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Scythe

Written by: Neal Shusterman
Narrated by: Greg Tremblay
Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (175 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Two teens must learn the "art of killing" in this Printz Honor-winning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times best-selling Unwind Dystology series.

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.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award-winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

©2016 Neal Shusterman (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Dark, Gripping, and Philosophical

It was dark but still hopeful, philosophical but not overwhelmingly so, it created a full universe but one that you could still understand. Once I started I couldn't stop listening

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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loved it. the world is amazing

i very much enjoyed hearing about this world and the way it worked. all around awesome

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating!

I was captivated from the very first sentence. Entertaining, thought provoking and yet disturbing. Such a dark matter and yet the author ingeniously was able to weave a thread of humour throughout the narrative. Many times I felt a tinge of anxiety or found myself giggling at a carefully crafted sentence or two. The narrator was exceptional in my opinion. Able to make distinct each character which always helps to make the story more enjoyable and less confusing. I can't wait to listen to book #2!

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My review

I was very surprised by how much i loved this book. Cant wait to read the second.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Unexpectedly great!

I picked up scythe because it was on sale for like $5.
Started listening and found myself unexpectedly suprised.
The story is interesting and is giving me Hunger Games vibes.
I am not a fan of the narrator, I don't think he has a clue how to present a young female voice.
That's really my only problem with this book is the narrator because I'm on chapter 32 and it's been really good so far! Looking forward to the rest of the trilogy

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Great Read!

I found this book fast paced (I wanted to keep listening to it even when I couldn’t)- it was a great read. A unique twist to a futuristic world. The plot had a few unexpected twists which was refreshing. I would definitely recommend this book.

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Amazing

This book broke the great reading slump of 2018. Absolutely amazing. Read it. You must read it.

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Too good

Was I screaming in my car while listening to this? Yes. Was I chanting like a WWE spectator? Yes.

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Absolutely Fantastic

This book. THIS BOOK. T H I S B O O K.

This is one of those stories that sticks with you. The characters, the world-building, the plot, the dialogue that manages to feel so very real-- everything about this book is nothing short of perfection.

I've seen a lot of people saying that the plot is a little slow to start, and I vehemently disagree, because at the beginning, there's such a compelling hook with our first encounter with Scythe Faraday to immediately draw us in. Then the training process between Citra and Rowan is taken at a very steady rhythm to parallel the later jarring and unpredictable mentorship under Scythe Curie and Scythe Goddard.

This book is an instant classics, with a world that is so clearly paralleled to the current political and social climate, and will be enjoyed by generations to come. #Audible1

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Loved it!

Loved this book. I could not put it down until it was done. The conclusion was fun and unexpected #Audible1

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  • Jonathan Purcell
  • 2017-10-15

Best book I have read this year.

Of the 83 books that I have listened to/read this year, this is by far the best one. The world building is incredible and the characters are very easy to identify with. It delves into some philosophical questions that are as applicable to the current state of the world as they are to the “utopia” of the book. The idea of a “Thunderhead” evolving from the “cloud” is brilliant. Just so many good things about this book and I never wanted it to end. Can’t wait until the next book in the series is released.

40 of 42 people found this review helpful

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  • Lila Reading
  • San Diego, CA
  • 2017-04-01

Teenage Thumbs up

What made the experience of listening to Scythe the most enjoyable?

Every road trip, I seek out an audiobook that can please all 3 of my kids (now 12 [girl], 13 & 15 [boys]). Let's just say I've been striking out the last few years. This time was different. After each chapter, all three were asking for more. And on a typical road trip that is balanced between listening to a book, playing car games, resting, and watching movies, this time was all Scythe! My 15-year-old son, who no longer wished to read for enjoyment, said that 1. he wants to "read" it again, and 2. he wants this to be turned into a film. Listening to this book was truly the highlight of our road trip!

What did you like best about this story?

It felt like a combination between The Giver and The Hunger Games.

What about Greg Tremblay’s performance did you like?

His voices were seamless and spot on!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Scythe- kill with conscience.

Any additional comments?

We are hoping the next installment in the trilogy comes out before our next road trip!

93 of 99 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • charity
  • 2017-07-03

Typical dystopian

This was just another dystopian YA book. It wasn't bad but wasn't really good or a standout either. I kept waiting for something really amazing because of all of the great reviews. I found the end to be predictable and just a set up for the next in the series--I really hate that. There are so many series these days that it seems that no one can just write a good stand alone book. If you're looking for a time-filler you'll probably be fine with this book, but if you're looking for a 5-star listen you'll most likely be a bit let down.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • G. Grimsley
  • Alexandria, VA, United States
  • 2017-06-27

Immortal until you're Gleaned

What did you love best about Scythe?

