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15 Books Like Scythe

Books Like Scythe

Are you a fan of the gripping dystopian world crafted by Neal Shusterman in his acclaimed novel ‘Scythe’? 

Dive into this blog post where we explore a selection of captivating books that share thematic elements, compelling narratives, and thought-provoking concepts akin to those found in ‘Scythe.’ 

Whether you’re drawn to the exploration of morality, the complexities of futuristic societies, or the adrenaline rush of high-stakes plots, there’s something here to satisfy your literary appetite. 

Let’s embark on a journey to discover captivating reads that will keep you glued to the end of the tale, just like ‘Scythe’ did.

Books Like Scythe

1. “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman

“Unwind” is another thought-provoking novel by Neal Shusterman that dives into a dystopian future where children between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can be “unwound,” meaning their bodies are disassembled and the parts used for transplants. The story follows three teens, Connor, Risa, and Lev, who are on the run from the government’s unwinding decree. Their journey is not only a fight for survival but also a quest to question societal norms and the value of life itself.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Unwind” and “Scythe” are set in dystopian futures where society has developed unique methods to deal with population control, and both novels explore deep ethical and moral questions about life, death, and the value of human existence. Neal Shusterman’s compelling storytelling and exploration of complex themes make both novels resonate with readers who enjoy thought-provoking science fiction.

2. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry

The Giver” is a classic young adult dystopian novel that centers around a society that has eliminated pain and strife by converting to “Sameness,” a plan that also eradicates emotional depth from their lives. Twelve-year-old Jonas is selected to inherit the position of Receiver of Memory, the person who stores all the past memories of the time before Sameness. As Jonas uncovers the truth about his world, he faces critical choices about his future and the underlying darkness of his seemingly perfect society.

Major Similarities: 

“The Giver” and “Scythe” share a thematic focus on societies that have attempted to engineer utopias by eliminating suffering and death, only to reveal underlying ethical dilemmas and the importance of choice and emotion in the human experience. Both novels challenge readers to think about the consequences of attempting to create a perfect world.

3. “Legend” by Marie Lu

“Legend” is set in a future, fractured United States, now known as the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. The novel is a high-octane adventure following two protagonists from radically different backgrounds: June, a prodigy from a wealthy district, and Day, the country’s most wanted criminal. Their paths cross when June’s brother is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect, setting off a gripping game of cat and mouse.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “Scythe,” “Legend” explores a dystopian society with deep-seated corruption and the quest of young protagonists to uncover the truth and seek justice. Both novels feature dual perspectives that enrich the narrative and themes of morality, power, and resistance against oppressive systems.

4. “Divergent” by Veronica Roth

Divergent” is set in a dystopian Chicago where society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue. At the age of sixteen, everyone must choose a faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. The story follows Beatrice “Tris” Prior, who makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself, leading her to a dangerous initiation process to enter her chosen faction.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Divergent” and “Scythe” present a future world where society has taken extreme measures to maintain order and control, including the segregation of individuals into predetermined roles or tasks. Themes of identity, choice, and rebellion against a flawed system are central to both narratives, as well as the journey of young protagonists challenging societal norms.

5. “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games” is set in the dystopian nation of Panem, where the Capitol forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games, a televised event where the participants fight to the death until only one survivor remains. The story follows Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12 who volunteers to take her sister’s place in the games, challenging the Capitol’s oppressive regime in the process.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Scythe,” “The Hunger Games” explores a society that has normalized a form of population control as entertainment or duty, in this case, through a brutal competition. Both novels delve into themes of survival, the moral implications of societal norms, and the fight against oppressive systems, while highlighting the resilience and growth of young protagonists in challenging environments.

6. “Matched” by Ally Condie

“Matched” takes place in a society where the Officials decide everything for its citizens, including what they eat, what they read, what they do, and even whom they will marry. Cassia Reyes is initially thrilled when she is Matched with her best friend, Xander. However, when a glitch shows her the face of another boy, Ky Markham, for a fleeting moment, it sparks the beginning of her questioning the infallibility of the society’s choices and leads her down a path of rebellion and self-discovery.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “Scythe,” “Matched” presents a future where society has tried to optimize human life, this time through controlled choices, leading to a lack of personal freedom and individuality. Both novels explore themes of challenging the status quo, the importance of making one’s own choices, and the discovery of underlying societal flaws through the eyes of young protagonists.

7. “Delirium” by Lauren Oliver

“Delirium” is set in an alternate present where love is deemed a disease called “Amor Deliria Nervosa.” The government requires that all citizens receive a cure upon turning eighteen to prevent the disease. The protagonist, Lena Haloway, looks forward to her cure until she falls in love a few months before her treatment, leading her to question everything she has been taught and the very foundation of her society.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Delirium” and “Scythe” are set in dystopian societies where government control is exerted to eliminate what is perceived as undesirable aspects of human nature: love in “Delirium” and death in “Scythe.” The stories of young protagonists grappling with forbidden emotions or actions, challenging societal norms, and the journey towards rebellion and change are central themes in both novels.

