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Publisher's Summary

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 best-selling Unwind Dystology series.

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.

©2016 Neal Shusterman (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    4,517
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    1,378
  • 3 Stars
    281
  • 2 Stars
    60
  • 1 Stars
    24

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,158
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    214
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    21
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    10

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 2 Stars
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    26
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Immortal until you're Gleaned

What did you love best about Scythe?

This book is action packed and humorous at times while dealing with a very dark and morbid theme... Death. It's very thought provoking and yet gripping. It was one of the hardest books to have to stop listening to when I arrived at my destinations. Mr. Shusterman created one of the most dastardly villains I've read in a very long time. This villain is so slyly evil it's almost creeptastically good.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Scythe?

Several moments but I don't want to spoil the book!

Which character – as performed by Greg Tremblay – was your favorite?

I loved listening to 2 characters performed by Mr. Tremblay, the Scythes in Training, Citra and Rowan.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

What happens when humans are in control of Death?

Any additional comments?

This was SO worth the credit I paid but now I'm sitting on the edge of my seat for more. I want to hear more of this world and the hear more about the Scythedom and the Thunderhead. Mr. Shusterman does such an amazing job of world building and I need to hear more ASAP. I also hope the movie they produce of this film (if it actually makes it to production) will match the movie I had running in my head at the time of listening.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book I have read this year.

Of the 83 books that I have listened to/read this year, this is by far the best one. The world building is incredible and the characters are very easy to identify with. It delves into some philosophical questions that are as applicable to the current state of the world as they are to the “utopia” of the book. The idea of a “Thunderhead” evolving from the “cloud” is brilliant. Just so many good things about this book and I never wanted it to end. Can’t wait until the next book in the series is released.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Teenage Thumbs up

What made the experience of listening to Scythe the most enjoyable?

Every road trip, I seek out an audiobook that can please all 3 of my kids (now 12 [girl], 13 & 15 [boys]). Let's just say I've been striking out the last few years. This time was different. After each chapter, all three were asking for more. And on a typical road trip that is balanced between listening to a book, playing car games, resting, and watching movies, this time was all Scythe! My 15-year-old son, who no longer wished to read for enjoyment, said that 1. he wants to "read" it again, and 2. he wants this to be turned into a film. Listening to this book was truly the highlight of our road trip!

What did you like best about this story?

It felt like a combination between The Giver and The Hunger Games.

What about Greg Tremblay’s performance did you like?

His voices were seamless and spot on!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Scythe- kill with conscience.

Any additional comments?

We are hoping the next installment in the trilogy comes out before our next road trip!

74 of 78 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lived up to the reviews.

Great book.
The world did have some flaws and logic holes, but the story was good and the characters were interesting.
.
Right at the start the book says that space travel is not an option and that everything about everything is already known.
Neither of these statements is ever justified or explored. Maybe the writer will address these problems in future books.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Typical dystopian

This was just another dystopian YA book. It wasn't bad but wasn't really good or a standout either. I kept waiting for something really amazing because of all of the great reviews. I found the end to be predictable and just a set up for the next in the series--I really hate that. There are so many series these days that it seems that no one can just write a good stand alone book. If you're looking for a time-filler you'll probably be fine with this book, but if you're looking for a 5-star listen you'll most likely be a bit let down.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The story was so incredibly written.

I was captived from beginning to end, you really find yourself falling in love with all the characters.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well Written Novel

Loved it however I was not satisfied as much with the ending as I wanted to be, maybe that was the point. Looking foward to the sequel.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 11-14-17

You Can't Please All of The People All of The Time

I was hoping for well-developed and well-formed characters whom I could really care about. I saw Scythe compared to the Hunger Games which I absolutely loved. I was hoping it would grab me in a similar way. After all, both books had a significant amount of killing in their plot lines. Murder had seemed an integral part of the HG story, though not the end all and be all.

Scythe, on the other hand, did not immerse me in the story or make me care much about the characters. Who were Citra and Rowan? Why should I care about them? Why would teenagers become apprentice Scythes (killers) and have to learn SO many ways to kill, so many tools to use? In reality, teens decision making skills are not fully developed until early adulthood. How could they have enough life experience to choose who lives and who dies? (And yet, for some reason, I was willing to accept that Ender, not even a teen, could battle and save the world! Of course, it was because I knew about his family, his struggles, his persona so much more than Citra and Rowan.)

