Gleanings: Stories from the Arc of a Scythe

S. & S. Nov. 2022. 432p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781534499973.
Gr 7 Up–This work returns to the post-mortal world of the bestselling “Arc of a Scythe” series, telling more captivating tales of the Scythedom. In a society that has conquered hunger, disease, and death, Scythes are the sole arbiters of death, tasked with the responsibility of ending life through gleaning, each with a preferred, sometimes unique, method. This newest installment, presented as an anthology, reveals histories of familiar characters, while also introducing new figures that play a part in the rise and fall of the world that has triumphed over death. Shusterman, in collaboration with David Yoon, Jarrod Shusterman, Sofía Lapuente, Michael H. Payne, Michelle Knowlden, and Joelle Shusterman, paints an enlightening picture of this dystopian world, exposing secrets spanning centuries, and shedding light on further terrors that lay within the Scythedom. The world of the series is brilliantly crafted, with precise and intricate details. In this collection, every chapter works as a standalone story, each with something new and interesting to offer. Standouts include “A Martian Minute” and “A Dark Curtain Rises,” both of which expand on stories of familiar characters with cleverly executed twists. Also memorable is the elaborate “The Persistence of Memory” and the satisfying “A Death of Many Colors.” Multiracial characters make up this civilization, and multiple characters are introduced as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
VERDICT Fans of the “Arc of a Scythe” series will be pleased with this thrilling continuation.

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