• Tabitha Tomala

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Updated: Jul 12

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Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Rowan and Citra have different ideas on how to fix the Scythedom. While Rowan prefers to wipe out the scythes who cheat the system, Citra prefers to work from the inside and influence scythes to follow the old ways. But both are earning a name for themselves and have enemies watching their every move. And if either of them lets down their guard, those same enemies won’t hesitate to end them. But the Thunderhead sees everything, even if it cannot interfere in Scythe affairs. But it can certainly use humans to navigate around the system parameters it was given. The only question is, is it too late?


The first book focused on building the world of the Scythes. Having readers learn the political atmosphere that surrounded them. In Thunderhead, readers’ views of the world are expanded by showing the strengths and weaknesses of the Thunderhead system that maintains the world. Instead of reading journals of the Scythes in between chapters, readers are allowed snippets of thoughts from the Thunderhead as it explains its actions based on its programming. And readers are shown that it might just have the capability for emotions. I found it fascinating how the Thunderhead operated and drew conclusions. And all the while there is that hint of humor bubbling beneath the surface.


Without having to lay down the foundations of world-building, the second book in Arc of the Scythe was faster paced. The narrative has expanded to include Scythes from previous novels along with Rowan and Citra. The story also takes a step further into showing the corruption that can occur despite the fact the world remains a near perfect place. The underbelly of human society is exposed. The Unsavories, people who have committed acts that have labeled them as trouble. And one such Unsavory, Greyson Tolliver, may be the only person who can save the Scythes.


As I read the last page of this book, I was speechless. The villainous arc that took place within these pages was disturbing and so anger inducing that I can’t wait to read the next. I need to know if justice will be served and what is going to happen to the characters. Neal Shusterman has effectively hooked me into this world of death and political upheaval.


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