Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersPublication Date: November 22, 2016Hardcover: 448 Pages


In a human being wright here disease has been removed, the only method to die is to be randomly eliminated (“gleaned”) by skilled reapers (“scythes”). Citra and also Rowan are adolescents who have been schosen to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nopoint to do through the vocation—they have to learn the art of killing and also concerned understand also the requirement of what they perform.

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Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s initially job will certainly be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one an additional in a fight for their stays.

Stand also alone or series: Book 1 in the Arc of a Scythe series

How did I gain this book: Recheck out Copy from the Publisher

Format (e- or p-): Hardcover


It is the future. Humanity has actually conquered disease and also illness, age and also decay. With the miracles of innovation, anyone’s accidental stumble into oncoming web traffic, their intentional jump off a building, their death by violence, illness, or dumb fate is no longer irreversible. Thanks to a mix of nanites and also superior ambulatory procedures under the auseasonings of an all-understanding synthetic intelligence referred to as “The Thunderhead”, humans have dominated poverty, racism, war, and fatality itself.

With old age, sickness, and also fatality a relic of the past–the age of mortality–humankind should resort to other procedures to encertain population control and self-administration.

So, the Scythes were created.

An company totally independent of the Thunderhead, Scythes alone have actually the power to glean (that is, permanently kill). Scythes are not allowed to have actually sposupplies or kids, they are not permitted to own any kind of earthly possessions various other than their robes, their immunity-giving rings, and their tools of devastation. Scythes follow a code of ten commandments and also have to satisfy a quota of death annually. No Scythe can glean any type of various other Scythe; however a Scythe may self-glean, whenever before he or she chooses.

This particular tale opens with two various MidMerihave the right to teenagers, sixteen-year olds Citra and also Rowan, that are selected by Honorable Scythe Faraday, as his dual apprentices. Eincredibly Scythe finds his own method to glean, her very own sense of justice and honor for those resides about to be ended–Faraday depends on statistics and fads from the Age of Mortality, gleaning those that would certainly have actually passed away in auto accidents, drownings, and other such mundane incidents. Under H.S. Faraday’s strict code of morality and also empathy, Citra and also Rowan learn the immense obligation and also heartache it takes to come to be a dealer of death–though just one of them will graduate from apprtempt to Scythe, both take the lessons to heart.

Not all Scythes, but, are favor Faraday. At the initially Scythe Conclave, Citra and Rowan discover that complicated national politics and differing beliefs and also individual agendas divide the Scythedom–some Scythes kill bereason they like it, contrary to whatever that Faraday has taught them. When the pair of apprentices uncover themselves separation acomponent by a tragic rotate of fate, and also pitted against one an additional in a competition to become an ordained Scythe, they have to decide whether or not they will autumn in line with the rest of the Scythedom, or if they will ignite the flames of change to burn it all down.

The first in a brand also new series from National Book Award-winner Neal Shusterguy, Scythe is a harrowing, emotional speculative fiction novel. Assessing themes that range from the broadest concerns (e.g. What does it mean to be human? What are we currently if we cannot die?) to the many individual and also specific (e.g. For narrators Citra and Rowan, how have the right to I take someone’s life ameans forever?), Scythe is a affluent examicountry of mortality, principles, and also the interpretation of life, when everyone resides in comfort forever.

In a various author’s hands, Scythe could have been a cheesy YA Dystopian star-crossed romance, full of longing sighs and also prosaically smoldering exchanges; it could have been a literary adult novel via a dystopian-lite premise, full of self-aware pclimbed and also extreme navel gazing. In Shusterman’s hands, Scythe is both YA dystopia and also literary fiction, mastercompletely blfinishing the ideal aspects of both genres while neatly sidestepping the trappings of both. Told in chapters alternating between Citra and also Rowan’s 3rd perkid narration, interspliced with journal entries from various Scythes throughout, Scythe never once ftransforms in its heart, authenticity, or voice.

Citra Terranova is the first character we satisfy in the novel: an overachiever before with a desire to prove herself right and question those around her, regardmuch less of age of standing. When she meets Scythe Faraday–that enters her family’s house to eat dinner before going following door to glean their neighbor–Citra is frightened yet curious, and also her blend of forthrightness and also braincredibly pique the Scythe’s interest.

Rowan Damisch is the second narrator we meet: a boy who skims throughout the surface of life, that is overlooked by his parents who have actually their other children, however that feels incredibly deeply. Scythe Faraday enters Rowan’s life as soon as he involves his high school through a mission to glean the school’s beloved quarterback–and rather of walking away from the gleaning, Rowan shows compassion and also continues to be through his classmate with fatality.

These two personalities difficulty and also compliment each other; they are pitted against each various other in melodramatic fashion yet never actually waver in their core beliefs (though they are tested sorely–Rowan, in particular). Tright here is no sappy romance below, no cheesy dialogue or protracted melodrama. Instead, Rowan and Citra are propelled by their desire to do ideal by the civilization, also if it means the finish of their own stays and the Scythedom as they recognize it.

