A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
What would be the value of life if no one ever died? Could an Artificial Intelligence rule Earth someday? Big philosophical questions lie at the heart of this collection.
Art conveys a certain measure of immortality to the creator. Immortality would drastically change what it means to be human.
Positive Role Models
An AI known as Thunderhead rules over all humankind. It's nearly infallible and omniscient, and has cured death by disease, hunger, and accident. But is the AI as benevolent as it sometimes seems? People such as Ben dare to defy Thunderhead to acknowledge their love for mortals such as Raj.
Since scythes represent the entirety of humankind, the cast of characters is suitably diverse but does not pay much attention to matters of race or skin tone.
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Violence & Scariness
There's a lot of bloodshed. Traditional gleanings involve throat slittings, but spur-of-the-moment ones can be achieved with whatever sharp object is handy. All the stories are about death in one form or another, to the point where the depiction of it is mostly matter of fact. However, some sensitive readers may be disturbed by the near-constant references to death and dying.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A young couple in their early 20s pursue a romance that presumably includes sex -- but with no physical details given.
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Infrequent swearing, ranging from "bastard" and "damn" to "a--hole" and "damn."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gleanings is a collection of 13 novellas set in the Arc of the Scythe universe and should be read after completing the previous three volumes. Author Neal Shusterman (Roxy), collaborates with friends and family to expand the saga further and backward through time. The individual selections mix philosophy and sci-fi thrills. A young couple in their early 20s pursue a romance that presumably includes sex, but no physical details are given. There's lots of bloodshed -- traditional gleanings involve throat slittings, but spur-of-the-moment ones can be achieved with whatever sharp object is handy. And all the stories are about death in one form or another, with the depiction of it mostly matter of fact. Strong language includes a few instances of "damn" and "hell," as well as "bastard" and "a--hole."
Is It Any Good?
Sometimes a concept is too delicious to let go, and this collection of supplementary tales will thrill longtime readers. With Gleanings, author Neal Shusterman and company are able to enter new territory or revisit favorite characters and settings. Newcomers need to read the original trilogy. Once up to speed, though, they're be ready for a mind-bending saga that mixes action and philosophy. Challenging, unique, and relentless, Gleanings is a welcome new component of the scythe story.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.