8. “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner

The Maze Runner” begins when Thomas wakes up in a lift, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about thirty teenage boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies. The boys are trapped at the center of an ever-changing deadly maze and are looking for a way to escape. Thomas’s arrival triggers a series of changes that ultimately lead to the boys’ quest for freedom and the truth about their world.

Major Similarities: 

“The Maze Runner” and “Scythe” share the theme of young individuals thrust into extraordinary circumstances that challenge their understanding of their world and themselves. Both novels involve complex societies with hidden truths and the quest of the protagonists to uncover these secrets while facing life-and-death situations.

9. “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen” is set in a world divided by blood color—red for the common folk and silver for the elite with superhuman abilities. Mare Barrow, a Red, finds herself working in the Silver Palace, where she discovers she possesses a deadly power of her own, one that threatens to upset the balance of power. Her abilities draw her into the palace intrigue and the heart of a rebellion against the Silver elite.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Scythe,” “Red Queen” explores a divided society, though here the division is based on blood and power rather than the role of controlling death. Both novels feature young protagonists who find themselves in positions that challenge the established order, exploring themes of power, rebellion, and the fight against oppression.

10. “Pure” by Julianna Baggott

“Pure” is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a series of detonations has left those outside the Dome fused with whatever objects or beings they were close to at the time of the explosions, creating “Wretches,” while those inside the Dome remain “Pure.” Pressia, a survivor living outside the Dome, and Partridge, a Pure who escapes the Dome, find their lives intertwined as they uncover the truth about their world and the divisions that define it.

Major Similarities: 

“Pure” and “Scythe” both delve into post-apocalyptic societies where the division between different classes of people leads to tension and conflict. The novels explore themes of survival, the moral complexities of the societies they depict, and the journey of young protagonists as they uncover truths and seek to change their worlds.

11. “The Knife of Never Letting Go” by Patrick Ness

Set in a dystopian world where all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise, “The Knife of Never Letting Go” follows the story of Todd Hewitt, a boy who stumbles upon a patch of silence and discovers a secret that forces him to flee his town. Along with his dog, Manchee, and Viola, a girl who has landed on this planet, Todd embarks on a journey that confronts him with the harsh realities of his society and the true meaning of silence.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “Scythe,” this novel explores a unique dystopian setting where the protagonists must navigate a world filled with peril and moral dilemmas. Both books delve into themes of power, corruption, and the search for truth, with young characters facing significant challenges and growth.

12. “Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld

“Uglies” is set in a future dystopian world where a compulsory operation at sixteen makes everyone “pretty” by conforming to an ideal standard of beauty. The story follows Tally Youngblood, who eagerly awaits her transformation, until she befriends Shay, who introduces her to the idea that life might be better on the outside of society’s norms. Tally’s perspective on her world changes drastically, leading her into the heart of a rebellion against societal standards and the deeper implications of her world’s obsession with beauty.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Uglies” and “Scythe” present societies that have applied technological advancements to control or alter natural human experiences—appearance in “Uglies” and death in “Scythe.” Each novel questions the ethics of such control and features young protagonists who challenge the status quo, leading to broader societal implications and personal growth.

13. “Legendborn” by Tracy Deonn

After her mother’s death, Bree Matthews enrolls in a residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill, but her plans are derailed when she witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus. A teenage mage attempts to wipe Bree’s memory of the event, unlocking her own unique magic and a buried memory about her mother’s death. Bree dives into a secret society called “Legendborn,” with a history rooted in Arthurian legend and magic, determined to uncover the truth about her mother.

Major Similarities: 

“Legendborn” and “Scythe” both blend elements of fantasy and dystopian themes, focusing on young protagonists uncovering hidden truths and challenging established orders. Both novels explore themes of grief, power, and the fight against an oppressive system, though “Legendborn” incorporates magical elements and lore into its narrative.

14. “An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir

Set in a brutal, ancient-like world inspired by the Roman Empire, “An Ember in the Ashes” follows Laia, a slave fighting for her family, and Elias, a soldier fighting for his freedom. Their lives become intertwined when Laia spies for the rebels against the oppressive Martial Empire in exchange for their help in rescuing her brother. The story is a gripping tale of resistance, survival, and the quest for freedom against the backdrop of a cruel and tyrannical regime.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Scythe,” “An Ember in the Ashes” presents a dystopian society rife with oppression and the struggle for power. Both novels feature protagonists who are forced into roles they initially do not want but grow into powerful agents of change. Themes of moral ambiguity, the cost of freedom, and the impact of societal roles on individual identity are explored in depth.

15. “The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey

“The 5th Wave” is set in a world decimated by an alien invasion, where humanity is on the brink of extinction. The story follows Cassie Sullivan as she tries to survive in a world where trusting others could be fatal. Determined to rescue her younger brother, Cassie navigates a series of challenges and threats, including the ominous presence of the Others, aliens who have taken human form. The novel explores themes of survival, trust, and humanity’s resilience in the face of overwhelming odds.

Major Similarities: 

Both “The 5th Wave” and “Scythe” examine what it means to be human in societies undergoing profound crises—whether it be an alien invasion or a post-mortality world. The novels share a focus on young protagonists facing impossible choices, the loss of innocence, and the fight against a seemingly insurmountable force, highlighting the endurance of human spirit and the complexity of moral decisions.

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