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.

June 2019 Wrap-Up

I had a really good reading month in June. You can tell I wasn’t really busy. I managed to read 8 books.


Children of Time by Adrian Tchaykovsky

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This was unfortunately very disappointing for me, probably the biggest disappointment of the year. I was expecting to love it, but I really did not like it. It has some credit because it wasn’t badly written, but I had a lot of other issues with it. I talk about those more in my review, so you can check that out. I gave it 2/5 stars.

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

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I finally finished this. I didn’t read it in its entirety in June. Because of the nature of the book, I just read one of two chapters whenever I was in the mood for something quick, informative and entertaining. But I really loved it, had a lot of fun reading it. 5/5 stars

Monstress vol. 2 by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

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I didn’t like this volume as much as the first one. I still absolutely loved the art and the story is interesting, but there was just something about this that I didn’t love quite as much as the first one. I really want to see this as an anime though. Someone please make it happen. 4/5 stars

Scythe by Neal Schusterman

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One of the best YA dystopias/utopias I’ve ever read. I totally agree with the hype for this. It was a ride. I really had fund with it and I look forward to finishing this series. 5/5 stars

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

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I finally started this series. These books are HUGE. It took me 2 weeks to finish this, but I loved it. I thought it had some pacing issues, but I am so invested in this story. I’m currently reading the second book and I’m sad that there are only 3 of them currently out. I just want to know what’s going on I think even more than I did with Mistborn. Mistborn was a lot more dynamic and fast paced and it’s great, but this story just makes me want to know. what happened? How do things work? How does the magic work. I’m so curious. Anyway, loved it. 4.75/5 stars.

Lock In by John Sclazi

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Oh boy. I really did not like this. It was bad. And it was made worse by the fact that I listened to the audiobook. Never again am I listening to anything narrated by Will Wheaton. The more I listened, the more annoying his narration became. When I listened to the sample, I didn’t have a problem with it, but the more I listened… it was frustrating. Also, I was expecting the disease to be more important to the story. And in a way it was, but not in the way I was expecting. This was basically a crime thriller. And a very annoyingly written one. I don’t know how this book is so bad when I read Old Man’s War and really enjoyed it.  But this was just badly written. 1/5 stars

Thunderhead by Neal Schusterman

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I continued with this series and man, the ending of this! It was a bit longer than the first and in the middle, I was less invested at times, but the ending was such a whirlwind. Just wow. I loved it, I didn’t see it coming at all! I can’t wait for the final book to come out. 4/5 stars

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

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I thoroughly enjoyed this despite me and YA fantasy not getting along so well of late. It’s been a while since I enjoyed this genre as much as I enjoyed this book. It had magic libraries, it had action, it had some romance that I actually enjoyed instead of cringing at, had compelling characters.  And it’s a standalone. A well rounded-stand alone. I read it in 2 days, had a lot of fun and I’m sold on Margaret Rogerson. I haven’t read her first book, but I definitely plan to, and anything she comes up with in the future. 3.75 stars