Book Review: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the chilling sequel to the Printz Honor Book Scythe from New York Times bestseller Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

The Thunderhead cannot interfere in the affairs of the Scythedom. All it can do is observe—it does not like what it sees.

A year has passed since Rowan had gone off grid. Since then, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. His story is told in whispers across the continent.

As Scythe Anastasia, Citra gleans with compassion and openly challenges the ideals of the “new order.” But when her life is threatened and her methods questioned, it becomes clear that not everyone is open to the change.

Will the Thunderhead intervene?

Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?

 

It’s no secret that I was a huge fan of Shusterman’s Scythe, which I reviewed back in June. I struggled with the choice of giving Scythe 4.5 or 5 stars. I backed away from my original five-star review, but have often looked back and second-guessed my decision.

 

This series is one of my favorites, after only two books!

 

Citra and Rowan’s story continues to unfold in bold and unpredictable ways. My favorite aspect of the book, however, is the fact that we get to see so much more of the world outside of the Scythedom. We get a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it reference to how much time has passed since the “mortal age.”

 

I’m left with questions, but I feel that the number of questions that I have is appropriate for a continuing series. Thunderhead is the second series in the “Arc of Scythe,” so I have no idea how many books will be in this series.

 

This book moved at a perfect, even speed, leading you to different characters, but providing a beautiful, cohesive story that fit together perfectly. While I tend to prefer first-person narratives, the use of third-person storytelling made it easier to differentiate multiple characters’ perspectives.

 

A statement in my Scythe interview still rings out to me:

 

“I am notorious for predicting story arcs and twists, but never saw the majority of this book coming. Because of this, I am hesitant to say more about the book, lest I spoil something for future readers. The experience was one that I will not soon forget.”

 

This book – especially the final 10% – had me absolutely reeling. I was reading this book and listening to it simultaneously (as I get ready in the morning, when I’m driving, etc., and can’t read… I listen! Who needs break?), and literally had to sit down at one point because I couldn’t focus on getting ready for work one morning. I needed to listen, I needed to read, I needed to consume this information as quickly as possible.

 

I can’t explain in words how much I loved this book.

 

I was left breathless.

 

5/5 Bards

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