Shusterman created a world I just could not buy into. Sure, I could somehow accept the gleaning (culling of excess humans due to overpopulation), but only in a well-thought out and reasoned manner. The glorification and total focus on killing and the gleeful and exuberant enjoyment of it just does not sit right with me, especially in a book marketed for young adults

The narration was fine. The book did keep my attention despite my unease with the topic and I finished it. However, the ending did not redeem it for me nor does it stand out in my mind.

“Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry”

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • DP
  • 10-11-17

Loved it!

What a treat!!! I love this bc was such a new idea for a dystopian future. Nothing like I had read before. This author reminds me of Margaret Atwood, who is the queen of the genre. Although set in the future, the themes are very pertinent now. One of my favorites.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good Concept, Disappointing Execution

This is the first book I have listened to of Shusterman, and I have to admit, that I was initially drawn in by the cover of the book, and then by the blurb. This is a YA book, there is no doubting that, but one that is probably for an older YA audience rather than a younger one given the violent content.
It is a difficult book to judge overall as there are a lot of very intriguing aspects to this story, but there are also some flaws to the story, some elements could have been done better.
The story itself is about a futuristic world in which humanity has moved to the point of medical technology so that there is no death anymore, everything can be cured, and so all humans are immortal basically. There are also no governments anymore, everything, and I mean literally everything, food (growing, distribution calculation of requirements for population), transport, (from the cars to the trains to the planes), everything, is looked after by this AI called the Thunderhead. It is also responsible for reviving people if they have an accident, and for when people have reached that point in life where they ‘turn the corner’, it can revitalise them, making them young again.
This was where one of the flaws in the story came up, when we come across one of families in the story, and they live in this big luxurious mansion, better than most families do, because he is very well off, (in a world with no needs or wants, and no economy as such), he is filthy rich, as he is the one working on the technology to make revival technology to make you able to revive younger. But why in a world where basically everyone has EVERYTHING, would there be someone who lives like a billionaire now? It didn’t fit in with the rest of the story.
Returning to the main story, to try and have a semblance of normalcy in this society, it was decreed at some point that there would be Scythe’s, human’s, completely separate to the Thunderhead, who would ‘Glean’ a quota of the population every year. Two teenagers are selected by a Scythe to act as his apprentices, Citra and Rowan, and the main story follows what happens to them.
Without giving too much away, there are Good and Bad Scythe’s, those that ‘Glean’ in a kind and humane manner, and those that are psychopathic killers who have found their calling in life, and the only thing they are upset about is that there is a quota set upon them.
Our two apprentices start with Scythe Faraday, but due to various events, are split up, one with Scythe Curie and the other with Scythe Goddard. Curie and Faraday are of course on the good side (couldn’t have Madam Curie’s namesake as a psychopath), but Goddard of course is pure evil. Scythe’s take the name of someone famous in history, and I guess the relevance of Goddard’s name is that he was never celebrated for his work in rocket engineering, and Goddard believes that he must change the face of Scythdom to fit his image of what a Scythe should be.
How the story all comes about is very black and white, there is unfortunately very little mystery to be uncovered, and the resolution of between Scythe Goddard and his apprentice is somewhat weak and could have been done a whole lot differently, giving the story and the characters some actual depth.
The other apprentice has a little more depth, but there story is just as transparent, whilst at the same time, full of holes. The apprentice shooting the person they were looking for at the house that Curie sent them to, with Curie knowing who was at the house being one of the biggest holes – why would Curie not tell the apprentice who was there? I'm trying not to give too much away – once you listen to it, you will understand and understand the error.
The ineptitude of the other Scythes was astounding, given their alleged ages and skills/training, that apprentices could either outsmart them, or kill them in some instances.
As was the sheer stupidity and lack of skill of the alleged ‘Blade Guard’, those who were there to look after those whose main job in life is to ‘Glean’ others. Why do they need guards? And if they have them, why are they able to be so easily outdone?
The only characters with any depth beyond a wading pool were Curie and Faraday themselves, and we saw little enough of them, or their relationship.
Having said all of this, this did (and with the sequel to be published), still does, have the potential to be a really fascinating story, it just needs some serious work on the characters to give them some actual depth, and to fix the glaring holes in some of the storylines. Curie’s readings at the start of each Chapter are some of the best bits of the entire book, and show that her character actually is real. This is a really clever concept, but it has not been executed overly well unfortunately, hopefully the sequel is better.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Georgina
  • 01-18-18

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS!