This book is action packed and humorous at times while dealing with a very dark and morbid theme... Death. It's very thought provoking and yet gripping. It was one of the hardest books to have to stop listening to when I arrived at my destinations. Mr. Shusterman created one of the most dastardly villains I've read in a very long time. This villain is so slyly evil it's almost creeptastically good.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Scythe?

Several moments but I don't want to spoil the book!

Which character – as performed by Greg Tremblay – was your favorite?

I loved listening to 2 characters performed by Mr. Tremblay, the Scythes in Training, Citra and Rowan.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

What happens when humans are in control of Death?

Any additional comments?

This was SO worth the credit I paid but now I'm sitting on the edge of my seat for more. I want to hear more of this world and the hear more about the Scythedom and the Thunderhead. Mr. Shusterman does such an amazing job of world building and I need to hear more ASAP. I also hope the movie they produce of this film (if it actually makes it to production) will match the movie I had running in my head at the time of listening.

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jared G
  • CA USA
  • 2017-12-15

Seemingly clever premise that doesn't hold up

I listened to a decent bit of this book before I stopped gritting my teeth and accepted that the premise (humans are now immortal and still want to have lots of kids, so they have to self cull, allowing robed killers to wander around and decide everyone's fate) was not clever as it originally seems, but incredibly stupid. Putting this book down gave me mixed feelings, but mostly I felt relief.
In short, there is no plausible set of circumstances that would lead to this societal arrangement. It doesn't make any sense. People don't work this way. Not the self culling idea, the idea that we would let a group of mostly unregulated people walk around slaughtering people in creative and unnecessarily brutal and messy ways. Why kill someone with a neighbor's kitchen knife, shouldn't everyone just get an injection when they don't expect it? Why sit and tell a person you are about to kill them with a sword and they can't fight back or say their goodbyes, but you can have a side conversation with another character while this poor schmuck waits? It makes no sense at all and that kills the narrative, constantly pushing you out of an otherwise decently written and well read book.
If you are fine with this level of violence, just read the Red Rising series and don't pretend to seek philosophy.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 2017-11-14

You Can't Please All of The People All of The Time

I was hoping for well-developed and well-formed characters whom I could really care about. I saw Scythe compared to the Hunger Games which I absolutely loved. I was hoping it would grab me in a similar way. After all, both books had a significant amount of killing in their plot lines. Murder had seemed an integral part of the HG story, though not the end all and be all.

Scythe, on the other hand, did not immerse me in the story or make me care much about the characters. Who were Citra and Rowan? Why should I care about them? Why would teenagers become apprentice Scythes (killers) and have to learn SO many ways to kill, so many tools to use? In reality, teens decision making skills are not fully developed until early adulthood. How could they have enough life experience to choose who lives and who dies? (And yet, for some reason, I was willing to accept that Ender, not even a teen, could battle and save the world! Of course, it was because I knew about his family, his struggles, his persona so much more than Citra and Rowan.)

Shusterman created a world I just could not buy into. Sure, I could somehow accept the gleaning (culling of excess humans due to overpopulation), but only in a well-thought out and reasoned manner. The glorification and total focus on killing and the gleeful and exuberant enjoyment of it just does not sit right with me, especially in a book marketed for young adults

The narration was fine. The book did keep my attention despite my unease with the topic and I finished it. However, the ending did not redeem it for me nor does it stand out in my mind.

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27 of 31 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Darrin Mahlum
  • 2017-12-11

Depressing

The tone of the book and narrator was so somber and depressing I couldn’t make it all the way through. There just wasn’t a hook other than an interesting premise and the outrage at this world to keep me interested.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gabriel
  • 2017-04-21

Well Written Novel

Loved it however I was not satisfied as much with the ending as I wanted to be, maybe that was the point. Looking foward to the sequel.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kris Hutchison
  • 2017-10-14

Lived up to the reviews.

Great book.
The world did have some flaws and logic holes, but the story was good and the characters were interesting.
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Right at the start the book says that space travel is not an option and that everything about everything is already known.
Neither of these statements is ever justified or explored. Maybe the writer will address these problems in future books.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • DP
  • 2017-10-11

Loved it!

What a treat!!! I love this bc was such a new idea for a dystopian future. Nothing like I had read before. This author reminds me of Margaret Atwood, who is the queen of the genre. Although set in the future, the themes are very pertinent now. One of my favorites.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful