A lot of you guys might remember how much I loved reading Scythe earlier in the year- well Thunderhead came along and blasted the previous book out of the water. From the dramatic opening, the reader was re-submerged in Shusterman’s EPIC world building, and led through a tempestuous plot. The stakes are higher and more keenly felt, the storyline clapped back at any criticism I had of the first one, all of which leading up to a truly *explosive* finale. Even if I’d had the power of the Thunderhead itself, I could never have seen that ending coming.
In terms of the characterisation, I was happy to see the characters stay true to form. I was also loving the new Scythe names: Lucifer and Anastasia. My only teeny tiny gripe was that I could have done with a little bit more focus on the characters. It was great that this didn’t sacrifice pacing like the first book, but one of the things I loved there was the evolution of their personalities-and, while I really felt for them here, that growth kind of fell by the wayside.
That said, all credit has to be given for the sensational world building. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- it is absolutely marvellous how this series characterises the setting. What Thunderhead did was take the best parts of Scythe– its originality and scope- and really ran with it. I especially liked the Unsavouries element to this one. Obviously though, I would be remiss not to discuss the uproarious inclusion of the Thunderhead.
Whereas in the first book there were diary entries from Scythes, this sequel upped the game considerably by including the Thunderhead’s musings. That was a stroke of genius. As one might expect from an all-knowing AI, the Thunderhead came across as MAJORLY CREEPY. Slight spoilers: I suspected from book one that it might go in the direction of this AI being a benevolent dictator, playing god with his subjects, and I wasn’t disappointed. I appreciated how the Thunderhead toyed with humanity- especially when it came to the Scythdom- both recognising its corruption and letting it cleanse itself. I loved the minor manipulations as much as the big ones. There was an element of control in everything it did and a sense of a grand plan for humanity… which created a sense of foreboding for this book and the rest of the series. And after this, I really can’t wait to see where this all goes in the next instalment!
Overall, this was a sensational sequel with no hint of middle book syndrome. The writing, as always, was top-notch and the story was even sharper than the first book. This series holds so much promise and I for one have a sneaking suspicion I’m going to like how this all wraps up!
Rating: 4½/5 bananas
So have you read this? Do you plan to? What do you think of this lethal series? Let me know in the comments!