We’re back in Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe world for a short story compilation!
Time for a fresh addition to the Scythe series with short stories that range from exciting, emotional, cute and eye-opening. There are 13 tales here, and each follows a different POV, some from characters we know and love from the original trilogy and others from new perspectives of people just existing in the world. Some origin stories come to life (especially for Goddard and Scythe Marie Curie) and it pulls other characters from the shadows to tell us what happened with them (like Citra’s little brother, Ben). None of the stories are about Citra/Rowan but they do make cameos and are referenced.
Admittedly, it’s been a while since I read the trilogy so I didn’t remember a lot, and maybe didn’t recognised some reoccurring names. But I think anyone who’s a big fan of the series will definitely enjoy the references and cameos. Some of the stories are also co-authored, so that was pretty cool to see the collaborations.
Highlights from some of the stories:
A Martian Minute — This one was chilling and interesting in turn, giving us the backstory of Scythe Goddard. Also it’s set on Mars as well, which was super interesting. Definitely a complex story with dark turns and highlights more of the scythes’ corruptions.
Meet Cute And Die — This one was fun fluff, but it probably my favourite! It’s just about two random people who get into an accident together that renders them both mostly deadish. They get put back together and sort of shyly agree to go out for lunch. It was a fun meet cute. 😂 And I loved where it went. Also brought up the interesting (aka kind of terrifying) result of this style world that “killing” people (since they come back to life) doesn’t have as much weight. How it becomes an…option…when someone pisses you off. 💀😂
Anastasia’s Shadow — This one was sad/happy…?! I don’t even know. Many emotions. It’s about Ben, Citra’s little brother, who of course grows up and then is manipulated into training to be a Scythe against his wishes. Just the emotional abuse and isolation he goes through and the fear to even fall in love. He is also queer! And the ending did bring a spark of hope, I felt.
Never Work With Animals — Also a notable one, about a corrupt scythe and the dog who ends up getting one over him. I was Team The Dog the whole way tbh and that scythe so got what he deserved.
There are many more stories to discover and enjoy! Check Gleanings out if you’ve been following along Arc of a Scythe and want to see more of the world and the interesting, complex characters.
Thanks to Walker Books AUS for the review copy!
Title: Gleanings (Arc of a Scythe #3.5)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Date Published: November 16th, 2022
Genre: YA Sci Fi, Dystopian
Publisher: Walker Books
Purchase: Book Depository, Dymocks
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The New York Times bestselling Arc of the Scythe series continues with thrilling stories that span the timeline. Storylines continue. Origin stories are revealed. And new Scythes emerge!
There are still countless tales of the Scythedom to tell. Centuries passed between the Thunderhead cradling humanity and Scythe Goddard trying to turn it upside down. For years humans lived in a world without hunger, disease, or death with Scythes as the living instruments of population control.
Neal Shusterman—along with collaborators David Yoon, Jarrod Shusterman, Sofía Lapuente, Michael H. Payne, Michelle Knowlden, and Joelle Shusterman—returns to the world throughout the timeline of the Arc of a Scythe series. Discover secrets and histories of characters you’ve followed for three volumes and meet new heroes, new foes, and some figures in between.
Gleanings shows just how expansive, terrifying, and thrilling the world that began with the Printz Honor–winning Scythe truly is.