Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Thunderhead (The second book in the Arc of a Scythe Trilogy), by Neal Shusterman, takes place almost a year after the events in Scythe.
Scythe Anastasia, once known as Citra Terranova, is a junior scythe still following under her previous mentor, Scythe Curie. She dawns a turquoise-green robe and gleans for what is right. She allows her victims to select the way they wish to die, something unheard of, yet very unique, among the Scythedom.
Meanwhile, Scythe Lucifer (also known as Rowan Damisch) uses Goddard’s stolen ring to pose as an actual scythe, all while gleaning scythes who show ill intentions. Permanently. Acid and fire can burn the body too far to be recovered from deadish. Scythe Lucifer will glean those who seem to find a passion for killing, such as Scythe Goddard, or those who show racial bias, among other discrepancies that go against being a scythe.
When Scythe’s Anastasia and Curie’s lives are at stake, a boy who works close under the Thunderhead, Greyson Tolliver puts his own life and desires on the line to save them. He even becomes unsavory, unable to speak to the Thunderhead, who he knows more as a parent than his own mother and father. Unsavories do things that society looks down upon (causing accidents, starting fights, etc.), and the Thunderhead does not speak to those marked with the red U on their I.D. Going deep undercover, Greyson loses his identity and past, completely rewritten, all to save the two Scythes. But who is threatening their lives?
I don’t want to get into too much detail or be too spoilery, so I’ll stop there. But lets just say, this book is absolutely epic! Some Scythes come back from what was thought to be true death, some scythes die (okay, a TON of scythes die), we learn more about the Tonists and the Great Resonance, Farraday searches for a mystical land, and we finally get to see Endura, the island of the Grandslayers and a place containing multitudes from scythe history. There is also extremely subtle romance, but it’s just enough and it’s perfect! The last 50 pages or so are absolutely intense, heart-pounding, and gut-wrenching, leaving the reader dying to read the third and final book in the series: The Toll.
Also, if you get your hands on the Barnes and Noble Exclusive edition, you’re in for an awesome treat. The B&N edition comes with annotations by Neal Shusterman in the back of the book, comments and thoughts on each chapter, such as why he did what he did, or what made him think of a certain idea, or even what he was doing when he was writing a certain chapter!