Thunderhead – book review

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Arc of a Scythe #2
by Neal Shusterman
Science Fiction
* * * * * Stars (Amazing!)

The Scythedom is split into factions – those who respect the old ways and take their responsibilities seriously, and those who embrace killing for its own pleasure and who would like to repeal their self-imposed restrictions. The Mid-American High Blade’s position is left vacant when Xenocrates accepts a new title – Grandslayer. Whomever is chosen by the Conclave will effectively lead the Mid-American Scythes in one of those two directions.

Anastasia (formerly Citra Terranova) is making waves in her first year as a Scythe. Under the supervision of Scythe Curie, Anastasia gleans her chosen victims in an unorthodox fashion, giving them each a month to put their affairs in order and choose the method of their gleaning.

Rowan Damisch (failed Scythe apprentice), has taken matters into his own hands and claimed the lives (and Scythe Goddard’s ring) of several of the more unwholesome Scythes under the assumed name, Scythe Lucifer. He sees himself as an avenging angel who will cleanse the Scythedom.

The Thunderhead, the Artificial Intelligence that keeps everything else running smoothly (it has no jurisdiction over the Scythes), watches and waits and does what it can according to the law and its programming to make those outcomes the best possible for human kind. It, too, has its agents.

Scythe Faraday (still undercover and presumed to be dead) is searching for a mythical place, hidden from humanity, and hidden as well from the Thunderhead, which may be a repository for information that can save the world.

The unwinding political drama unfolds with violence, intrigue, surprises, and suspense as the Scythes and their pawns and the Thunderhead attempt to control the course of the future.

This book was truly an amazing read and fans of the first book (Scythe) will not be disappointed. Sleep-depriving, but so, so satisfying. This was one of the titles on my most anticipated books of 2018!

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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