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Book 1, Arc of a Scythe

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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 bestselling Unwind dystology.

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.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 03, 2016 – In the future Earth of this grim novel from National Book Award winner Shusterman (Challenger Deep), the digital cloud has transformed into the self-aware Thunderhead, whose benevolent totalitarian rule has turned the planet into a utopia. There's no poverty or crime, and everyone is guaranteed immortality. Well, almost everyone. Because babies are still being born, population growth must be limited. Thus evolved the Scythes, an organization whose members are charged with "gleaning" citizens at random. Sixteen-year-old Citra and Rowan are chosen by a Scythe named Faraday to train as apprentices. Neither likes the idea, but they're given no choice. Later, Citra becomes an apprentice to Curie, a legendary Scythe, but Rowan is apprenticed to Goddard, who kills for sadistic pleasure. Calling to mind Le Guin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," Shusterman's story forces readers to confront difficult ethical questions. Is the gleaning of a few acceptable if it maximizes the happiness of all? Is it possible to live a moral life within such a system? This powerful tale is guaranteed to make readers think deeply. Ages 12 up.

Customer Reviews

Exited but need audiobook

I love your books but am unfortunately unable to "read" your book so I enquire as to when an audiobook will b released.

Thanks for the amazing books.

Still reading

I got this book for Christmas of 2016 and I love it❤. It is so intriguing and a real page turner. Definitely hope this book becomes the first in a series👌🏻

Scythe Ares approves

I read this book and now I'm hooked!

Other Books in This Series

View in iTunes
  • $8.99
  • Level: Grades 7 and Above
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Coming of Age
  • Published: Nov 22, 2016
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 448 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Book 1, Arc of a Scythe
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings