent food for thought that the narrative fails to impart.I rate Scythe 4 out of 5 stars. While the concept was good, the story wasn’t as fascinating, the characters weren’t as endearing, and the writing wasn’t as engaging as I thought it would be. It’s not a book that I’d read again, nor is it something that I’d follow until the end. Regardless, I think readers of young adult/dystopian fiction will find some entertainment in this work.
⭐ I heard great things about this series so I got the Kindle book, which I just returned because I didn’t want to read any further. The biggest problem for me is how one-dimensional the writing is. The author likes to flex his SAT vocabulary words in the voices of all main characters equally, meaning a 16 year old sounds the same as a 180 year old in this book, but there’s no real character development. I can’t picture what anything looks like in this world– not the city, not the characters, not their histories– nothing. The teen characters are predictable versions of “hot-headed and fiesty” and “shy and reasonable” and I’ve been able to guess where the plot was headed the whole time. No surprises here. Maybe the writing would be okay for a middle school aged student but the topic certainly is not. I understand it’s a dystopian world, but there’s no hero here. They’re simply all murderers (for no good reason, really. The premise doesn’t quite work for me) and I don’t want to root for any of them.
⭐ “Everyone is guilty of something, and everyone still harbors a memory of childhood innocence, no matter how many layers of life wrap around it. Humanity is innocent; humanity is guilty, and both states are undeniably true.”― Neal Shusterman, ScytheIt was a good book although I did skim some. I did enjoy reading about this wild world although it was a bit depressing. And I enjoyed reading about Scythes.Here’s the thing though..I have read so much dystopian. Very little in this genre surprises me anymore.And I think because have read so much Dystopian, I wasn’t drawn in as much as I could have been if it was a first or second read for me in the genre.At this point that it has to be a really special book to draw me in. I most likely will not read the other novels in the series.SPOILERS:I did find it a bit predictable. I was able to predict what would happen with a key character who was supposed to be dead. And it isn’t that I did not like it. I had no strong feelings one way or the other.I think if one has a passion for this genre and have nor burnt out on it as I believe I have, they will adore this. I think it is a decent and well written book overall but not one that I loved.
⭐ It’s a pleasant book, well crafted in execution. But you have to suspend disbelief to read it. A society that has conquered mortality resorts to institutional murder by a flawed group to control population, instead of simply limiting the birth rate ? And nobody smuggles their “gleaned” relations away for black market rejuvenation? Hard to get beyond that for me.
⭐ The Scythe came highly recommended to me. My husband read it and loved it. He told me “This one is right up your alley.” I can’t disagree. It had all the right components to become a favorite fantasy.In this new world, many years away from us, people don’t die. There is no sickness and the Cloud has become an entity that manages the world without taking absolute control. It’s called the Thunderhead. Since people don’t die, many try to do it just for fun. Deadish is the new extreme sport. If you don’t like the aging process, you can reverse time and “turn a corner” and become a younger self.Permanent death is only achieved by being “gleaned”. The person performing a gleaning is specially chosen and trained. He or she becomes a Scythe. Scythes are feared and revered. The only ones who don’t like them are the Tonist. The Tonists live in monasteries and the Thunderhead leaves them alone although cameras are still everywhere.The main characters are Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova. Both teenagers, who after having an interaction with Scythe Faraday they are offered to become apprentices into the Scythom. Neither wants to do it but their families are all for it in order to receive immunity for one year.The world of the Scythom is full of intrigue, politics, and danger.We meet many important characters like Scythe Curie (the Grand Dame of Death), Scythe Goddard, Scythe Xenocrates and many more.The Scythe is an amazing fantasy. It has an impressive world-building with very interesting characters and compelling dialogue. There was a couple of great twists (one, I saw coming, one, I had not thought about) and a fantastic ending.“Death makes the world kin.”Cliffhanger: Yes4/5 Fangs
⭐ This book is great. I love the cover and that is what initially drew me to the book. Then when I was in the store I started to read the beginning of the book and that peaked my interest. I have never read Neal Shusterman before Scythe, but this will not be the last book by him that I read by him. His characters are great. Some characters are easy to like, others easy to hate, and others that you just aren’t sure of.One thing that really helped you understand some of the characters was journal entries. Before each chapter there is a journal entry from a Scythe. These journal entries help you learn more about characters, but more than that, they also help you understand the world he has created. That is one thing that also made the book great, the world. It is a world that I enjoyed spending time in, I enjoyed reading part of the book each day.I don’t feel like the book has any slow moments, it held my attention the whole time. After I was finished reading it, I found myself asking, “Does this really need to be a trilogy?” There is no big cliff hanger at the end and I do feel this could have stood on its own, but I also understand why he is making it a trilogy. I look forward to reading Thunderhead (Book 2). I actually already have Thunderhead, but I have heard it ends on a major cliff hanger, so I will wait until Book 3 is closer. But don’t hesitate to read this story. It is a great story and a great world. And as I said, there are no major cliff hangers.On a side note, I also listened to some of the audio book and it is great as well.I highly recommend this novel. Thank you Mr. Shusterman for writing a YA Novel that left me asking myself some questions as the book went along.
