Scythe by Neal Shusterman is about a world where there is no more death. Medical technology has advanced to the point where death can only happen through burning or Scythes. Scythes are people who are allowed to (and must) kill a certain amount of people every year in order to keep the population of the Earth from expanding too much. This book follows two teenagers who are chosen to become apprenticed to a Scythe. They are chosen during a time where two factions of Scythes are fighting to gain power, and must choose which side they truly belong to. Scythe gets a 4 star rating because the world is so well crafted, and also because it makes readers wonder about whether a world without death is a utopia after all.
Review by Sagnik C.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
The writer of other fascinating books such as Unwind, Neal Shusterman is back with a new series- the world of Scythe. The world is a utopia, but Scythe is all about the people who have to do the ugly things- the scythes who are tasked with clearing the world of some people so that the world will not be overpopulated, since death is no longer permanent, with revival being possible. Instead of bringing the reader into the life of a typical scythe or an ordinary person, Shusterman’s main characters are instead two people who are apprenticed to a Scythe, and only one can become Scythe. The competition between the protagonists, compounded by political struggles within the Scythes, makes up the majority of the book- these two issues by themselves make up the whole. However, at times, the book doesn’t make sense or is confusing- the matter of death and regeneration caused some headaches during while reading. Many mysteries concerning this topic are simply left unexplained, so the reader simply has to figure it out as best as he/she can and then keep on going. On the other hand, the book utilizes the perspectives of both protagonists during the points- this makes it so that you are not completely biased towards one protagonist over the other; seeing life from both sides makes it so that both are interesting characters. Overall, Scythe was an interesting book, full of interesting concepts, but at times, it might confuse you.
Reviewed by: Lucas H.
Rating 4/5 stars
At first, I found the language to be a little cheesy. Granted, the book is designed for twelve and up, so it's expected that the writing style gives the reader some help as to what the characters are thinking, as well as thorough speculation of very concept of an immortal society. This is common for most of his books because of the age group he aimed for.
But, as always, I was grappled by these creative characters. I enjoy the vibrant collection of characters Shusterman pulls in, especially those that were introduced only to be gleaned a few pages later. Even as a veteran of the Unwind series, I was still surprised by the turbulent plot twists that occur later in the story. While I feel as though the childhoods of the two main characters could be more thoroughly explored, I still became attached to them, especially Rowan, whose trials with temptation can relate to every reader. The build up to the climax is unnerving, and as one prone to skipping aheading, I found it extremely difficult to stay at pace.
Actually, because it is recommended for 7th grade and up, I was surprised at how much gore was included, as well as some sexual undertones now and then.
My only complaint would be more inclusion of Tyger, the most comedic character in the story.
While it is not my favorite book, it is definetely a thrilling one, and is sure to enthrall even the most neglectful of readers.
Review by: Jessica S.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman is a book about the Scythe which is a group of people who kill. They choose whom and when and how to kill someone. I personally don't like this book too much since it's graphic and it's not really my type. This book is a very violent book, where I prefer something sci fi.
Review by Billy H.
Neal Shusterman's Scythe is one of the best books I have ever read. The book takes place in the future, in which humanity has learned and accomplished everything, including gaining immortality. In order to control the population, there are people who kill others. However, these assassins are revered for their actions, and they are known as scythes. This story has both action and romance, as well as mystery mixed in its genre. Scythe not only keeps readers on the edge of their seats; it also causes them to consider philosophical questions as well.
Review by Sophie G.
4 out of 5 stars
Scythe is about a utopia where all of society’s needs are met. There is no hunger, war, or even death. That is, except for people named Scythes, tasked with killing people to control the population. The story focuses on two apprentices for scythehood, Citra and Rowan, who must compete against each other for a spot as a scythe. This book did a great job with the plot. There was enough action in the book to keep the reader entertained, yet also it asked philosophical questions about life, death, and purpose. However, there were quite a few plot holes in the story. For example, the book states that scythes are not allowed to ask the Thunderhead questions, but what prevents a scythe from having a normal person ask the question for him/her? Despite this, a definite must read.
Review Dennis T.