REVIEW: Scythe by Neal Shusterman


I’d seen Scythe all over bookstagram, and I was extremely curious about it, though I didn’t make any plans to read it. One day, I was wandering around my library and I just happened upon a hardback. Thinking I might possibly read it, I loaned it out. Later that night, I was feeling restless so I picked up the book and read the blurb.

I was hooked.

About Scythe

Set in a dystopian world where humankind has conquered death, it is the Scythes responsibility to control population growth. To do so, thou must kill.

Scythe follows two young apprentices as they fight for the right to become a Scythe, but the problem is, neither of them wants to. I read Scythe in one sitting. Although a large book, I devoured it in a matter of hours.

And what a rollercoaster ride!

It pulled every single one of my heartstrings, and I found myself emotionally connected to both Rowan and Citra but perhaps most of all to Scythe Faraday and Scythe Curie.


It might seem peculiar then, that I say the novels weak points for me were the main characters. Though I was connected to them, I felt them a little two dimensional, and my connection was less to their personality or the way they handled themselves and more borne of empathy about their situation.

Though its a decent sized book and a lot happens, I felt like some character development was lost in the ever-changing plot. I wanted more from the characters, I would have loved to delve deeper into them and feel their internal turmoils even stronger.

I found the ending to be quite predictable, however, there were quite a few twists and turns that happened throughout the book, which detracted from the predictable ending.


I’m not the world’s biggest fan of third-person writing, but it didn’t bother me at all in this book, nor did the switching POVs, which is usually my major pet peeve.

I loved the world-building and the amount of the world that we got to see. The Conclaves were the highlight of the book for me, and as the novel passed I began to see the Scythes as regular people, not the high and mighty that they’re made out to be.

In fact, it was almost disorienting at parts to remember that these people I was reading about were held in such high regard by the vast majority of the population in the book. Scythe sucks you in like that.

Overall thoughts on Scythe

It’s the addictive nature of Scythe and the emotional connection I forged with Scythe Faraday and Scythe Curie that made me enjoy the novel so much.

I’d love to talk about the latter two Scythes more, but any comment on why I adored them so would likely be very spoiler-y, so I’ll avoid it.

Despite its predictability and slightly shallow characters, Scythe is an engrossing, entertaining and enjoyable read, which has definitely found its way onto my favourites shelf.

How many stars for Scythe?

I gave this book five out of five stars.

Have you read Scythe? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Mikaela is an illustrator, and writer based in QLD, Australia. She's been writing novels for eleven years and editing for six. You can often find her with a coffee by the beach, pondering existentialism and the psychology of writing. She has a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and takes pride in her paradoxical nature. She's also very much like a cat.


  1. Lou
    June 27, 2018

    Sounds like a good book! Thanks for the review, will definitely check it out!

    1. Mikaela
      June 27, 2018

      Glad you liked the review and thanks for reading! I hope you love Scythe as much as I did!


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