Arc of a Scythe series review

So normally I would review each book in a series separately but I thought I would try something new. I’m going to review and talk about each book and then give the series a rating as well. So hang in there, this one might get a little long!

Because I am talking about all three books, there WILL be spoilers in this post. Please proceed with caution.


Thou shalt kill.

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.

I was so sure I wasn’t going to like these books that I had Scythe on my not interested shelf on Goodreads. I am so glad that I found it at Books-A-Million for less than 5 dollars and gave it a chance. I loved this book. Dystopian Fiction/Science Fiction are normally hit or miss for me but I really enjoyed this. I got attached to most of the “good” characters so quickly. I didn’t want to put this book down and almost as soon as I was, I requested the next two from my library.

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Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline? 

I liked this one a little less than the first one but not by much. I loved Rowan going after the “bad scythes” and how Citra and Scythe Curie were trying to work within the system to better the Scythedom. I think that in situations like this you do need both people inside and outside to change how a government works. There were a lot of plot twists that I didn’t see coming in this one such as Scythe Goddard coming back and Edura sinking with a bunch Scythes being forced to self-glean. I was devastated at the loss of Scythe Curie and had to take a break before moving on.

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It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

For probably the first one-third of this book, I was enjoying it as I had the others. But somewhere around the 2/3 I started to get bored. I was putting down the book, playing on my phone, remembering I was reading and forcing myself to start up again. I found some of the new POV’s uninteresting and I wanted to go back to Rowan, Citra and Scythe Farday and them finding each other again and fixing the Scythedom. I was so surprised by the ending because it was not at all what I thought would happen. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed. It is not a bad ending in any way but it didn’t line up with what I had hoped for. All in all, The Toll was my least favorite of the three.

Series rating (by average 3.83 but I rounded)

All in all, I think it is a pretty good series and I would recommend it to fans of Science Fiction and Dystopian Fiction.

Have you read this series? What did you think? Which of the three did you like best?

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