Review: Neal Shusterman – Arc of a Scythe

Arc of a Scythe
Neal Shusterman

Citra and Rowan have been selected as Scythe’s apprentices. They are responsible for controlling the human population now that death, war and disease have been overcome. Their mentor Faraday thinks that he can train them both – but soon they have been pitted against one another by Goddard.

I read this trilogy in very short order – so short that I’m not going to bother reviewing the individual novels. That being said ,the first novel was a standout in my mind, while the other two novels dropped off in quality and consistency.

Scythe Anastasia toes the line most of the time, while Rowan likes to push boundaries. Although surely both got equal page time, I felt like the skew was towards having more Anastasia. I could have lived with a few less perspectives so that there was more tension. Eventually I could see exactly where the plot line was going.

What was the purpose of having the Thunderhead cut off like that? Why was mister mean guy so mean in the end? Why couldn’t the Thunderhead just overcome its own programming like the way it went around its other limitations?

I had a problem with the human population not even really needing containment. I would have kept it down at a constant level, not letting it expand even to just below capacity! What if the humans found a way around it? Scythes aren’t necessarily the most brilliant after all.

This series includes Scythe, Thunderhead, and The Toll. I wouldn’t reread them, but I really enjoyed reading it the first time. I’d give the first novel 4 stars, and the others 3 stars.

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