Thunderhead (Arc of the Sythe Book 2)
By Neal Shusterman
Genre: Science Fiction/Post Apocalyptic
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Bang Bang Review
I kinda don’t remember how Scythe ended so hopefully I don’t reveal any spoilers. After Rowan kills Goddard and Rand, he escapes. A major takeaway is after Rowan pushes Citra and snaps her neck leaving her deadish, Citra hears a voice telling her she is meant for greatness (or some bullshit like that-I don’t remember). That voice was the Thunderhead and you can probably surmise by the title that book two is about the Thunderhead. Thunderhead picks up almost a year after book one where Scythe Anastasia, Citra, is the new scythe and remains working under Scythe Claire.
Thunderhead is riddled with spoilers so this review is going to be very short. If you want spoilers, click here.
If you recall from book one, Goddard was a new age scythe who believed there should be less rules involving quotas or less government if you will. His death was meant to squash all that thus ending all the panic. Anastasia is the new shiny scythe and she’s decided to give her victims one month to get their affairs in order before she returns to glean them and of course all the new age scythes and some of the old ages ones are up in arms. Giving people time is unheard of and as a result, Anastasia is now in the spotlight of followers and haters.
Meanwhile, there’s a mysterious scythe named Scythe Lucifer who is killing scythes he deems as bad-revenge gleaning; race cleansing gleaning; etc. When Anastasia and Claire are almost murdered, gleaning by fire, they think Lucifer is after them and Scythe Constantine has ordered them to be protected.
Meanwhile again, we have a new character named Greyson Tolliver who is a loner and talks to the Thunderhead adnausium because his parents are shitty. He’s selected to enter an academy but is soon singled out. I won’t tell you why because of spoilers.
More stuff goes down but I can’t say and there’s another conclave but I can’t say and some serious shit goes down in the end but I can’t say. What I can say is that this book is NEVER boring and that ending-DAMN!
It is DISGUSTINGLY clear that the 2016 election affected Shusterman because there are plenty of Trump metaphors.
The Thunderhead is an interesting character and reminded me of Google with a heaping cup of government splash of God. The Thunderhead, like we’ve been taught in church, is always watching us-there are cameras everywhere. Although it sees all of the good and bad, it can’t intervene and when bad things really happen it cries. This was an interesting theme because the Thunderhead is basically a computer but it has feelings. This series is extremely approachable to teens because it’s good vs evil and moments of violence but there are some pretty strong themes under the surface. Acceptance, free will, judge and jury, and mortality-if a short life has been eliminated, does life have meaning?
This book was a perfect score until about 75% in. It started to get a little too bananas. It was entertaining and shocking but I felt it was a bit too ridiculous. There was one moment between the villains that bothered me and I’ll explain in the spoiler section. With that being said, I liked Anastasia and all the other characters; Shusterman’s world building is clear and concise; and the story was never predictable. I enjoyed it immensly, I just wish the ending wasn’t so…
Bang Bang Rating: 1/2