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Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe Book 2) Kindle Edition
“Even better than the first book.” —School Library Journal (starred review)
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.
Humans learn from their mistakes. I cannot. I make no mistakes.
The Thunderhead is the perfect ruler of a perfect world, but it has no control over the scythedom. 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.
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?
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"Interweaving heady questions of morality, responsibility, loyalty, and power, Shusterman builds to a devastatingly intense conclusion that sends the characters and larger world into terrifying new territory." (Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW )
"Shusterman widens the already impressive scope of his near-future utopia while also keeping a deft finger on the pulse of our own turbulent times. Exceptionally clear-eyed and brutal in its execution." (Booklist, *STARRED REVIEW )
"This sequel digs deeper into Shusterman's complex world and complicated characters... relish this intelligent and entertaining blend of dark humor and high death tolls." (Kirkus, *STARRED REVIEW )
About the Author
- ASIN : B074ZLLFYP
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (January 9, 2018)
- Publication date : January 9, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 2359 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 509 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,436 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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4 HOURS LATER: For me, "Scythe" felt very much like Citra's story, so for "Thunderhead" I kept waiting for development for Rowan. We see a little of him as Scythe Lucifer, but supporting characters got a lot more time. And Rowan's plot certainly happens but it's far later in the book than I was expecting. Instead, we are introduced to another character, Grayson Tolliver, who serves some greater purpose. So his chapters, and another side plot, just felt like they derailed the momentum at times and it would take several chapters before we were back with Rowan. So the pacing was just slightly off, but not too much to take away an entire star. But the ending more than made up for the slower start...WOW!!! I agree with my son that this was an excellent read, maybe not my best read of the year as he's declaring, but Arc of a Scythe and Neal Shusterman are one of my best discoveries of 2018. Now both he and I are sitting here processing the novel, that ending, and agonizing over how long we'll have to wait for the finale.
P.S. I would like to start the campaign for a prequel about Scythe Curie's early days.
A new character named Greyson is introduced. He’s really cool as well despite me usually getting annoyed in sequels that suddenly seem to vary off into too many other directions with too many new characters. Greyson just works somehow.
The end...I won’t spoil it but wow. I was not expecting that. Not at all. How soon is book 3 out?? Also the narrator, Greg Trembly for the audio of this book is one of the best. I alternated back and forth between the print and the audio, but usually wanted to hear him because he made the characters come alive.
I usually hate cliffhangers but I think Thunderhead ends in a great one.
So what happens in this installment?
Rowan is now Scythe Lucifer. He's targeting Scythes who have forgotten their way. The Scythes who enjoyed the killing are all in his naughty list.
Citra as junior Scythe Anastasia is trying to change the Scythom from within with the support of Scythe Curie and the help of Scythe Faraday. This puts her in grave danger. Not everyone agrees with her way of thinking.
There's a fight for power between the old order and the new one. All thanks to Scythe Goddard and his followers.
Shusteman introduces an important character, Greyson Tolliver who will play a huge part in the Thunderhead.
My favorite part was learning more about the Thunderhead. Instead of the Scythes journals, we get so much more input about It, what he's thinking and who he wants to help.
“Death must exist for life to have meaning.”
I love the world building and the insight we get from the main characters.
I'm not sure how much the Tonists will play a part in the next one but I think it's going to be a major one.
I wonder how much time passes between the end of the Thunderhead and The Toll. I hope we don't have to wait too long for it. I'm dying for answers.
Top reviews from other countries
I said in my review of the previous book that I didn't think that it was as good as Shusterman's other series Unwind, but after reading this, I've completely changed my mind. It was great to see the world and characters develop. I also mentioned that the villains didn't seem that threatening in the first book; after reading this I can honestly say they are - with one in particular who I won't name - being absolutely terrifying. This book was much more fast paced than the first, and like Unwind, I loved the world that Shusterman has created.
