Get Your Free Audiobook

Scythe

Narrated by: Greg Tremblay
Series: Arc of a Scythe, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (378 ratings)

Non-member price: $36.54

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Two teens must learn the "art of killing" in this Printz Honor-winning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times best-selling Unwind Dystology series.

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.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe - a role that neither wants. These teens must master the "art" of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award-winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

©2016 Neal Shusterman (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Scythe

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    291
  • 4 Stars
    63
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    265
  • 4 Stars
    61
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    255
  • 4 Stars
    70
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Requires elaborate suspension of disbelif

I think the writing is okay. I didn't quite finish it because there are some teen romance tropes that made me roll my eyes so hard I broke my brain. But if you're a fan of the genre that'll be fine. The problem I had is that the future society this depicts is utterly stupid. I tried really hard to go with it and be okay with the sheer idiocy of a benevolent rational AI agreeing to murder as population control. And I tried really hard to imagine people who'd just become effectively immortal suggesting murder as population control. But sadly the very premise of Scythe is just completely implausible, unlikely and so mind-numbingly obviously prone to abuse, I just couldn't go with it.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding!

Not only was the world incredible, the plot and story telling well done - the voice actor did a fantastic job! i cannot fault this book and performance one bit. Bravo.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

MUST READ - YOU WON'T REGRET IT

Please, I implore you. Listen to this audiobook. Read the book. I don't care how, but please, read it. This is probably one of the best books I've ever read/listened to - and I've read a lot of good books. This whole series is amazing and an example of world-building and character development at its finest. I listened to this every spare moment I had. The narration is great, the story is incredible. I couldn't recommend it more. So, do yourself a favour. Listen to the Scythe series ASAP!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoughtful concept with fantastic storytelling

A dystopian future where death is no longer natural and human life is essentially eternal, creates a system where death is the most political subject on the planet. The story deals with what humanity can be lost when everything is systematically 'perfect'. It has adventure, mystery, depth of character, intriguing relationships and I'm looking forward to the whole series now.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely love this book!

Phenomenal!!! Must listen and read. The narrator is amazing as well. Just fantastic!!! Loved it so much!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic!

Original and thought provoking, and very well performed. Unpredictable and entertaining, can't stop thinking about it. 👍

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding

A work that puts current subjects that are affecting us all, smack bang on the table, casting an altogether new light, asking essential questions, about our too rapidly changing,Human Condition

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An Important Story That Will Inspire.

About 200 hundred years hence humanity has attained immortality and is governed by a beneficent A.I called the Thunderhead (not god but godlike). But for the presence of the Scythes, humanity exists in a state of near Utopia. The Scythes were created in response to the potential problems of over-population brought on by immortality. The job of the Scythe is to kill a predefined quantity of people every year in order to maintain viable population levels. They exist outside the Thunderheads control and answer only to themselves. The Thunderhead is able to revive anyone killed by accident (deadish), but a person killed by Scythe is properly dead and cannot be revived. The Scythes have become increasingly corrupted by their power and the Thunderhead is unable to stop their rising extremism and so decides upon a secretive world changing plan of action that would end the Scythes but the Scythes have become entrenched in their own immutability and are not going to let go without a fight. In his three part trilogy for young adults Shusterman examines prescient problems like populism (Scythe Goddard, the villain of the piece, is an allegory for Trump), religious extremism, environmental degradation and social inequality (he advocates for the UBI as a solution to the age old problem of poverty) but primarily the Scythe trilogy is a speculative sci-fi novel about near future and its burgeoning technologies, notably artificial intelligence. If I had read this as a kid it would have turned me upside down with its vision and wisdom. Shusterman is a smart guy and his guide to the near future is a handy primer for young folk with an interest in technology and creating a socially equitable world. Cannot recommend it enough.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

enjoyable listen

Good story, great narrator. looking forward to listening to the next one - already downloaded.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So Good

I loved every part of the book. So entertaining just seriously great. I would recommend.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lila Reading
  • Lila Reading
  • 01-04-2017

Teenage Thumbs up

What made the experience of listening to Scythe the most enjoyable?

Every road trip, I seek out an audiobook that can please all 3 of my kids (now 12 [girl], 13 & 15 [boys]). Let's just say I've been striking out the last few years. This time was different. After each chapter, all three were asking for more. And on a typical road trip that is balanced between listening to a book, playing car games, resting, and watching movies, this time was all Scythe! My 15-year-old son, who no longer wished to read for enjoyment, said that 1. he wants to "read" it again, and 2. he wants this to be turned into a film. Listening to this book was truly the highlight of our road trip!

What did you like best about this story?

It felt like a combination between The Giver and The Hunger Games.

What about Greg Tremblay’s performance did you like?

