Monday, October 1, 2018

Book Review: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Goodreads Summary: 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?
Goodreads Rating: 4.54 stars with just over 18,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Number of Pages: 504
Book in series: 2/unknown
Get the Book: AmazonBook Depository
Goodreads Challenge: 21/30
Other reviews on the series: Scythe

Book Review:

Before Thunderhead, I couldn't tell you the last time I paid full price for a book. I'm going to wager a guess and say it was last time I was in Canada (so roughly a year ago?) But I was at the grocery store and saw the iconic cover and about freaked out. I had to buy it right away. I love this series so much. I'm a bit bummed the third hasn't been published yet, but I can only be so mad since Thunderhead just came out at the beginning of 2018.

A little recap of the series: The first book in the Arc of a Scythe series is called Scythe. It takes place in a futuristic earth where we've combated death and illness. Everyone's immortal, but for population control, there still has to be death. That's where the Scythdom comes in. They are expected to be compassionate and uncorrectable. Each Scythe has a quota of people they must glean (kill). They take their names from historical figures of the mortal times.

Thunderhead starts off around six months or so after Scythe ended. Citra's already a force to be reckoned with as a Junior Scythe. She gives her gleaning victims a lot of compassion, even though it creates more work for her in the end. The way that Shusterman describes her chosen way to glean effectively shows why the New Order is (or should be) concerned with her. I like how she becomes Scythe Anastasia in Thunderhead. Before it felt like she was more play-acting at being a Scythe, but now it feels more like she's left Citra in the past.

I LOVE Rowan's choice of Scythe name when he goes Rogue. Rogue Scythe Apprentice going around killing corrupt Scythes while wearing the forbidden Scythe color of Black and going by Scythe Lucifer? Perfection. I also really enjoyed what other names Scythes took. 

In Scythe, each chapter was started by a journal entry of several scythes. I love how in this book the journal entries are thoughts from the Thunderhead. It gave an interesting perspective as everything goes to hell. You get both sides of what could be the downfall of the perfect world. 

The setting for the entire novel of Thunderhead is captivating. Shusterman paints a picture of not only the MidAmerica region that was the focus in Scythe, but you also get to see the Texas region, which is a lawless experiment of sorts. Other areas explored are D.C. and what's become of it since the Thunderhead took over and did away with traditional government. Towards the end, Shusterman even takes readers on an adventure to the Scythe capital Endura. 

If you like Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia, or YA books I can't recommend this series enough. It's a lot of fun to read, but it's also clever and puts a fascinating spin on the Dystopia genre. I'm pretty sure that I've told everyone to read Scythe right away so they can read Thunderhead. I'm obsessed with this series, and I can't wait until the third book comes out! From the looks of it, it looks like it will be called The Toll. If that is the title that could have a few different implications. So excited!


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