Thunderhead is an electric sequel to Scythe and will go down in memory as a book with one of the most intense endings I’ve ever read.
FYI: The following review is spoiler free for Thunderhead, but since this is the second book in the series, there are spoilers for Scythe in the below synopsis.
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Synopsis: Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. 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.
Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, 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. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?
Thunderhead is one of those books that sticks with you long after you’ve finished reading it. The exploration of humanity, immortality, immorality, and the things humans do when given the chance and opportunity leaves the reader questioning themselves. Neal Shusterman effortlessly weaves together the journeys of numerous characters through the deepening world of Scythe and drops them into one of the wildest book endings I’ve read in a long time.
Thunderhead (and Scythe, for that matter) are definitely plot driven books. Most of the characterization is just enough to get the plot moving, but not much more. And sometimes that’s okay. I will say that the development of Greyson Tolliver (a new character) and the Thunderhead itself is highly intriguing and not at all what I was expecting. I love the insights this novel brings to the Thunderhead. While Citra and Rowan are still our leads, the scope of the story is much grander than just them and their development takes a back seat.
But that doesn’t matter. What matters is how interesting this world is. I want to study it forever. I want to read all the scythe journals and dive into the Thundrerhead’s back brain. The way Shusterman builds a new world out of our own is endlessly fascinating to me. In Scythe we learned a lot of the basics of Scythdom, but we go deeper in Thunderhead and I loved every minute of it.
This novel is fantastic. That’s really all there is to it. I never wanted to stop reading it and when I got to the end, I had to slowly put the book down before I threw it across the room out of that good anger/joy feeling you get when a book punches you in the stomach. So many people had warned me about the ending and holy heck were they right. I 100% recommend Scythe and Thunderhead. 100%.