His voices were seamless and spot on!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Scythe- kill with conscience.

Any additional comments?

We are hoping the next installment in the trilogy comes out before our next road trip!

122 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jonathan Purcell
  • Jonathan Purcell
  • 15-10-2017

Best book I have read this year.

Of the 83 books that I have listened to/read this year, this is by far the best one. The world building is incredible and the characters are very easy to identify with. It delves into some philosophical questions that are as applicable to the current state of the world as they are to the “utopia” of the book. The idea of a “Thunderhead” evolving from the “cloud” is brilliant. Just so many good things about this book and I never wanted it to end. Can’t wait until the next book in the series is released.

56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for G. Grimsley
  • G. Grimsley
  • 27-06-2017

Immortal until you're Gleaned

What did you love best about Scythe?

This book is action packed and humorous at times while dealing with a very dark and morbid theme... Death. It's very thought provoking and yet gripping. It was one of the hardest books to have to stop listening to when I arrived at my destinations. Mr. Shusterman created one of the most dastardly villains I've read in a very long time. This villain is so slyly evil it's almost creeptastically good.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Scythe?

Several moments but I don't want to spoil the book!

Which character – as performed by Greg Tremblay – was your favorite?

I loved listening to 2 characters performed by Mr. Tremblay, the Scythes in Training, Citra and Rowan.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

What happens when humans are in control of Death?

Any additional comments?

This was SO worth the credit I paid but now I'm sitting on the edge of my seat for more. I want to hear more of this world and the hear more about the Scythedom and the Thunderhead. Mr. Shusterman does such an amazing job of world building and I need to hear more ASAP. I also hope the movie they produce of this film (if it actually makes it to production) will match the movie I had running in my head at the time of listening.

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for charity
  • charity
  • 03-07-2017

Typical dystopian

This was just another dystopian YA book. It wasn't bad but wasn't really good or a standout either. I kept waiting for something really amazing because of all of the great reviews. I found the end to be predictable and just a set up for the next in the series--I really hate that. There are so many series these days that it seems that no one can just write a good stand alone book. If you're looking for a time-filler you'll probably be fine with this book, but if you're looking for a 5-star listen you'll most likely be a bit let down.

58 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kathy in CA
  • Kathy in CA
  • 14-11-2017

You Can't Please All of The People All of The Time

I was hoping for well-developed and well-formed characters whom I could really care about. I saw Scythe compared to the Hunger Games which I absolutely loved. I was hoping it would grab me in a similar way. After all, both books had a significant amount of killing in their plot lines. Murder had seemed an integral part of the HG story, though not the end all and be all.

Scythe, on the other hand, did not immerse me in the story or make me care much about the characters. Who were Citra and Rowan? Why should I care about them? Why would teenagers become apprentice Scythes (killers) and have to learn SO many ways to kill, so many tools to use? In reality, teens decision making skills are not fully developed until early adulthood. How could they have enough life experience to choose who lives and who dies? (And yet, for some reason, I was willing to accept that Ender, not even a teen, could battle and save the world! Of course, it was because I knew about his family, his struggles, his persona so much more than Citra and Rowan.)

Shusterman created a world I just could not buy into. Sure, I could somehow accept the gleaning (culling of excess humans due to overpopulation), but only in a well-thought out and reasoned manner. The glorification and total focus on killing and the gleeful and exuberant enjoyment of it just does not sit right with me, especially in a book marketed for young adults

The narration was fine. The book did keep my attention despite my unease with the topic and I finished it. However, the ending did not redeem it for me nor does it stand out in my mind.

“Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry”

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jared G
  • Jared G
  • 15-12-2017

Seemingly clever premise that doesn't hold up

I listened to a decent bit of this book before I stopped gritting my teeth and accepted that the premise (humans are now immortal and still want to have lots of kids, so they have to self cull, allowing robed killers to wander around and decide everyone's fate) was not clever as it originally seems, but incredibly stupid. Putting this book down gave me mixed feelings, but mostly I felt relief.
In short, there is no plausible set of circumstances that would lead to this societal arrangement. It doesn't make any sense. People don't work this way. Not the self culling idea, the idea that we would let a group of mostly unregulated people walk around slaughtering people in creative and unnecessarily brutal and messy ways. Why kill someone with a neighbor's kitchen knife, shouldn't everyone just get an injection when they don't expect it? Why sit and tell a person you are about to kill them with a sword and they can't fight back or say their goodbyes, but you can have a side conversation with another character while this poor schmuck waits? It makes no sense at all and that kills the narrative, constantly pushing you out of an otherwise decently written and well read book.
If you are fine with this level of violence, just read the Red Rising series and don't pretend to seek philosophy.

