Week Four: Scythe

“We must, by law,
keep a record of the innocents we kill.”

This review is of Scythe by Neal Shusterman. I am reading this book for the first time. This book is the first book that I am reviewing that I haven’t read ahead of time. That means I will be doing something different for this post. Instead of a non-spoiler section and then the spoiler section, I will be doing a non-spoiler section with a “Super Special Reaction Section” where I just share the opinions I had as I was reading it. I had a lot of theories about this books while reading it and 95% of them were wrong in the end, so rereading my reactions and thoughts after finishing the book was very entertaining.

Non-Spoiler Section:

Every review I’ve done so far has mentioned world-building, because I love world-building a lot. This book is a master-class is world building. Neal Shusterman is known for writing worlds similar to ours but with one major change. We saw a similar world-building style in Shusterman’s Unwind series.

Scythe is set in a relatively near future, after humanity has conquered death, the only beings that can administer permanent death are the Scythes. The story follows Citra and Rowan as they explore the intricacies of the Scythedom.

I went in to this book blind and I am glad I did that, because I have never been more surprised by a book in my life. If you have the opportunity to go into this book blind, please do it.

The characters in this book are all so lovable and this book provided probably the most emotionally confusing villain I’ve ever read. I hated this person’s gust and I prayed every moment for a bloody death, but I held onto every moment we had with them and never let go. This villain is so well written, I don’t think anyone could have possibly written them better than Shusterman did.

There was a twist near the end that at one point i predicted, but then the book did everything it could to steer me away from that prediction. I thought I was stupid for ever thinking that would happen, but THEN IT HAPPENED. I WAS RIGHT.

This book is easily a Five Star.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Super Special Reaction Section

In this section I’m just gonna share the thoughts, ideas, and opinions I had while reading the book.

DAY ONE

12:24 am
Page 13- I already know this world so well, and it’s only been a few pages.

1:03 am
Page 32- On page 32 a gay couple is implied to exist, and Citra didn’t see it coming at all, but everyone else did, meaning our main character has horrible gaydar. WE LOVE.

2:00 am
Page 67- Just finished part one, I’m going to sleep, but I am HOOKED. I’m curious to see how the competition between Rowan and Citra turns out. It’s strange because only one can win and both are main characters. I have a feeling that this will be like The Hunger Games, where something strange happens and both end up winning. If you can even call being a bearer of death winning.

12:35 pm
Page 71- “I regret to inform you that this entire flight has been selected for gleaning.” Is such a chilling sentence to read. I actually had to pause to check my heartbeat.

12:38 pm
Page 72- This books is really good at making the Scythes as a whole a morally ambiguous group. They aren’t seen as entirely evil or entirely forces of good. They are a complex group of characters.

12:42 pm
Page 75- I keep pausing to think over what I’ve just read. The group of scythes on the plane seem like they could be rogue scythes or even the main villains of the story. They seem to see gleaning as a jovial act. Something to take pleasure in, unlike Faraday. Faraday even said “I would not have been pleased if either of you had been eager to administer death.” On page 62.

1:17 pm
Page 94- For some reason I think Faraday is planning on making both Citra and Rowan Scythes, and having them work together. Based on the tasks he gave both of them alone. Citra was asked to clean Faraday’s blades and Rowan was asked to find the next gleaning. Both doing two parts of the same job. Is it possible for two people to work together as Scythes? The commandments don’t say otherwise.

1:26 pm
Page 97- “Well, she could learn self-control tomorrow. Today when wanted pizza.” That’s all. That’s the thought.

1:39 pm
Page 98- NO. I WAS RIGHT. THAT GROUP OF 4 SCYTHES ARE BAD AND NOW THEY ABOUT TO KILL ESME, THE PIZZA GIRL.

4:39 pm
Page 154- Scythe Goddard and his cronies make me so mad. The new added rule that only one comes out of this apprenticeship alive is just… WHY. I’m fully down for a corrupt government in a book. Sign me up. But now we have corruption in the sole sources of death… this book is gonna mess me up.

4:58 pm
Page 172- Xenocrates just said Faraday gleaned himself and I’m not down for that. Foul play is involved. Faraday would have found another way to get around the problem. Gleaning himself to end the apprenticeship is not something he would have done. He either isn’t dead or he was murdered by a Scythe,

5:02 pm
Page 175- I KNEW GODDARD WOULD BE THE SCYTHE TO STEP FORWARD TO MENTOR ONE OF THEM. I HATE HIM. On to part three. I hope this part has a happier ending, though I doubt it will.

7:11 pm
Page 222- I knew Scythe Goddard would have some kind of sick initiation for Rowan. I’ve become more and more curious about Esme with each chapter. I’m also beginning to be intrigued by the Tonist “cults”.

7:36 pm
Page 236- Citra getting to the bottom of things in a genius way is so refreshing. Too often we see main characters being fed answers instead of finding the information themselves.

8:22 pm
Page 272- For some reason I keep thinking Volta is gay, but that could just be me wanting LGBT representation in everything.

8:32 pm
Page 284- I honestly think someone other than Goddard killed Faraday. The book is making Goddard too obvious, like a red herring.

10:30 pm
Page 310- Goddards control over the High Blade is infuriating. What about Esme is so important to Xenocrates?

10:43 pm
Page 315- I knew Esme was the High Blade’s daughter. This book is much more political than I originally thought it would be. We love political intrigue.

Day Two

12:07 am
Page 321- Citra is being blamed for Faraday’s murder. Which is a bit infuriating. But that does mean they’re admitting it was murder and not a self-gleaning. This has to end well.

12:26 am
Page 334- Onto part 4. After a brief look at the first page of this part, I believe it’s exploring the afterlife concept they hinted at the first time Citra died. *seconds later* ITS THUNDERHEAD. We stan Thunderhead in this house.

12:32 am
Page 338- Thunderhead just reveal Gerald Van Der Gans killed Faraday.

12:45 am
Page 345- Scythe Curie just said Faraday’s note was about her and not Citra, wonder why.

12:48 am
Page 346- Curie liked Faraday many many years ago, and Faraday misconstrued Curie’s love for a want to hurt him.

1:15 am
Page 368- I LITERALLY KNEW FARADAY WAS STILL ALIVE. I SAID THAT. I KNEW IT. Did Citra just ACTUALLY kill Faraday…

10:25 am
Page 396- Rowan just killed Goddard and all his cronies in one fell-swoop. There is no hope of reviving them.

10:55 am
Page 433- I knew there would be a cliffhanger. Love that. I have to read Thunderhead now.

Between finishing the book and finishing this review, I started and finished the sequel, Thunderhead. The review for Thunderhead will be out in two weeks and HOPEFULLY the review for the third book will be out the week after that.

“So Rowan did, and they sped off into the frosty Fulcrum City night.”

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