Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman – Series Review

Series rating: 3.75 stars

Genre: YA, utopian, sci-fi

Author: Neal Shusterman

Synopsis: 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.


I have mixed feelings about this series, as you can see from the rating. I loved the first two books, but I did not really like the finale. I talk about it more in my spoilery discussion, but basically the ending didn’t make sense to me and I didn’t like it.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

This series has one of the most interesting utopias I’ve ever read. To be fair, I’ve not read that many, but this is very well written and cool. I think it does a very good job of imagining what society might look like if there was no death or disease and I really liked how it touches on… does life really have any meaning when you’re not needed and how our sense of meaning is tied to work. I think that’s really interesting and I think overall the series does a very good job of presenting these questions for the reader to  consider and answer.

I also liked the characters. I didn’t necessarily like where they ended up and how stuff progressed, but I did like the characters themselves. Though they did frustrate me at times. As for the plot, like I said I really enjoyed the first two books and I even enjoyed a good chunk of the third book, but the ending… no. Just no. I didn’t like what happened and I didn’t like the way it happened. It’s hard for me to talk about it without spoilers, so check out my discussion for more details.

I would still recommend this series, I think it’s definitely worth reading and everyone might not have the issue with the ending that I did. And even if you do, I would still say it’s worth reading for the rest of it. But just be prepared for a potentially unsatisfying ending. I know this review is very short, but most of my thoughts on the series are spoilery, so I can’t really talk about them here.

3 thoughts on “Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman – Series Review

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