Thursday, May 17, 2018

Review: Thunderhead - Neal Shusterman

Thunderhead
Neal Shusterman
Series: Arc of a Scythe, #2
Genre/Age: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads 
Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the second novel of the chilling New York Times bestselling series from Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?
This review is spoiler-free for both Scythe and Thunderhead.

I'm not even kidding when I say that I was speechless when I finished this book. Absolutely, legitimately speechless. For a book I've been anticipating since finishing its predecessor, Scythe, this was certainly a satisfying and exciting sequel.

The Arc of a Scythe series takes place in a post-mortal world - the Thunderhead, an evolved version of the modern day Cloud, efficiently runs the world, making sure everything runs properly and essentially curing death. But the Thunderhead has rules for itself that it cannot break, and it will not give or take life. That's where the Scythes come in. Similar to grim reapers, these Scythes are the only people who can permanently end someone by gleaning them. Scythe follows two apprentice Scythes on their journey to learn about the Scythedom and compete to become a part of it. Thunderhead picks off a bit after Scythe left off, showing some of the aftermath as well as diving further into this world.

The world of this series is absolutely phenomenal. Neal Shusterman flawlessly built a post-mortal world, one that is believable and extremely thought provoking. While the world was certainly interesting in Scythe, I thoroughly enjoyed learning more of the complexities of the world in Thunderhead, as well as getting some of the Thunderhead's perspective. I absolutely LOVED reading the Thunderhead's thoughts - it's absolutely incredible and gives this sense of irony to the story since the Thunderhead knows all but cannot intervene. The thing I love most about this world is how it makes me think - not in a "this is confusing and I don't understand it" way, but in an introspective way. I thoroughly enjoyed learning even more about the Scythedom as well as "Unsavories" in Thunderhead.

Similarly to Scythe, Thunderhead is packed with exciting twists and turns, constantly leaving the reader guessing at what the underlying schemes of the characters will lead to. It was so exciting to see what the characters of Scythe were up to after the excitement in that book, and there were definitely some major surprises along the way. I really enjoyed the further development of the relationships between various characters, particularly the mentor-mentee relationship developed between two of the Scythes. To me they have the perfect mentor-mentee relationship bloomed into a true friendship - they motivate and learn from each other, pushing each other to be the best they can be. I also really loved Greyson Tolliver - it was so refreshing to have his perspective in a book largely dominated by Scythes. He had quite the tragic storyline, but I'm excited to see how his importance will play out in the next book.

As for what left me absolutely speechless, all I can say is that while I knew something was amiss, I had no idea how absolutely tragic it would be. Not just in a sense of "oh, this was a sad character death" but in the sense of a gravity over what it meant to the world within the story. All I know now is that I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens next in this masterfully crafted world. I highly recommend this book to fans of dystopian. Honestly, I highly recommend this series to everyone willing to give it a chance, because it is brilliantly thought-provoking and exciting to read.









If you could talk to the Cloud, what would you ask?
Let us know in the comments!

22 comments:

  1. I need to read this series. I hear such good things. I believe I have the first book on my kindle.

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    1. Yes!! It's so good so you definitely should ASAP :)

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  2. Isn’t is amazing when a book can leave you speechless!! The world in this sounds completely fascinating and the characters do too. I must look and see if our library has the first book now. I think my son and daughter both would like this too.

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    1. I was so excited to see that my elibrary had this because I loved the first one so much! Hopefully your library has it too *crosses fingers*

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  3. I was talking to someone about this book on the weekend, and the concept of teens and becoming a Scythe and dealing with death as much as they do. I do feel like I'm missing out too, because this is a wonderful review, but not entirely my cup of tea. (which is weird considering how many books I"ve read that have to do with kids in thrillers, so what can I say?!)

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    1. It's definitely a little on the darker side, especially since the kids aren't just dealing with death in a normal sense but in the sense that no one dies naturally anymore. Definitely not for everyone, but if you're feeling adventurous it could surprise you.

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  4. I LOVED Scythe and I'm not always a big Dystopian person (most of the books don't appeal to me) so I definitely think people should give this a shot even if the genre doesn't sound like a fit for them. I do, however, still need to read Thunderhead but I'm so thrilled that you loved it. I can't wait to learn more about the Thunderhead and hear his thoughts!!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Your comment is so interesting to me because while the Thunderhead is never gendered in the books, I always thought of it as female - I suppose I just gave it Siri's voice haha. Hope you get to read it soon!

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  5. I love this series so much! I need the next book right now. Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Right??? So excited for The Toll! Hopefully Neil Shusterman works fast on this one and gets it done for 2019!

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  6. Okay, you've convinced me to read these books. I read the first chapter and really enjoyed the style, but then I chickened out.

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    1. Yes!!! It's so good! I hope you enjoy it when you get around to reading it :)

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  7. I'm adding them both to my TBR right now! You've actually made me want to leave my house in this heat to see if I can find them, lol. I also love the cover for this! Thanks!

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. I hope you enjoy them when you get around to reading!

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  8. Man, I reeeeeeeeally need to find time to fit the first book into my reading schedule. It's been sitting on my shelf for too long!

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  9. I love the covers for this series. Your review makes me want to read this series when I didn't think I would

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    1. Honestly, I was really surprised when I read it too! It seemed like something I would like, but it ended up really surprising me.

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  10. Totally agree with you! One of the best sequels ever for me. It expanded on the story so well, definitely no sequel slump here! Now we just have to try to wait for the 3rd one- but hopefully it'll be worth it! Great review, glad you loved it too!

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    1. Yes! It was so good! So excited to see how those last few moments affect the society in the next book!

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  11. Was this better than Scythe?! I'd love to hear the Thunderhead's thoughts!

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    1. I loved Scythe so I thought it was equally good. I guess it ultimately depends on what you're looking for though - I think this one dives deeper into the world than Scythe did, and I really loved the Thunderhead's perspective!

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