Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman


“Thou shalt kill.

What if death was the only thing left to control?

In a perfect world, the only way to die is to be gleaned by the professional scythe.  When Citra and Rowan are chosen to be apprentice scythes, they know they have no option but to learn the art of killing.  However, the terrifying responsibility of choosing their victims is just the start.

Corruption is the order of the day and Citra and Rowan need to stick together to fight it.  Then they are told that one of them will have to glean the other”.


This is a fascinating and intriguing dystopian world, where there is no natural death and the only way to die is to die at the hands of one of the scythes. The world is dark and grim and really quite terrifying at times. I haven’t read a book quite like it. Slightly unsettling and thought-provoking, the whole concept is brilliant and the author shows a great deal of skill in world building and attention to detail.

Unfortunately, the storyline didn’t quite live up to my expectations and I really struggled to commit. The pacing is rather slow and there are quite a few lulls in the story. The first half of the book really drags and I was becoming quite exasperated with it. The second half does pick up and it was at this point I became much more invested in the story.

The slow pacing probably wouldn’t have bothered me too much if I loved the characters, sadly none of the characters particularly resonated with me. Both Scythe Curie and Scythe Faraday are by far the more interesting of all of the characters with intriguing back stories. The ‘romance’ between Citra and Rowan, is very subtle and they made it quite clear from the onset that although there is an attraction they did not have any deep feelings for each other. Their relationship is devoid of any spark and chemistry, possibly for this reason. I can foresee there may be future romantic entanglement as the series progresses.

”I haven’t fallen in love with you, Rowan. And now I want to keep it that way”.

“Rowan got up and moved to the safety of the threshold before turning back to her. “It’s alright Citra”, he told her “I haven’t fallen in love with you either”.

On the whole I loved the whole premise of the story, it is really well written and set in a beautifully crafted world, its good but it isn’t groundbreaking. This book is a decent introduction to the series and is my first Neal Shusterman novel and I will certainly continue with the series. The perfect novel if you are like slow paced, well-written dark dystopian worlds, and you don’t mind a bit of bloodshed.

3 stars

I hope you enjoyed this review, happy reading

Karen ~

Published by twistedinpages

Reader • Reviewer • Blogger

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