By Neal Shusterman

In a perfect world, what is there left to fear? A chilling and thought-provoking sci-fi novel from New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman.

A dark, gripping and witty thriller in which the only thing humanity has control over is death. In a world where disease, war and crime have been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed ("gleaned") by professional scythes. Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythes' apprentices, and despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation, they must learn the art of killing and understand the necessity of what they do. Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe's apprentice and as Citra and Rowan come up against a terrifyingly corrupt Scythedom, it becomes clear that the winning apprentice's first task will be to glean the loser.

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 14+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406379242
  • Published: 01 Feb 2018
  • Price: £8.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 416

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Customer reviews


'This powerful tale is guaranteed to make readers think deeply.' Publishers Weekly (starred review)

'This first volume in an anticipated trilogy offers forbidden love, mass murders, cool philosophical musings, and a well-developed futuristic society—plenty to guarantee interest in the planned two followups.' BCCB (starred review)

'Shusterman starts off this series in dramatic fashion as he creates an engrossing world that pulls readers in and refuses to let them go… A truly astounding, unputdownable read and a fast-paced beginning to an excellent sci-fi series. A must-have.' School Library Journal (starred review)

'Elegant and elegiac, brooding but imbued with gallows humor, Shusterman's dark tale thrusts realistic, likeable teens into a surreal situation and raises deep philosophic questions. A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning.' Kirkus (starred review)

'Scythe owes an obvious debt to Unwind (2007) and its sequels, and this succeeds as a sort of shadow companion to Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy: instead of exploring the ways in which men are monsters, this deals in what happens to men when there are no monsters. When our reach does not exceed our grasp, when comfort is more easily obtained than struggle, when our essential humanity doesn’t burn out but becomes slowly irrelevant, what becomes of us? Readers will find many things in these pages. Answers to such unsettling questions will not be among them.' Booklist (starred review)

'Pretty much a perfect teen adventure novel [...] Over the years, I've heard many books touted as the successor to Hunger Games, but Scythe is the first one that I would really, truly stand behind, as it offers teens a complementary reading experience to that series rather than a duplicate one. Like Hunger Games, SCYTHE invites readers to both turn pages quickly but also furrow their brows over the ethical questions it asks [...] It asks enough difficult questions to stick in the mind, but it never asks them at the expense of pacing or story.' Maggie Stiefvater, author of The Shiver Trilogy and The Raven Cycle

'“[…] a genuinely original and chilling dystopian thriller posing some big, thought-provoking questions.”' The Bookseller

'Shusterman, who has written 36 books and won a National Book Award, writes prose with the sort of spring in its step that says: “Stand back. I know what I’m doing.” [...] “Scythe” is full of sly plot twists and absorbing set pieces.' New York Times

'“Wow! This was a gripping, thought-provoking read. Totally compelling, Scythe is a dark, original take on the ultimate power – the power over life and death.”' Shelley Fallows, LoveReading 4 Kids

'“This is a well written, page-turning story that is quite thought provoking and terrifying as you get deeper into the plot. Suitable for well read, confident dystopian readers and reluctant ones as well due to the short pacey chapters. Please read it, as I'm 99.9% sure you will enjoy it!”' Reading Zone

'“This is a well written, page-turning story that is quite thought provoking and terrifying as you get deeper into the plot. Suitable for well read, confident dystopian readers and reluctant ones as well due to the short pacy chapters.”' Reading Zone

'“I was absolutely hooked by this book from page one and I couldn't read it fast enough.” '

'“Scythe is unique. You’ll have fully emerged in the story in no time, whilst you figure out alongside out main characters what’s really going on. You’ll be surprised, you’ll be shocked and you’ll love it.” ' booksfemme

'“Neal Shusterman's tightly written prose keeps the reader on their toes, ruthlessly throwing unexpected twists, turns and revelations.YA fiction at its best.” ' Counsel

'“Funny, philosophical and very modern, this will add an edge to summer sizzling.”' The New Statesman

'“Nothing has quite filled the gap left by The Hunger Games, both in bookshops and cinemas, but Scythe could change that in the near future.”' South China Morning Post

'In a wholly original novel abound with morally grey characters, this story has plenty of twists and a perfect romance to make this YA read an engrossing favourite among readers.' Insider

'Time Magazine’s Top 100 YA Novels of All Time.' TIME

'I will never stop recommending Scythe. The story is so unique and captivating from the very first page. This is also a fantastic series for someone looking to get back into reading.' Readings

'featured in ‘3 Futuristic Novels That Are A Must Read’ for Vents Magazine' Vents Magazine

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