Title: Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2)
Author: 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.
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?
Did I like it?
Yes, very much. This was that rare sequel that was even better than the book it follows. Fantastic pacing made the story move along at a good pace without feeling like it was rushing. The author further developed the main characters from the first book, Scythe, while adding some new ones to broaden the scope of the story. One thing that I would advise is that if you have already read Scythe, do not wait too long to read this one to avoid feeling lost. The author does not baby the reader by providing much of a summary of what has already happened, starting off the story with a bang.
What was something annoying about the book?
In my opinion, more time could have been spent laying some character groundwork on the Grayson character. Especially, considering how important he appears to be to the overall story heading into book three, The Toll.
What is the setting of the book?
This is a future version of our Earth. Technology has continued to advance to the point that a global artificial intelligence pretty much runs everything, in the interest of keeping humanity safe and happy. There is no longer natural death for humans due to medical and scientific advances and as a result, overpopulation is a real concern. To combat this, the Scythedom was created to help keep the population in check by killing people, permanently, in a process called “gleaning.”
Swords, guns, or lasers?
No lasers that I noticed but certainly lots of knives, guns, swords, and other types of weapons for the Scythes to use. Some Scythes get bored with normal weapons and seek more exciting methods to do their jobs.
Is it safe for kids?
I think it would be suitable for teens, but not younger than that.
Former Scythe, Michael Faraday. He is still the strong, compassionate stalwart that he was in book 1, but gets to play a different role in this one. He becomes the investigator, seeking answers that will surely come to roost in the series conclusion.
Any villainous villains?
Absolutely! Big-time baddies in this one. But I can’t say any more without spoiling it so I will stick with that for now.
What about the audiobook?
The audiobook that I listened to was provided by the National Library Service, via the Talking Books program for the blind. This is a great service that provides reading materials to the blind for no charge. I used the BARD app, which is the official app of the National Library Service, to access the book. The narrator was Jennifer Hubbard and she did a great job. She did this narration just for the National Library Service and is not the narrator for the commercial audiobook. The audiobook length was 14 hours and 56 minutes.
It is just a tremendous continuation of the series and I will not wait long to read the finale. Highly recommended.