Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman is the second book in the Arc of a Scythe series.
In this book we pick up where we left off in book one. Rowan and Citra have each gone down their own paths in regards to the Scythedom, setting them against one another even as they long to be closer.
Citra has now become a junior scythe under Scythe Curie and sees the corruption of the Scythedom from the inside. The Scythe’s are split between the new order and the old guard and Citra has found herself in a political struggle to keep the Scythedom pure. But will it be enough? And how far will she be willing to go to fix a floundering institution.
Rowan has taken another path, going rouge and becoming both judge and jury in the damnation of corrupted Scythe’s. Now wearing the taboo black robe and going by the name “Scythe Lucifer,” Rowan is gleaning those power hungry Scythe’s whose thirst for violence and terror goes against the pure intentions of the founding Scythes.
And witnessing it all is the Thunderhead–the all power AI whose only rule is not to impose or influence the Scythedom… at least not directly.
What will become of this world on the precipice of disaster and who will be there to pick up the pieces when it falls?
At first, I thought this book was going to suffer from second book syndrome. Good but not great. But I was pleasantly surprised with how much this book added to the overall plot of this series. When starting out, I thought we were only going to get this struggle between Citra and Rowan, wannabe lovers who are doomed to fight. But we get so much more. This story isn’t just about these two Scythes. It is about the world as a whole–it’s corruption, the hope and despair, the fight for better. And we are left wanting so much more.
One of the things I like about this book was that every time I expected one thing, another thing happened… or at the very least things happen in ways I didn’t expect. I love be surprised in ways that make sense.
There is so much going on in this book and yet you are not overwhelmed or burdened by the extraneous. Schusterman does a really great job of building this world that feels real but isn’t bogged down with minutiae.
This one gets 4 stars from me!
That’s all for now!