There was a small romance between the two main characters, Ronan and Citra, in the first book, which I didn't really mind but wasn't crazy about either. In this book however, there is no romance at all as the two of them are only together for about twenty pages max. Both of their stories were really interesting, and it was great to see them both, particularly Citra, develop as a character. I also really enjoyed that we get small pieces of dialogue from the Thunderhead's point of view at the end of each chapter. New character, Grayson Tolliver, was written superbly and I can't wait to see how his story pans out in the next book.
I usually despise cliffhanger endings, but I loved the ending of Thunderhead. As annoyed as I am about having to wait a year for the next book, I thought it was written superbly. I really have no clue where the story is going to go next but I can't wait to find out.
The 2nd edition of Scythe was great It felt like a little history book of the Scythe world and it was so deeply interesting. The politics were a tad boring and had me skimming it a bit but I understand it was necessary. But a part of me is so tired of the politics parts of books and I wish that people wouldn't dedicate so much of the plot on it because it leaves me so utterly bored. It made me take almost a month to finish this book because to be honest I wasn't as amused with it as the first one and found myself more bored but I've already become so attatched to the characters I demanded more. I'm also so in love with this world and unique concept I'm glad I pushed on because to be honest it is such a wonderful series and I love this world so much and could happily read it over and over again
My main issue, and the reason I have tasted it one less star than the first book is the villain. While most of the characters are fairly nuanced, the main villain here is definitely not, and borders on the pantomime. This a shame as the concepts this series is dealing with are intriguing and complex, and while the consequences of the villain's actions produce interesting and results that get the mind juices going, it's a shame that they have to do it while twiddling thier metaphorical moustache, let's hope they get more nuanced in the third book. Some how I don't see that happening.
In some ways, Thunderhead's world building felt a lot stronger than that of Scythe. The focus is not so fixed on the Scythe order this time. We learn a lot more about the lay of the land, the nature (and limitations) of Thunderhead, and even a brief glimpse of the events that brought about an end to the Age of Mortality. And this blew me away. The world of Thunderhead is vast and enthralling, completely original and eager to suck the reader in.
However the plot itself was, in this reader's opinion, a little weaker than that of the first. Thunderhead is very long for a young adult novel and its plot felt as though it lacked focus. There were a number of threads this time, following Citra, Rowan, Faraday and newcomers - Munira and Greyson. Yet, for the most part, these threads were unconnected. The only two that really collided were Citra and Rowan's, and this was not until the climax of the story. Really, it felt more like an extended build up to what looks to be a explosive final novel.
Despite Thunderhead's length, I never got bored. While the book certainly shared some of Scythe's flaws - such as the tendency towards exposition - and annoyingly glossed over certain early plot points like Tyger's fate, its tension kept me turning the page. It was clear that something terrible was building from the first attempt at Citra and Scythe Curie's life, but it wasn't until the final few chapters when the true horror of the villain's plan became clear. This terrible twist was completely unpredictable, and makes me very excited to find out what will happen next.
In terms of character, the book was once again very strong. Citra, in particular, has an excellent character arc in this book. I liked the way that the author flipped between calling her Citra and Anastasia, depending on what occurred on stage. The awkward thanksgiving dinner with her family and way that the young scythes flock to her also served to empathise how far she had come.
While Rowan received less development in this novel, his spell as Scythe Lucifer raised some interesting moral questions. While it was hard not to root for him his methods - murdering murderers - certainly left a lot of room for ethical debates. I also liked the way that his actions in Scythe came back to haunt him. So much of this book could have been avoided if he had not targeted his enemies so viciously in Scythe...
The newcomers - Munira and Greyson - were also set up well in this novel. While they unfortunately did not have a lot to do this time around, they were set up nicely as strong and well-rounded individuals. While I would have liked to have seen more of Munira in particular, I am incredibly curious to see what role they will play in the next instalment.
All in all, Thunderhead was a bit of a middle novel. While it was still a thoroughly enjoyable read, its plot and character arcs just felt a little weaker than those of Scythe. Still, I'm very eager to see this series through to the end and look forward to reading what will happen next.