Scythe | Neal Shusterman | Review

“My greatest wish for humanity is not for peace or comfort or joy. It is that we all still die a little inside every time we witness the death of another. For only the pain of empathy will keep us human. There’s no version of God that can help us if we ever lose that.”





Thou shalt kill.

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.


I was concerned to pick this book up due to all the hype that was attached to it, I do not have a very good experience with hyped books as for me they never end up living up to it. I am annoyed at myself for not picking this book up sooner because I absolutely loved it so much.

Honestly this book was such a good first book in a series. As a general theme I tend to find myself bored during the first book as there is a lot of world building and character building … a necessary obviously, but I just become fed up and struggle to pick them up. Scythe was completely different. There was so much action and excitement from the beginning, as well as helping the reader understand the world and build up a connection with the characters.

The idea behind this book is so unique. I find that a lot of YA i very similar with an authors twist on unoriginal ideas. This is not the case. I have not read anything remotely similar to this which really added to my enjoyment whilst reading Scythe. I feel like the idea of overpopulation within humanity is very close to every day life which really added an eery vibe to this. Is this the future for us?

One part that really stuck out to me where the chapter beginnings giving us a bit of history around the Scythedom and what has occurred previously to put them in the position that they find themselves in today. This really fascinated me and I enjoyed reading the perspective of many different historical people who have been through this.

If you know me even a little bit you will know that I hate romance in YA books, it is always so cheesy, it feels forced and most of the time unnecessary. Whilst Scythe has a hint of romance, it is very slow burn to the point where you can ignore it if you wish to. It didn’t feel like it was forced, it was such a small proportion of the book that it didn’t take over and remove your attention away from the main plot of the book. I absolutely adore Citra and Rowan, their relationship both personal and professional. I felt myself routing for them throughout and excited to see what happens with them next.

The pacing of this book was so perfect. It had just the right amount of information dumping mixed with action and excitement. It was so well written that it had me hooked. I’ve actually read this book twice over the last week because I finished and just wanted to read it again. It is so easy to read this book, the writing style is so addictive and easy to read. If you want to devour this book in one sitting you will not struggle to do so.

I am aware that this review is more like a love letter to Neal Shusterman, and I am not sorry. I am struggling to think of what I didn’t enjoy about this book because apart from the fact it had to end I can’t really think of anything else. I cannot wait to see what happens next.

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