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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.

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

loved it. the world is amazing

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fictional philosophy of mortality at its finest.

It's been longer than I'd care to admit since a book captured my attention so thoroughly. Shusterman builds an absolutely fascinating universe that subverts common tropes associated with similar themes.

The writing is beautiful, polished, downright poetic at times. The pacing manages to be tight without leaving the reader behind. Death as a theme is explored from multiple points of view without ever being fetishized. Advanced technology is seamlessly used ready tools for worldbuilding, rather than something villainized for the sake of plot. Characters have their own depth and distinct motivations that make you understand almost each and every perspective, especially through the amazing journal entries that punctuate each chapter.

Greg Tremblay's performance is an absolute gift. His narration is as smooth as the narrative, and he manages to give all the major characters their own distinct personalities throughout. The raw emotion with which he delivers his lines in certain scenes is incredible.

Highly recommended.

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Just amazing!

The story is really great! It is way more than I expected and it has a plot twist at the end that I just loved. I really liked every character in the book and how they complement each other and the narrator is really good as well. This is that type of book that just keeps you engaged to the story from beginning to end. I will be listening to the second book and waiting for the third one.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Action, suspense, drama! All in One!

In the duration of the book, we are shown amazing characters with impressive character development. The plot took a hard line of action, suspense, drama and a little bit of romance, with unexpected turns and twists which is sure to not leave you bored, even until its last moments.

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Loved it

Brilliant plot. Engaging characters. Fantastic story. The narrator did an amazing job too!
There were parts I didn’t appreciate e.g. Spoiler Alert: Mandela who was supposedly the “good and reasonable scythe” being a complete fool as to believe Citra would murder Faraday without any hard evidence. Why are the adults or figures of authority such idiots in these teen books? Gleaning journal entries were good but some were fillers.

Anyway, I loved the relationship development between Citra and Rowan, the tests, the twists and Spoiler alert: Voltra and Goddard’s respective deaths for different reasons.

Looking forward to listening to the sequel!

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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.

25 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

74 of 78 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.
.
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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Armando Zapata
  • 2017-04-14

The story was so incredibly written.

I was captived from beginning to end, you really find yourself falling in love with all the characters.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kathy
  • 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.

“Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry”

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jas P
  • 2017-11-02

Good Concept, Disappointing Execution

This is the first book I have listened to of Shusterman, and I have to admit, that I was initially drawn in by the cover of the book, and then by the blurb. This is a YA book, there is no doubting that, but one that is probably for an older YA audience rather than a younger one given the violent content.
It is a difficult book to judge overall as there are a lot of very intriguing aspects to this story, but there are also some flaws to the story, some elements could have been done better.
The story itself is about a futuristic world in which humanity has moved to the point of medical technology so that there is no death anymore, everything can be cured, and so all humans are immortal basically. There are also no governments anymore, everything, and I mean literally everything, food (growing, distribution calculation of requirements for population), transport, (from the cars to the trains to the planes), everything, is looked after by this AI called the Thunderhead. It is also responsible for reviving people if they have an accident, and for when people have reached that point in life where they ‘turn the corner’, it can revitalise them, making them young again.
This was where one of the flaws in the story came up, when we come across one of families in the story, and they live in this big luxurious mansion, better than most families do, because he is very well off, (in a world with no needs or wants, and no economy as such), he is filthy rich, as he is the one working on the technology to make revival technology to make you able to revive younger. But why in a world where basically everyone has EVERYTHING, would there be someone who lives like a billionaire now? It didn’t fit in with the rest of the story.
Returning to the main story, to try and have a semblance of normalcy in this society, it was decreed at some point that there would be Scythe’s, human’s, completely separate to the Thunderhead, who would ‘Glean’ a quota of the population every year. Two teenagers are selected by a Scythe to act as his apprentices, Citra and Rowan, and the main story follows what happens to them.
Without giving too much away, there are Good and Bad Scythe’s, those that ‘Glean’ in a kind and humane manner, and those that are psychopathic killers who have found their calling in life, and the only thing they are upset about is that there is a quota set upon them.
Our two apprentices start with Scythe Faraday, but due to various events, are split up, one with Scythe Curie and the other with Scythe Goddard. Curie and Faraday are of course on the good side (couldn’t have Madam Curie’s namesake as a psychopath), but Goddard of course is pure evil. Scythe’s take the name of someone famous in history, and I guess the relevance of Goddard’s name is that he was never celebrated for his work in rocket engineering, and Goddard believes that he must change the face of Scythdom to fit his image of what a Scythe should be.
How the story all comes about is very black and white, there is unfortunately very little mystery to be uncovered, and the resolution of between Scythe Goddard and his apprentice is somewhat weak and could have been done a whole lot differently, giving the story and the characters some actual depth.
The other apprentice has a little more depth, but there story is just as transparent, whilst at the same time, full of holes. The apprentice shooting the person they were looking for at the house that Curie sent them to, with Curie knowing who was at the house being one of the biggest holes – why would Curie not tell the apprentice who was there? I'm trying not to give too much away – once you listen to it, you will understand and understand the error.
The ineptitude of the other Scythes was astounding, given their alleged ages and skills/training, that apprentices could either outsmart them, or kill them in some instances.
As was the sheer stupidity and lack of skill of the alleged ‘Blade Guard’, those who were there to look after those whose main job in life is to ‘Glean’ others. Why do they need guards? And if they have them, why are they able to be so easily outdone?
The only characters with any depth beyond a wading pool were Curie and Faraday themselves, and we saw little enough of them, or their relationship.
Having said all of this, this did (and with the sequel to be published), still does, have the potential to be a really fascinating story, it just needs some serious work on the characters to give them some actual depth, and to fix the glaring holes in some of the storylines. Curie’s readings at the start of each Chapter are some of the best bits of the entire book, and show that her character actually is real. This is a really clever concept, but it has not been executed overly well unfortunately, hopefully the sequel is better.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful