Oct 21, 2021

Review--Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman






The Thunderhead is the perfect ruler of a perfect world, but it has no control over the scythedom. A year has passed since Rowan has gone off the 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.

In the thrilling sequel to Printz Honor Book Scythe, old foes and new enemies converge. And as corruption within the scythedom spreads, Rowan and Citra begin to lose hope. Will the Thunderhead intervene?

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

I dove headfirst into yet another series I've been meaning to finish and chose Neal Shusterman's Thunderhead! It's been awhile since I read Scythe, but thankfully to some book recaps I was able to get the gist of what happened before and my memory was triggered a bit too. Some things didn't come back as easily, such as some of the other characters who were present in this book. I couldn't readily recall all of them and vaguely wondered if they were in Scythe or if they were "new," so to speak. Thunderhead does present a very realistic sounding future in the times ahead, one that could either be breathtaking or horrifying...

It's been a year since the events of the first book, Citra has been training with Scythe Marie Curie on how to conduct herself. Though Citra has taken on a new stance of being a Scythe, instead of gleaning people when it was time, she is giving them a month to settle their affairs and then they get to choose the way that they will die. She is still getting her work done overall, but it's definitely raising a few eyebrows.

Meanwhile, Rowan is living in secret since he was supposed to be glean a year ago. Instead of living in the shadows, he has taken on a new role for himself. More of the traditional reaper. He is going after the Scythes who enjoy the killings they do. Scythes who are essentially like Goddard, the Scythe that was teaching Rowan before Rowan killed him too.

We also get glimpses of other characters, such as Tyger, who was Rowan's best friend who is been given an opportunity of a lifetime...in Texas. In this world, Texas is something of a free territory, one which the Thunderhead doesn't get too involved in. Just about anything goes in Texas. We also meet Grayson, a young man who is eager to begin his schooling to one day become a Nimbus agent. Instead, life has a new plan for him. One that will involve an entirely different course for his life.

Something ultimately SHOCKING happens in this book. I won't say what since it was a pretty big deal even if it happens in the first 1/3 or so of the book. It was a game-changer. It's why I never accept a certain occurrence that happens in books until the series is done, because in fantasy, you never truly know...and that's all I'll say on that! It was truly shocking though and to learn the manner of how and why...game-changer!

I was also a bit tickled to see Citra and Marie visit the city of Fulcrum, which once went by a city of another name. One in which there was a tall sliver Arch that stood proudly, until time and people all but destroyed it to be less than half of what it was! Yes, they were in the long ago city of St. Louis! It always gets me grinning when I see this happen in books since authors so rarely tour here pre-pandemic! That the Arch was once again destroyed reminded me of another book I read where this happened too! Our poor Arch. Lol.

I was a bit sadden by the lack of page time with Citra and Rowan. We get to see what's happening with them separately, but because of Rowan's "wanted" status, they really can't afford to spend time together. So the budding romance between them that started to develop in the first book has taken a direct pause in this one. Though their feelings for one another are still going strong, they sadly remain apart for the majority of the novel until the near end.

Which that ending. Omg, that ending was downright terrifying! It's an action packed kind of ending that is sure to tug on some heartstrings. I won't get into it, but it did remind me of other "events" in the world. Thankfully, I'm about to dive into the final book of the series so the hurt and pain will hopefully soon be ebbed! 

Thunderhead continues the Arc of a Scythe trilogy in which we have dystopian world setting where things like life and death are trivial matters. But just because death is no longer a guarantee doesn't mean the world is without problems. This is a series that is sure to keep you at the edge of your seat as you race to finish each book and see what will happen and who will ultimately survive.

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

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