Gleanings Review

  • Author: Neal Shusterman
  • Series: Arc of a Scythe #4
  • Genre: Sci-Fi
  • No. of pages: 432
  • Star Rating: 4 stars

Plot: 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.

It was so great to be able to jump back into this world. I loved the trilogy so much and I was so sad when it ended. It was fun to be able to learn more about characters we know and be able to bask in the imagination of Neal Shusterman’s mind. Also this was probably the highest rating I have given to a short story collection so far.

The First Swing – 3 stars

This was a poem about your first swing as a scythe. That was my interpretation anyway. I enjoyed the poem but it didn’t grab me.

Formidable – 5 stars

This was looking at Scythe Curie and the reason she got her infamous nickname. I was so happy to see Scythe Curie again. I love her so so much and this story captured me from the very beginning. This was also a great way to see more of the beginning of the Scythedom as well as learning more about a formidable character from the series.

Never Work With Animals – 3 stars

This story follows a Scythe whose name I have forgotten as he gets a new pet. This one was fine. It took a bit of time to get into the story but I liked the ending and thought it was funny.

A Death of Many Colours – 4 stars

This follows a Scythe we haven’t met before as they find their calling/way of gleaning. I really liked this story. The characters were interesting, the ending was amazing and I really enjoyed exploring another side to the world and humanity that we didn’t see too much of in the series.

Unsavoury Row – 5 stars

One of my favourites. This follows the sister of the boy who gets gleaned by Scythe Faraday and it’s the first time SF and Rowan meet. It’s very early on in the first book so it’s not a spoiler. It follows the deceased sister as she deals with the grief and conflicted feelings of losing her brother. Another great look into a really interesting part of the world and the Thunderhead itself. Loved it.

A Martian a Minute – 5 stars

Another amazing one. An origin story for a character I will not reference due to spoilers. Great main character, I really connected to them and their story. Really amazing setting that we didn’t get to see in the original series.

The Mortal Canvas – 5 stars

Again, another great one. This is set really early on in the history of the Thunderhead and the Scythedom. It follows 4 students as they are tasked with creating a piece of art for a Scythe. This story really tackles what it was like during that transition period from a mortal living to the world we know in the original series. Going from illness and death always being round the corner to never having to worry about that again. I loved the discussion of what that transition was like. The ending was solid. This was a really great story. Another fave for me.

Cirri – 4.5 stars

Now I can’t get into what this short story is about as it has major spoilers but I really really enjoyed this story.

Anastasia’s Shadow – 3 stars

Another story I can’t get into due to spoilers. This story was weird because writing and plot wise all good but I just didn’t like that what happens in this story occurs actually happens. It felt like an unnecessary addition to the series/characters etc.

The Persistence of Memory – 4 stars

Another great story. It follows to Scythe’s who work against each other and how their rivalry reaches a big climax. Great characters, great scenes. I was engaged from the very beginning. I loved how we were able to focus so much of random side characters from the series. It just makes you feel connected to the world a lot more.

Meet Cute and Die – 4 stars

This was a really fun story. It was a romance story about a woman and the man she falls in love with. Their one thing in common? They both died at the same time. Great characters, funny dialogue and scenes. Just a brilliant story.

Perchance to Glean – 2 stars

Probably the story I enjoyed the least. I skimmed a lot of this one as I just wasn’t that invested. I loved the premise but not the execution.

A Dark Curtain Rises – 4 stars

Another story I literally can’t say anything about due to spoilers. Set after the events of the trilogy that is all I will say.


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