Review: Scythe

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)Scythe by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought I was going to hate this book. I judged it by its unromantic premise and “dull” outline. But this prejudgement was developed by past-me a while ago. Since then, I’ve grown into more mature books and branching out of lovey-dovey triangles. This story is a work of art, and Neal Shusterman is an excellent author! I didn’t think I’d enjoy his writing, as I have previously read his stand-alone, Challenger Deep. This book broke my reading slump, and is easily one of my favourite books for 2018! Thank you, Shusterman, thank you, thank you, thank you!

The two main characters are: Citra(such beautiful and unique name) and Rowan.

Citra: is the underdog we explore from, and definitely represents the Old Age of Mortality. She is compassionate and empathetic, thus relatable to just about any reader following her story. Citra’s character development is slow but humble, and I didn’t find any faults in her– a rarity when men write YA female protags! So hat’s off to, Shusterman.

Rowan: is the more problematic child, who we all still love and want the best for. He’s a bit of a white-knight at the beginning of the novel, and this books exceedingly reflects his evolution into the dark-knight of Scythedom. He reminded me of Peeta Mallark from Mockingjay. I’m not exactly sure why, but there’s something about his good-turn-“evil”/brutal attitude that makes your heart yearn.

One of the best and most original ideas I’ve ever followed. Whenever I tried explaining it to my mum or boyfriend, their faces turned to disgrace at the morbidity of my taste in books. I found it refreshing, and frankly, a saviour which reignited my love for reading.

My over-simplified rundown of the story is: in a utopia, where immortality is the norm, two emerging adults are selected to become humanity’s curse. For although the world defies mortality, there is a catch: there must be reapers to make sure the population is sustainable. Society never knows who’s going to be picked, or when, but you can live hundreds of years without dying, and better yet– you can ‘turn corners’ to regenerate (and look fit and young again- woohoo!). These ‘reapers’ (Sythes) must not show bias, and some Scythes go by previous statistics etc. to not target certain individuals. However, some have ascended the power with the wrong intentions: they enjoy mass murders and cruelty. Citra and Rowan have one year to train as Scythes. Over the year, they discover the underbelly of the Scythedom and risk their lives to fight it.

Part 1: before their apprenticeship.
Part 2: Scythe Faraday.
Part 3: Post-Faraday; new Scythes are introduced.
Part 4: The final 3 months leading up to the Winter Smackdown (that’s not the official name, but I like the term).
Part 5: The Final Test.

– Death; mortality
– Morals
– Utopia and Dystopia
– Suicide


“I love you.”
“Same here.”

It was a little underwhelming, but a suffice loophole that Shusterman was leading up to. Nothing like ACOMAF’s ending (which is phenomenal), but it was still great. I can’t wait to read the next book!


Author: Cal's Reading Corner

HSIE teacher from Sydney, Australia.

7 thoughts on “Review: Scythe”

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