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Review: Scythe

Book: Scythe

Author: Neal Shusterman

Year published: 2016

  • Plot: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Overall: 4/5

Scythe was a rather unsettling book set in a dystopian world where all forms of death had almost been eradicated due to advancements in technology and society was controlled by a complex computer systen called, ‘Thunderhead’. To control population growth, there were Scythes tasked with ‘gleaning’ (which means killing) people as they saw fit to meet a certain quota. If someone died by, for example, jumping off of a high place, they could easily be revived again and carry on living. However, if a Scythe killed someone, they weren’t allowed to be revived.

I found the premise of the book original but very disturbing. You would think that a post-mortality society would be wonderful but whilst I was reading Scythe I was thinking about how glad I am that our world is not like that. The way the dynamics of the society were described and built was fascinating and it was amazing to see all of the different ways that people reacted to the Scythes.

The two main characters were Citra and Rowan. I liked them both but in different ways. Citra was really smart and determined. I liked her inquisitiveness and her knack of finding a way out of every tough situation. Rowan was quite kind and he really tried to cling onto his empathy and compassion for others no matter what was thrown at him. I kind of liked their relationship but I really wanted it to be firmly platonic as I do think they make a good team but I wouldn’t want them to be together romantically.

The plot was very slow and took a long time to develop and was a bit boring at times but the plot twists at the end were mind-boggling and really thrilling. In conclusion, Scythe was a really intriguing book that I would recommend due to its innovative ideas and themes.


Have you read Scythe? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!