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel S
  • Daniel S
  • 05-12-2017

Interesting take on the death

Would you be willing to try another book from Neal Shusterman? Why or why not?

I love off the wall ideas, I would love to read more books by Neal Shusterman. I will definitely read the next book in the series to see what happens. It wasn't my favorite book, but it was entertaining. I would have liked more back story about how the people in this book keep turning back the clock

Have you listened to any of Greg Tremblay’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I thought Greg Tremblay did a great job and will be looking for more books that are read by him. I think that he keeps the listener engaged throughout the book.

Was Scythe worth the listening time?

Definitely worth a listen

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kris Hutchison
  • Kris Hutchison
  • 14-10-2017

Lived up to the reviews.

Great book.
The world did have some flaws and logic holes, but the story was good and the characters were interesting.
.
Right at the start the book says that space travel is not an option and that everything about everything is already known.
Neither of these statements is ever justified or explored. Maybe the writer will address these problems in future books.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Armando Zapata
  • Armando Zapata
  • 14-04-2017

The story was so incredibly written.

I was captived from beginning to end, you really find yourself falling in love with all the characters.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gabriel
  • Gabriel
  • 21-04-2017

Well Written Novel

Loved it however I was not satisfied as much with the ending as I wanted to be, maybe that was the point. Looking foward to the sequel.

12 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for dee
  • dee
  • 29-02-2020

This is a seriously unpleasant and disturbing book

The premise of this story: that, in an immortal world, the only predators are 'scythes' or licensed killers is interesting. However, I thought it would develop into a story about stopping the killing, not condoning it! The idea that random killings would be state sanctioned, including the killing of children, and carried out in a variety of ghastly ways, is not only ludicrous but quite sick. How this celebration of murder got published in a world full of school shootings and mass terror attacks beggars belief. In reality, should immortality ever become achievable, either death would be allocated by lot and done painlessly, or eternal life would be the privilege of a chosen few. Childbirth would also be restricted. (There is no way a few hundred killers, killing by quota, could control a population that was breeding uncontrollably and permanently.) The narrator read quite well and was good at voicing different characters. However, I found his voice very grating. This whole book is a sadistic glorification of murder and I am angry with myself for continuing with it. I listened in the hope that morality would triumph, but sadly it doesn't! I find it even more horrifying that this is aimed at the YA market. I just hope that no impressionable readers follow its teachings! I will not be continuing with this series.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matthew
  • Matthew
  • 22-01-2018

Thoroughly enjoyable

Story was original and the pace was good. Well performed. Really looking forward to the next one.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Georgina
  • Georgina
  • 18-01-2018

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS!

I haven't found an audiobook I really loved since listening to Eddie Redmayne reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! The narrator for this was perfect and he kept me hooked! I listened to most of this but I read about 15 chapters from my physical copy of the book but found I was actually missing not listening to the narrator! I highly recommend this, the story was absolutely amazing, it was a freaking rollercoaster of a journey, so many twists and turns but it's also a unique story as I've not really heard of anything like this before!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Helen Williams
  • Helen Williams
  • 28-11-2018

Best audio book ever

This is my favourite book and I found that Greg tremblay narrated it very well. He has a softer voice for feminine speech and a harder rougher voice for masculine speech

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sarah
  • Sarah
  • 26-04-2019

Amazing!

Honestly when I first came upon this audio book I was intrigued. From the first chapter I was enamoured. From the character arcs, the impeccable delivery and enthralling world building I was hooked. So much so I did not realise I was on the last chapter until it finished and knew I had to instantly start downloading the next one. I highly recommend this book it is a great read.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for juozas kasiulis
  • juozas kasiulis
  • 04-05-2019

Amazing

Really enjoyable audio book. Loved the world building and interesting characters. Narration well done as well

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Svetlana
  • Svetlana
  • 30-01-2019

This is what I get for having high expectations

Thanks to the narrator who did brilliantly I could finish this book. Loved the concept, but after the first third of the book the plot became so lame and predictable :(

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-01-2019

Good romp, easy to listen to

I really enjoyed this audio book. it was a very good performance of an engaging story with some great characters. I only deducted one star because there were a number of clichés and over used turns of phrase... otherwise, it was great.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Toni
  • Toni
  • 01-09-2018

This surprised me

4.5 Stars This surprised me. I don't usually like dystopian books but the plot synopsis intrigued me so I picked it up and I am glad I did. It was fast paced and full of twists and turns. I knew it'd have to end the way it did but not how it'd happen. It also had me wondering what would happen if we did live in a world without illness or death. Looking forward to experiencing the next book now.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-08-2018

best book I've read all year

slightly put off by the narrator story was so gripping. I can't wait for the sequel

2 people found this helpful