Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

A bit of a slow start but the idea itself will keep you invested. A world with no more death-- only a select few have the power to decide when it's someone's turn to be 'gleaned'. A whole separate world with it's own separated government is surely destined to become toxic. So toxic that they set two Scythe Apprentices against each other-- one will win the Scythe ring, the other will be 'gleaned' by the victor. A wonderful novel that occasionally hits a little too close to home in our current political standing.

-- Josh

— From Josh H. Staff Picks

In a literary world oversaturated with dystopian futures, National Book Award winner Neal Shusterman offers up a delightfully biting and fresh utopian alternative: a world where technology has solved all of humanity's problems, including mortality. Only Scythes-- specialized, righteous, impartial assassins-- decide who dies. They are meant to be beyond corruption, above reproach. But our two heroes, while training as Scythe's apprentices, learn the reality is a distant cry from such moral heights. Scythe is harrowing, subtle, and thoroughly unputdownable.

-- Haley

— From Haley P. Staff Picks

"In the future, technology has solved all of humanity's problems -- including mortality. But at what cost? If there's no pain, no fear of death, can we be trusted to truly live? Neal Shusterman explores this question with an exceedingly sly and smart touch." - Haley, Book Culture Selects letter, Forever Young Adult, January

— From New Year, New Book Culture Selects Picks!


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 bestselling Unwind dystology.

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.

About the Author

Neal Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including the Unwind dystology, the Skinjacker trilogy, Downsiders, and Challenger Deep, which won the National Book Award. Scythe, the first book in his latest series, Arc of a Scythe, is a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows. Neal is the father of four, all of whom are talented writers and artists themselves. Visit Neal at and
Product Details
ISBN: 9781442472426
ISBN-10: 1442472421
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 22nd, 2016
Pages: 448
Language: English
Series: Arc of a Scythe