Book Reviews by KPL Teens: Neal Shusterman’s Scythe 


(October 2020) Scythe by Neal Shusterman presents a futuristic story of a dystopian America. In this world, technology has advanced so far that death is no longer a concern. An artificial intelligence system, known as the “Thunderhead,” not only works to control and organize society, but also assist in the revival of those who would have otherwise died. Nevertheless, there is a catch to this seemingly perfect world. The Scythdom is an organization outside the “Thunderhead’s” control. Their job is to dress in ominous cloaks and randomly kill, or “glean,” people. 

Scythe presents readers with an extremely complex storyline full of vibrant characters. Filled with amazing imagery and cleverly-crafted descriptions, this book is a total page-turner with jaw-dropping revelations, shrouded mysteries, and intense thrills. Scythe is not without fault, however. The story at times leaves readers with more questions than answers. And there are many instances where characters make absurd and unrealistic decisions, although a reasonable solution is clearly possible.

Nevertheless, Scythe still counters these negatives by capturing readers with philosophical ideas. It discusses real-life issues in society and questions humanity. It also balances the darker themes of the book by sneaking in humor, compassion, and heartfelt moments. 

Overflowing with mystery, adventure, and thrilling plot twists, Scythe propels readers into an elaborate world. This book is an absolute must for any young adult reader who has a thirst for fantasy, hidden meanings, and page-turning storylines. 


Interested in reading this book? Head to our website now where you can get a physical copy, Overdrive ebook, or Hoopla eaudiobook. 

Book Review by Lucy B. (Age 17)

Lucy loves all sorts of books, from fantasy to non-fiction. When not reading, she is hiking, drawing, or playing the violin.

Shanon Barton works in Youth Services at the Kirkwood Public Library. She started volunteering for KPL when she was in 7th grade and loves that she gets to work there as her “real adult job.” When not hanging out in the stacks at work, she can be found at home watching Netflix, eating pizza rolls, and planning themed events with friends. If you catch her with her nose in a book, it will most likely be a YA historical fiction novel with some sprinkling of supernatural or magical elements.