I haven't found an audiobook I really loved since listening to Eddie Redmayne reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! The narrator for this was perfect and he kept me hooked! I listened to most of this but I read about 15 chapters from my physical copy of the book but found I was actually missing not listening to the narrator! I highly recommend this, the story was absolutely amazing, it was a freaking rollercoaster of a journey, so many twists and turns but it's also a unique story as I've not really heard of anything like this before!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • 01-22-18

Thoroughly enjoyable

Story was original and the pace was good. Well performed. Really looking forward to the next one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Q26
  • 06-05-18

You have to here this story

Just brilliant, you need to listen to this story, and the performance was excellent
The characters are well written but some part of the story I’m sorry to say is predictable but still the story will still have you gripped

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Stevan
  • 05-14-18

alright

nice little sci fi story really easy going well read. just wanted it to be a more adult take but its still good

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lacey Foster
  • 11-06-18

amazing, just amazing -

absolutely fantastic read / listen. I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to loose their self.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Toni
  • 09-01-18

This surprised me

4.5 Stars

This surprised me. I don't usually like dystopian books but the plot synopsis intrigued me so I picked it up and I am glad I did. It was fast paced and full of twists and turns. I knew it'd have to end the way it did but not how it'd happen. It also had me wondering what would happen if we did live in a world without illness or death. Looking forward to experiencing the next book now.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-22-18

best book I've read all year<br />

slightly put off by the narrator
story was so gripping. I can't wait for the sequel

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-18-18

Couldn't stop listening!

Very well narrated and fleshed out characters. Found myself losing sleep while trying to listen to "just one more chapter." Touches on some topical subjects very smoothly, highly recommend

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • CC
  • 07-14-18

Very enjoyable

I really enjoyed this book, it moved along at a good pace and the characters were believable. The plot had some glaring holes in it but if you suspended logic you could continue with the storyline. Greg Tremblay did an excellent job of narration with very good character voice changes.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • alina firtascu
  • 07-10-18

Kept me on edge

I really enjoyed this book, once I started it I couldn't stop and I would definitely recommend listening or reading this book.

The reason I put a 4 star and not 5 is because I'm not sure if this was the style of book I like. Something didn't quite click 100% whether the way the story was told or the way it has almost quiet moments.. I'm not sure.

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  • Anna G
  • 11-18-17

Outstanding!

Not only was the world incredible, the plot and story telling well done - the voice actor did a fantastic job! i cannot fault this book and performance one bit. Bravo.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Teresa Romanovsky
  • 10-24-18

A future both fascinating and terrifying!

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The narration was excellent. I do have a few unanswered questions such as what happens to the children of the parents that have been gleaned and what happens to the jobs left vacant? This annoyed me a little but not enough to spoil the storytelling. Whilst this version of the future is far removed from our own, the basic human psyche remains the same - good and evil still exists and that battle continues to wage war. Looking forward to listening to the next instalment.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-15-18

Everyone should read this book

It’s brilliant with well thought out original ideas leaving you wanting more. I couldn’t stop listening. Number one my book series list

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-14-18

Great young adult read

Story line and characters are entertaining, while also making you think about our current world and the way we think and act.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • BearCub
  • 05-15-18

Intensely engaging

First off, the narration by Greg Tremblay was impeccable. His use of voices and tone were fantastic and added to the story.

I’ve been a fan of Shusterman for a while, but this book was next level awesome. The story was engaging and interesting. Highly recommend!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian M
  • 05-09-18

Just Brilliant! Totally loved it.

Brilliant premise. Brilliant writing. Brilliant narration. Nothing but praise for this book. Can’t wait. To read the sequel! Top marks all around!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-18-18

Just Amazing

The performance is amazing
The story is enthrallingly captivating
You will be on the edge of your seat as I was throughout the entirety of the book.
For a story that about a perfect utopia where life is eternal, and there are these people called Scythes that are essentially the grim reapers of this society is truly an interesting concept.
A dark utopia that's depressing but a journey filled with humour.
Simply Put Amazing