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Presented by State Library Victoria

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

In a world far into the future, life is governed by a human-made being called the ‘Thundercloud’. The Thundercloud has dominion over all things, save one; the mysterious and deadly Scythes…

Death has been conquered. If you are killed, you are merely deadish, ready to be revived by the Thundercloud in a revival centre. Fire and acid are the only ways to completely kill someone. However, death is necessary to prevent overpopulation, thus the scythes. Their job is to efficiently glean a specific quota of people per year. However, one of the prerequisites of being a Scythe is that you must not enjoy your duties.

The Scythedom is split in two: the new order, who enjoy gleaning and the old order, who, more humanely, find gleaning the 2nd hardest thing they have ever done.


Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova are two ordinary children, until they are chosen by the mysterious Scythe Faraday to become his apprentices. They will compete for the honour of earning the scythe’s ring. However, there’s a catch: The winner, upon reception of their ring, will be forced to glean the other. So, who shall prevail, and who shall be buried (or cremated) amid the celebrations?


Scythe is one of my very favourite books, and I would say that it is my favourite of the Inky Awards Longlist.

I especially enjoyed the mentorship of Scythe Curie. If there was anything I didn’t especially like, it would be: at the trial when Citra got asked what the worst thing she’d ever done was, she lied. I didn’t understand why she lied when it was so close to the truth.

I would recommend this book to any sci-fi lovers, especially futuristic tales. Even if you’re not particularly fondĀ  of the genre, I’d still try it.

My rating: 9.25/10




What sort of things did you like about it? Other than the mentor :)

2nd Jul, 19

I liked the idea of the book in general, and some of the characters were intriguing. Also, I just love the idea of a benevolent AI in governing humanity.

10th Jul, 19
inky State Library Victoria

Whoa! Favourite Inky longlist book so far! Interesting....

2nd Jul, 19