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Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe) Hardcover – January 9, 2018
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From School Library Journal
POPGr 9 Up—A year has passed since the events of Scythe and Scythe Anastasia, once known as Citra Terranova, lives with her mentor, Scythe Marie Curie, and performs her gleanings in relative peace despite causing a rift in the Scythedom by giving her subjects a month to choose how they want to be gleaned, aka killed. Anastasia argues that it is more humane this way which earns her the favor of the "old world" scythes, those who feel they perform their job with dignity and humility rather than with joy and pride, like the "new world" scythes. Still, she cannot escape the tidbits of news surrounding her fellow apprentice Rowan Damisch, who now goes by the name Scythe Lucifer. He is hunting down corrupt scythes as a vigilante who deals death to those whom he feels besmirch the title. Ruling over this world is the Thunderhead, an omniscient artificial intelligence. However, it has no jurisdiction over the Scythedom and therefore has done nothing to stop Rowan. When an old enemy resurfaces, throwing the Scythedom into chaos, and Rowan unable to stem the flow of corruption on his own, the world begins to wonder if the Thunderhead will break its own laws and intervene. Shusterman wields his magic once again in this continuation. The exploration of how the Thunderhead operates and thinks, told through "diary entries," gives the story an extra dimension: how would an all-knowing, all-powerful AI think, and how would it process a flawed humanity? The climax and twist ending will leave fans of the series begging for the next installment. VERDICT A rare sequel that is even better than the first book.—Tyler Hixson, Brooklyn Public Library
"Relish this intelligent and entertaining blend of dark humor and high death tolls." (Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW)
"The stakes rise rapidly, and the plot races at a breathless pace." (Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW)
"Interweaving heady questions of morality, responsibility, loyalty, and power, Shusterman builds to a devastatingly intense conclusion that sends the characters and larger world into terrifying new territory." (Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW)
"Shusterman wields his magic once again in this continuation... even better than the first book." (School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW)
"Shusterman widens the already impressive scope of his neat-future utopia while also keeping a deft finger on the pulse of our own turbulent times. Exceptionally clear-eyed and brutal in its execution." (Booklist, STARRED REVIEW)
Top customer reviews
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A new character named Greyson is introduced. He’s really cool as well despite me usually getting annoyed in sequels that suddenly seem to vary off into too many other directions with too many new characters. Greyson just works somehow.
The end...I won’t spoil it but wow. I was not expecting that. Not at all. How soon is book 3 out?? Also the narrator, Greg Trembly for the audio of this book is one of the best. I alternated back and forth between the print and the audio, but usually wanted to hear him because he made the characters come alive.
Something I've also noticed that I really enjoy about Shusterman's books, and this is no exception, is that although there are multiple storylines going throughout the books, I never get bored of one and start to wonder what's going on with another... I'm often surprised when suddenly another storyline comes crashing back into the scene. I always think, "Wow! I forgot that was even happening!" For me, it is a testament to the complexity. It's all of these threads being pulled together behind the scenes... you have no idea how it's coming together until you see the beautiful and typically destructive results.
The world-building, as always, is beyond spectacular. I liked how some of the robes reflected the patron historic-- leather, denim, etc. Even such a simple little thing like Supreme Blade Kahlo misquoting [book:Where the Wild Things Are|19543]... because those are the kind of things that happen with time.
This book makes us wonder about the people who helped create and hand over power to the Thunderhead. In [book:Scythe|28954189], we're lulled into acceptance of it, even though we have a hard time imagining giving an AI all of our power (though I wonder if each new generation in our actual world will be less worried about technology's intrusion). Now we start to see that maybe not only the scythedom has been hid from the Thunderhead... there are failsafes in place. But what if those failsafes are going to be our downfall? What if we put these rules in place during a time when we couldn't possibly conceive of how things were going to play out and how PEOPLE would change?
It makes me think about the Constitutional debates we're having as a nation right now. How can we imagine all eventualities? The Founding Fathers couldn't even imagine a time when the races were equal... how could they imagine how technology would change? And this is what comes up with the Thunderhead... the original Scythes created rules, blocks, failsafes... and then the world changed. Are their protections going to help or hurt?
I am dying to know what comes next. Why doesn't The Toll have a release date yet?
(No, I don't really mean that... take as much time as you need, Shusterman, to make the third book amazing. It's so worth the wait.)
Also, a note. I need more words to describe books I love besides beautiful and tragic. Or maybe I just only really love beautifully tragic books...
Most recent customer reviews
The Schythodedom is corrupt, there are unworthy Scythes walking the continent.Read more