⭐ Be forewarned, I am going to be completely honest with this review and there may be spoilers if you have not read the book. Scythe is a well written book, and it can be entertaining. However, in my opinion it is fundamentally and critically flawed. This world would never exist in humanity in this way, at least in my opinion. Let me explain. Humanity has achieved perfection in that there are no longer any health problems, poor, crime, or accidental deaths. In fact, they can bring people back from the recent deaths. Therefore there is a population control issue, even though the supercomputer AI governing society has managed to stretch resources ever farther to let the population grow some amount. Could not the same supercomputer of infinite knowledge and wisdom find a better solution to the problem rather than having ‘random’ killings? I am no supercomputer, but birth control even seems like an simple and much more humane answer. Perhaps there are other reasons for this structure, but it was never addressed or even hinted at. This results in a scythe group sent to implement these killings. I should clarify that these killings are not always random and sometimes follow the statistical causes of death in our current world, which also makes no logical sense to me. I mean, why? There are good scythes and bad scythes. Although they are tormented, the book portrays the good scythes as noble. Is there anything noble about killing innocents when other options are obviously available? This results in an understandably dark tone, which I have no problem with as I am a fan of dark literature, but these same noble scythes make juvenile jokes that do not seem to fit their character. The book also appears to take an agnostic perspective as religion is not explored much, which I think would have made the book much more profound. Again, the book is well written and does make some interesting points and clever turns in the plot, but in the end it is flawed for me. In the end the only way I could see myself really enjoying this book is if it concluded with people realizing the flaw the scythedom and it being ended. Perhaps this happens in later books, but I saw no hint of it and as of now will probably not read the later books. I did want to like it more, so if you can convince me to read the others, please let me know why.
⭐ This stands out as one of the most unique books I have ever read. Humanity has conquered death but people still need to die to keep the population under control so they have people specially trained for it called Scythes. They kill people and cope with having to do it in their own ways. They have 10 rules, a quota, and take on apprentices when more Scythes are needed. I really fell in love with these characters especially Faraday, Rowan, and Citra. Faraday is so honorable, humble, and really suffers from being a Scythe and taking lives. Rowan is so compassionate and his reason for taking on the apprenticeship made so much sense to me. Citra I didn’t like in the beginning but slowly came to love her character. She has such amazing character growth as does Rowan. This book had tons of twists and turns and OMG moments. I mean just when I got my bearings BAM! a new twist. I love how this story is written each chapter starts with a journal entry from a Scythe journal. It builds the world quickly and there are no big information dumps in the story because of this. The story and writing really draw you in and I couldn’t put this book down and read it in 2 days. This book really makes you think about humanity. This book is one of the reasons I love dystopian books the worlds are just close enough to ours that you start thinking about what if our world had somehow gone this way. I highly recommend this book if you love dystopian, books that make you think, and OMG that did not just happen moments.Rating: 5 stars
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