Hello all devoted banaholics! Today, in what could very well be the last sermon review of the year, I’m gonna be sharing my thoughts on the last in this dystopic YA trilogy. Many of you might be familiar with the cutting-edge concept of Scythe and the resounding success of its sequel Thunderhead: humans have achieved immortality has been reached, so a select group of people are in charge of population control aka killing people off. Now it’s safe to say, the Toll was largely a booming triumph, but I can’t say this will entirely be a ringing endorsement, so maybe cover your ears if you’re not here for any negativity.
First of all, I found it a bit slow to get going. The opening felt largely like it was reminding the reader what had happened in the last book and setting up new characters, which was fine… I just felt like I was waiting for it to really get going.
However, once the story hit its stride, it was tense, gripping and the toll on our main characters was immense. Highlight for minor spoiler: I have to say I was really grateful when our heroes returned to the fold- the story just wasn’t the same without them! And the romance was one of the best things about this book! I just loved the way this series forged connections between characters.
The world was still one of the books strengths… though some parts were so far left of field they went a little off the deep end for me (alas, I’m not into new age zealotry, but whatever floats your boat I guess). That said, there were things I appreciated even more in this finally instalment. Especially the names of all the Scythes- from the more on the nose ones like Curie, to the clever twists on Goddard, but mostly the one I liked all the more was Rand after having read her work this year.
Now to get into more *spoilers*. There were a few other issues that left me pondering. While I think the Thunderhead had an interesting role as a god-like figure, as Krysta @Pages Unbound points out, presenting the AI in a questionable way, I still felt like it was too positive an outlook. Though the characters overcome their human overlords, this doesn’t exactly fulfil that typical dystopic YA trope of undoing all the authority. We’re still left with this benevolent dictator, which they fly off into the sunset/space with. I wasn’t quite decided on whether I liked this outcome- especially since I ended up questioning why the main villain was even still the main villain (I just didn’t feel like he had a strong enough motive other than “MWHAHAHA I WANT TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!”). Personally, I just think the Thunderhead could’ve taken over the role of villain in book two and been done with it.
Anyway, back to non-spoilery section, that was just my personal take. Despite all this, I found the book very compelling. The plot launched into some high stakes drama and really had lift off as we got into the last part of the book. Thus, I still recommend this series and give you these commands:
Thou shalt take my gripes with a grain of salt 😉
Thou shalt read this series
Thou shalt enjoy this series
Thou shalt find it hard to put these books down
Thou shalt continue to think about this series long after you have turned the last page
So sayeth the Great Ape 😉 Now I shall award it the honorific bananas:
Rating: 4/5 bananas
So, have you read this series? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!