Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuesday #Review - Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman #YALIT #SyFy

Series: Arc of a Scythe # 2
Format: Hardcover, 512 pages
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Publisher: S&S Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Recommended By: 
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction

Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the chilling sequel to the Printz Honor Book Scythe from New York Times bestseller Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.
The Thunderhead cannot interfere in the affairs of the Scythedom. All it can do is observe—it does not like what it sees.

A year has passed since Rowan had gone off grid. Since then, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. His story is told in whispers across the continent.

As Scythe Anastasia, Citra gleans with compassion and openly challenges the ideals of the “new order.” But when her life is threatened and her methods questioned, it becomes clear that not everyone is open to the change.

Will the Thunderhead intervene?

Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?

Thunderhead is the second installment in author Neal Shusterman's Arc of a Scythe series. Shusterman's world is a place where an Artificial Intelligence called the Thunderbird provides the people with everything they need to survive. There's no more hunger, everyone has shelter and jobs if they so choose, and the people also have the technology to be revived if they die, as well as the ability to turn back time to live as long as they as they desire. 

There is one group who doesn't not answer to the Thunderbird. That group is Scythe's. Scythes are the ones who glean (kill) those in order to keep the population growth from being overcrowded. Once again, the author alternates between Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova, but there is a third character who gets a fair amount of the story. His name is Greyson Tolliver. More shortly. Rowan and Citra have taken opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. He has seen the corruption of the Scythe's and wants to send a message that their behavior will no longer be tolerated. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Meanwhile, Citra, now called Scythe Anastasia, is continuing her mentorship under Scythe Curie. She sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes that once followed Goddard who wanted to upset the apple cart and create his own version for the world. One could call Citra the compassionate Scythe. She let's those she chooses have ample time in which to prepare and even allows the chosen to chose how they are going to die. 

I mentioned Greyson before. Greyson has an interesting storyline. Greyson is a kid that had absentee parents. He was pretty much raised by the Thunderhead who became his only friend and confidant. All emotions that he should feel towards his family, he feels for the Thunderhead. He goes from being a chosen one to having his entire life turned upside down. Unable to interfere with the Scythe's, the Thunderbird actually uses Greyson in ways that may or may not make sense to a majority of readers. I was so disheartened by the things that Greyson encounters. I wanted the author to stop torturing him and get to the point of why Greyson was so important.

There are other characters that are involved in this story as well, including the return of Faraday, and a woman named Munira. The pair are searching for something I shalt not spoil. It defeats the purpose of giving out too much information. I will say that I am still trying to connect the point of this search, with what happens to Citra, Rowan, and even Scythe Curie who have have come to love. 

In between chapters, we also get a deeper understanding of what the Thunderbird is, and what its reasoning for being really means for humanity. There are some really good twists and the world building was excellent opening up more information about the Scythes and the politics within the Scythedom. The ending of this book is particularly intense and action packed, and left an indelible reminder that life is fleeting, and so is author's abilities to stay away from heart breaking cliffhanger endings. 

Would I recommend this story? Yes. While it is still technically a young adult themed novel, there are plenty of adult situations to make any reader stay until the ending. 

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