Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman – Book Review

Title: Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: YA Fantasy / Dystopian
Publication Date: January 2018

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. 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. Realizing she cannot do this alone 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?

I CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT I JUST READ. That cliffhanger?!?!?!?!

Seriously, I don’t know why I was so surprised by this but it BLEW ME AWAY. I should have been expecting it after the cliffhanger Shusterman dropped at the end of Scythe but little ol’ me thought Shusterman was gonna be nice this time. I couldn’t have been happier to have been wrong.

Thunderhead picked up a few months after Scythe ended and was heavy hitting from the very beginning. Shusterman’s ability to jump straight in to the action is what makes these books such a hit. It felt like I’d never really left the Scythedom despite there being a year between the first and second book. Too often the lustre and appeal of the worlds we read in books get lost in the chasm of time between the first book and its sequel but that (thankfully) wasn’t the case here.

While I adored Citra and her moral compass, Rowan was the character that really captured my interest in this story. Citra seemed weighed down trying to fight against the politics and tactical games associated with being in the Sycthedom and it was Rowan’s vigilante role that seemed harder-hitting. I liked how this provided a comparison of their lives and growth as they became wiser and more confident in their actions.

What I really enjoyed from this book though, was The Thunderhead. I have a big soft spot for likeable AI characters and the Thunderhead has firmly put itself in that category. There’s just something so innocent and wholesome about its love for the world (despite its omniscience) that put it high up on my list of fav AIs (right next to AIDAN).

The separation between Citra and Rowan, as well as the middle of the book that seemed to drag, were the main reasons this was only a 4-Star read for me as opposed to being a 5. I know these books don’t need any romance but I loved the one developing between Citra and Rowan. I would have liked to have seen more of that throughout the book.

24 thoughts on “Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman – Book Review

  1. Glad to see you posting! I think Thunderhead is probably my favourite book in the series. There’s so much going on but the struggles that Citra and Rowan (especially him!) face and then all the crazy shit that goes down in the end, make it for a pretty intense, action packed read! There were definitely slower bits but overall this was such a fab read. Hope you enjoy The Toll 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dini. I think I may always be a in and out blogger but I really love reviewing and catching up with blogger friends every few months 🙂 I prefer the first book just because it completely stole my attention and I didn’t sleep for HOURS afterwards just thinking about it. Thunderhead was great though – especially for the namesake. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved the AI. I’m hoping to read more books with these types of characters in the future. Thanks for the comment 🙂


    • Thanks Yesha! I have to agree – buying all of the books and reading them straight after one another is the best way to read cliffhangers. You get the sudden shock and surprise without having to wait months or a year before the next instalment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay!!! I agree with everything you said in this amazing review Jen. I also have just read this series earlier this month and loved it. The first book was a 5-star read for me and this one, I think is 4.5 stars. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • I did. I readd all three books back to back to back. Hehe. I couldn’t help myself. I actually reviewed all three of them but I’m not sure if you can read my review of the toll before reading the book. I might included some spoilers in there.

        But I rated it 4 stars. Hope you enjoy it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, I’m not sure if it’s as good as the first 2 books but only because the ending or the wrap up is not what you expected. But for me, it’s a reasonable ending. I really liked it. I’m excited to read your thoughts on it. 🙂 🙂 Happy reading Jen.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, it’s so so worth the try. I mean, there’s always a chance you might not enjoy it but I was so immersed in this series. It’s captivating and a bit intense. I hope you decide to give it a try 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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