Neal Shusterman's Thunderhead, the second installment in the Arc of a Scythe series, continues upon the story of Citra and Rowan, two teens that were thrown into the thrilling, albeit dangerous ...
- Plot Progression3.3
- Emotional Trauma4.7
- Re-Readability Measure4.0
Neal Shusterman’s Thunderhead, the second installment in the Arc of a Scythe series, continues upon the story of Citra and Rowan, two teens that were thrown into the thrilling, albeit dangerous world of the Scythedom.
As a sort of disclaimer, if I may, I had such high expectations for this book! When your predecessor is Scythe, you have a LOT to live up to. While the start of the novel was rather underwhelming, the ending took my breath away. Seriously, if you were to ask my friends that sat with me during school as I finished this book, they would tell you I was shook. I wanted to cry, I actually did yelp, and my hands were flying everywhere!
Okay. Let’s unpack this. So, if I’m being completely honest, the beginning was not what I was hoping for. The thing about this novel is that it set everything up for the climax of the book in the first 300 pages. On page 300, exactly, was when it started to get JUICY. Everything started coming together, and I felt like a proud mother hen watching her chicks leave the nest!
That being said, 300 hundred pages is a rather large portion of the book. It mainly consisted of small events that never really held a lot of significance. Of course, it was all necessary for the novel to end the way it did, but it took a long time to get through it. The story spent a large amount of time centered around a new character in order to build him up, but in the process, lost out on a lot of Citra/ Rowan moments that I really wish I was able to read.
But. The ending. Oh my GOD.
I’m not even exaggerating when I say it was a pivotal moment in my limited years of life on this planet. Things just kept getting worse, and worse, and worse. It was spectacular.
I don’t even have words to describe how I felt. I was emotionally scarred, but in absolute awe. It was as if I was watching one of those serial killer documentaries; the ending was morbidly fascinating. I cannot applaud the author enough for that gift. I will be re-reading the last 50 pages more than once.
It wasn’t until the end that I realized why the author placed such weight on certain subjects. He’s a genius. It was a masterpiece. Enough said.
I have mixed feelings about this aspect of the novel. On one hand, I loved our OG characters, Rowan, Citra, Curie, Faraday, and even Xenocrates. That guy was a mood.
However, the new characters of Greyson Tolliver and Purity are a different case. That’s not to say I didn’t like Greyson, because he was a lovely character. It’s just that I didn’t really click with him on the level of Rowan or Citra. I blatantly didn’t like Purity, though, and I don’t think I was supposed to like her either.
Now, the inclusion of the Thunderhead’s perspective was absolute genius. I love the Thunderhead! Over the novel, I think the Thunderhead had more character development than any of the characters, honestly. It’s so sweet! The Thunderhead has a bit of an existential crisis, and it was really touching. Contrasting to the usual perspective of futuristic AI’s, the Thunderhead was a powerhouse of a character, and one heck of a plot device. Snaps for the author!
As previously stated by my review on Scythe, Neal Shusterman’s writing will always astound me. It’s so… otherworldly. The author wrote this story like one would design a battle plan. The strategist element to his decisions was definitely not lost on me. Teach me, sensei. Show me your ways.
While Thunderhead had a few elements that I found to be slightly off, the ending and the characters overshadowed the flaws by a long shot.
I don’t think I can wait for the next book. It left on a freaking CLIFFHANGER, so one could only assume that I am anxiously awaiting my child’s arrival. And by child, I mean the third book.