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.