Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
*Published January 9, 2018*
This is the second book in the Arc of a Scythe series and it is so good! It dives in roughly a year after Citra received her ring and Rowan has gone rogue, going after scythes that don’t uphold the commandments and seek to emulate the late Scythe Goddard.
Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.
Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?
There was a lot of politics in this book, more than in the last one. Citra, now Scythe Anastasia, junior Scythe to Scythe Curie, seeks to change the scythedom to prevent what Rowan went through and scythes seeking to take advantage of their killing abilities to manipulate their position in life. It’s not going quite as she would like or expect, except for the fact that she has some sway within the MidMerica scythedom, something she doesn’t want.
As Citra/Anastasia works toward changing the scythedom from the inside, and Rowan/Scythe Lucifer works on changing it from the outside, there’s a lot more going on. A lot more is seen by the Thunderhead, and while it cannot actively interfere with the matters of scythes, it does see all that they do. Information that cannot be conveyed from the Thunderhead to the scythedom in anyway, as that would be interfering with the scythedom in someway.
There are always going to be different ways to try and change the ways government, but there will be ways that will not work and there will be ways that will. And sometimes, the government will just be dissolved by those who do not agree. Trying to work with those who do not share your worldview can be tiring and it will feel as though it’s not worth the effort. This book also shows that human flaws will be perpetuated into perpetuity because don’t change much as people by simple number alone. But by actively trying to do better and be better, we have a chance to change the world to the world we actually want it to be.
What are some things you are working on changing? What do you do when you have to work with someone with a very different perspective than you? Comment below and let me know!
P.S. Also, the cover and title reveal for the third book came out! It’s called The Toll and it’s cover is beautiful!