Review Blog

Jul 29 2018

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

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Arc of a Scythe book 2. Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406379532
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Themes: Science fiction, Death, Assassination, Artificial intelligence. In the sequel to the award winning Scythe, Rowan has gone rogue, turning himself into the assassin Scythe Lucifer, taking down corrupt scythes, while Citra working with Scythe Curie, wants to stop the corruption from inside. Meanwhile the Thunderhead looks on, seemingly unwilling to halt the decline of the Scythedom although working with Greyson Tolliver to protect Citra from attacks. There is an increasing division among the new and old order of scythes and all of humanity is threatened.
The story of Citra and Rowan unfolds in alternate chapters, with a section at the beginning of each told in the words of the Thunderhead, leaving the reader wondering in suspense whether this all mighty intelligence will intervene to stop the problems that the world is facing. The action moves along at a cracking pace, the reader left breathless hoping that the main characters will survive assassination attempts, imprisonment and isolation. At the same time there is great character development, Citra begins to show her intelligence, compassion and integrity as she prepares people for gleaning, while Rowan continues as a merciless vigilante, still believing in the Scythedom. The addition of Greyson Tolliver as a conduit to the Thunderhead also adds to the plot line, which is complex and thought provoking.
Big questions are examined in "Thunderhead": the perils of immortality, the ethics of gleaning, and the power of artificial intelligence, all wrapped up in stunning action. A mind blowing cliff-hanger of a conclusion that is totally unexpected, will have fans eagerly waiting for the next book in the series. Fans of Martha Wells' "Murderbot" series and Jay Kristoff's "Lifel1k3" will enjoy this book.
Pat Pledger

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