Book Reviews - Adrianne

Review: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman (Audiobook)

Hellooo lovelies! Happy Saturday! Today I’m reviewing the sequel to Scythe by Neal Shusterman so there will probably be some spoilers. Mostly I want to talk about how awesome the narration was!

In case you haven’t read the first novel, Scythe follows Citra and Rowan as they undergo training to become Scythes. In the world Schusterman created humanity has essentially created a way to cheat death, so the population needs to be controlled somehow. This is where Scythes come in. Scythes are the only people in this world with the ability to “glean” (kill) people. Over the course of the first novel we see two very different sides of the order of the Scythedom, the first being the old guard who believes that gleaning is something to be honored and taken seriously while the new order scythes believe that scythes should take joy in gleaning and shouldn’t have caps/quotas they need to meet when gleaning.

In Thunderhead we see our scythes through the consequences following the events in book one and we get to see a lot more of the actual Thunderhead which is essentially an AI that’s evolved with humanity and now makes decisions for everyone.

Overall I think I enjoyed this novel more than the first because the stakes were higher. Rowan has fallen from grace, essentially, and has made it his mission to take down corrupted new order scythes. Citra, on the other hand has become a beacon for the old guard with the new scythes. Schusterman raised the stakes for both of these characters in this novel by taking things to a global level.

I really loved the narrator for this audiobook. I listened to it on the way down to San Diego for a bachelorette weekend and periodically while we were driving around and the conversation lagged. The narrator had a very calming voice and, while it wasn’t a full cast, I felt like he did a good job differentiating the characters both in personality and gender. Overall the narration itself was a solid 5/5 for me.

Obviously, if you couldn’t tell I enjoyed the story and audiobook overall, but there were things that I didn’t like so much, most of which was pacing. This is a big novel, and the last book in the trilogy is even thicker. I felt there were a lot of slower scenes that helped to develop the characters as we know them. The narration helped get through those scenes but I get that if I was just reading the book it would have bothered me more. I’ve actually got the third book as an audiobook as well because it’s huge haha.

Have you guys read this trilogy? Did you like it? OR even better question, would you be a new order scythe or part of the old guard?

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