The B&N YA Podcast: Neal Shusterman

Explore the stories behind the young adult books you love with the B&N YA Podcast.

What would happen if the future were made perfect? That was the question National Book Award-winning author Neal Shusterman posed in  2016’s YA blockbuster Scythe, a story set in a world without hunger, poverty, disease or war, in which human life is only ended by specially trained figures known as Scythes. But perfection turns out to have its own problems, and the Arc of the Scythe trilogy follows young characters caught up in the question of the price we might pay for having everything we want.  The stakes got higher in 2018’s Thunderheadand now the saga concludes with the breathtaking and ambitious final volume The TollScythe is B&N’s YA Book Club selection for December. Neal Shusterman joined Melissa Albert to talk about this provocative epic, and the challenges of concluding the trilogy.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award-winning author Neal Shusterman, in which teens Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

The Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Edition includes an exclusive Q&A with Neal Shusterman covering the whole Arc of a Scythe Series.

In The Toll, the thrilling conclusion to the Printz Honor-winning series Arc of a Scythe, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead. It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

This B&N limited edition of The Toll includes exclusive chapter-by-chapter commentary from Neal Shusterman, providing background for characters and scenes and explanations of why he made specific decisions in writing this novel.

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