Beyond the characters, though, my favorite thing about this book is how complicated and also nuanced the ethical questions and worldstructure are. This is a utopian world: one wright here crime, poverty, and also hate have actually been reput with complacence and tranquility. In such a world, though, what becomes of humanity? When we have nopoint to strive for, what perform we become? In humans that have actually “turned the corner” (i.e. have actually been rejuvinated back to youth, yet retain every one of their memories and experiences) many kind of times over, this have the right to bring about a weariness with the human being. For those that are charged through the power of gleaning, it can expect an tremendous burden (as watched through Scythes Faraday and Curie), or a license to live to excess as Gods among Gods.

I loved this book. I was challenged by this book, I was entertained by this book, I was rendered speechless by this book. Scythe is just one of my favorite reads of 2016 and also will make my top 10 list for the year–I cannot wait to check out the following novel in the series.

Notable Quotes/Parts: From Chapter 1:

The scythe arrived late on a cold November afternoon. Citra was at the dining room table, slaving over an especially difficult algebra trouble, shuffling variables, unable to solve for X or Y, once this new and also much even more pernicious variable entered her life’s equation.

Guests were regular at the Terranovas’ apartment, so once the doorbell rang, there was no feeling of foreboding—no dimming of the sun, no foreshadowing of the arrival of fatality at their door. Perhaps the world have to have actually deigned to administer such warnings, yet scythes were no even more superorganic than tax collectors in the grand also plan of things. They proved up, did their unpleasant organization, and were gone.

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Her mom answered the door. Citra didn’t check out the visitor, as he was, at first, surprise from her watch by the door when it opened. What she witnessed was just how her mother stood tbelow, unexpectedly immobile, as if her veins had actually solidified within her. As if, were she tipped over, she would autumn to the floor and also shatter.

“May I enter, Mrs. Terranova?”

The visitor’s tone of voice provided him ameans. Resonant and unavoidable, favor the dull toll of an iron bell, confident in the capability of its peal to reach all those that essential getting to. Citra knew before she even witnessed him that it was a scythe. My god! A scythe has concerned our home!

“Yes, yes of course, come in.” Citra’s mom stepped aside to allow him entry—as if she were the visitor and not the other way roughly.

He stepped over the threshold, his soft slipper-prefer shoes making no sound on the parquet floor. His multilayered robe was smooth cream color linen, and also although it got to so low as to dust the floor, tright here was not a spot of dirt on it everywhere. A scythe, Citra knew, could pick the color of his or her robe—every color other than for black, for it was considered inappropriate for their job. Black was an lack of light, and scythes were the oppowebsite. Luminous and also enlightened, they were recognized as the exceptionally best of humanity—which is why they were liked for the project.

Some scythe robes were bright, some more muted. They looked prefer the wealthy, flowing robes of Renaissance angels, both hefty yet lighter than air. The distinct style of scythes’ robes, regardless of the cloth and also shade, made them simple to spot in public, which made them easy to avoid—if avoidance was what a perchild wanted. Just as many were attracted to them.

The shade of the robe often sassist a lot about a scythe’s personality. This scythe’s ivory robe was pleasant, and also far enough from true white not to assault the eye with its brightness. But none of this adjusted the reality of who and what he was.

He pulled off his hood to disclose nicely cut gray hair, a mournful face red-cheeked from the chilly day, and dark eyes that appeared themselves nearly to be weapons. Citra stood. Not out of respect, but out of fear. Shock. She tried not to hyperventilate. She tried not to let her knees buckle beneath her. They were betraying her by wobbling, so she forced fortitude to her legs, tightening her muscles. Whatever the scythe’s purpose right here, he would not see her crumble.

“You might close the door,” he shelp to Citra’s mom, who did so, although Citra can see exactly how tough it was for her. A scythe in the foyer might still revolve around if the door was open. The minute that door was closed, he was truly, truly inside one’s house.

He looked about, spotting Citra immediately. He offered a smile. “Hello, Citra,” he said. The truth that he knew her name froze her just as solidly as his appearance had frozen her mommy.

“Don’t be rude,” her mother sassist, also conveniently. “Say hello to our guest.”

“Good day, Your Honor.”

“Hi,” said her younger brvarious other, Ben, that had just come to his bedroom door, having heard the deep peal of the scythe’s voice. Ben was barely able to squeak out the one-word greeting. He looked to Citra and to their mom, thinking the exact same thing they were all reasoning. Who has actually he come for? Will it be me? Or will I be left to endure the loss?

“I smelled something inviting in the hallway,” the scythe shelp, breapoint in the aroma. “Now I watch I was best in thinking it came from this apartment.”

“Just baked ziti, Your Honor. Nopoint one-of-a-kind.” Until this moment, Citra had never before known her mom to be so timid.

“That’s good,” sassist the scythe, “bereason I call for nopoint one-of-a-kind.” Then he sat on the sofa and waited patiently for dinner.

You can check out the complete excerpt digital HERE.

Rating: 9 – Damn close to perfection. This book rekindled my love for the YA dystopian genre, and will certainly absolutely make my shortlist of finest publications of 2016.