Thunderhead - Shusterman, Neal

Hey guys! This week I will be reviewing Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, which was actually my book prize from the SRC, and also the sequel to Scythe, which I very much enjoyed. I have a lot to say about this book, so I have included a TL;DR at the end!

Before the summary, I’ll just say that I’m pretty sure I have read this book before… but I completely forgot! I only figured it out when, at key points of the story, it kept jogging up a memory in my head, it all felt very deja vu. Anyway, that actually made the experience of (re)reading this book cooler than usual because I started to wonder whether it was the Thunderhead who had tampered with my memories.

SUMMARY (Contains spoilers from Scythe… so you may want to read that first!): Citra Terranova and Rowan Damisch are no more. After their apprenticeship, Citra has been replaced by Scythe Anastasia, who gleans with honour and compassion. Rowan, on the other hand, has transformed into Scythe Lucifer, whose goal is to rid the planet of scythes who are neither honourable nor compassionate. Meanwhile, the “New Order” scythes continue to recruit, leaving the “Old Order” scrambling. The Thunderhead is not happy, but it cannot do anything that interferes with the scythedom. He can only watch, and grieve, in silence. Once again, we see the flaws of a seemingly perfect society.

THOUGHTS: I actually loved this book, which surprised me because dystopian isn’t a favourite genre of mine. After thinking about why, I narrowed it down to two factors: the Thunderhead’s thoughts, and the plot.

At the beginning of every chapter, there is a page of the Thunderhead’s thoughts. These were easily my favourite parts of the book, because of how genuine they were, and how they allowed me to better understand this omniscient entity. They also led to a lot of suble cues throughout the rest of the book, which I enjoyed immensely.

As for the plot, it was very well-planned. Everything was connected, in a way that made perfect sense, yet was not obvious. At any point throughout the story, something big was happening, and that is exactly what I look for in a book. The alternating perspectives also helped in creating more action!

If there were any shortfalls at all, I would say they were in the emotional department. I, personally, did not feel much of a connection to the characters, but I understand that, since I cannot relate to them at all. However, there are definitely strong bonds between the characters themselves, which makes up for it.

I would rate this book a 9/10, but the missing point is completely due to lack of personal connection. I would recommend this to anyone who’s open to some dystopia, as I quite enjoyed it. Warning though, the ending hits hard and fast, so make sure you’re ready! I sure didn’t have that warning… I look forward to reading the 3rd book ASAP.

P.S. The cover nails the minimalist aesthetic, and the paperback texture is a *chef’s kiss* 🙂

TL;DR: This book is dystopian, it has a great plot, and the switching of perspectives is well written. It doesn’t allow for much personal connection, but there is still strong emotion between the actual characters. I would highly recommend.