Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2) by Neal Shusterman


  Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2) by Neal Shusterman. Simon & Schuster, 2018. 9781442472457

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5

Genre:  SciFi/Fantasy

What did you like about the book? Citra Terranova is a Scythe, now named Anastasia, tasked with gleaning humans who have lived too long. With technology and science so advanced, it is necessary to keep the population stable. She gleans with compassion, unlike some of her cohort of Scythes. She and her mentor Marie are harassed, and attempts on their lives cause them to go on the run. Rowan, another Scythe, blatantly tries to glean Scythes who kill too much, and he is also reviled. There is a relationship between Rowan and Citra which predates this book, and it adds a bit of romantic tension to the story. The Thunderhead is the ruler/deity who animates the beliefs of the Scythes, and his philosophical musings alternate with the drama of the story. An amazing world is built by Shusterman, a few hundred years in the future. It’s totally believable that technology has evolved to where the world is almost devoid of error, yet humans continue to hate and strive and love.

Anything you didn’t like about it? My only complaint is that understanding the politics about and between Scythes is hard at the beginning. I think it would be a richer experience if one reads the first book.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Teens, 14 yrs and up, who like Philip Reeve and other writers of dystopia should like this. The hint of romance, without graphic details, makes it appealing to any reader regardless of gender.

Who should buy this book?  High school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Teen fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you’re a fan of Shusterman, or have read the first book, then yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: February 8, 2018

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