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Thunderhead
Contributor(s): Shusterman, Neal
ISBN: 1442472456     ISBN-13: 9781442472457
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    OUR PRICE: $17.09  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: January 2018
Qty:
Annotation: Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, and the Thunderhead is not pleased.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Death; Fiction.
Murder; Fiction.
Science fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2017040210
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Series: Arc of a Scythe
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.75" W x 1.50" (1.24 lbs) 504 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 193176
Reading Level: 6.7   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 20.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q72755
Reading Level: 5.6   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 27.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Fall)
In this sequel to Scythe, Citra (revived as Scythe Anastasia) and her mentor, Scythe Curie, are the target of assassination attempts. Rowan has gone rogue, fleeing underground and taking the moniker Scythe Lucifer to glean unethical and unworthy scythes. Through excellent storytelling, Shusterman deepens the world-building and raises ethical questions about this society's foundations. He expertly weaves narrative strands together, culminating with the requisite cliffhanger. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #2)
When Rowan killed Citra at the end of Scythe (rev. 11/16), it ended their competition for a single spot in the scythedom. In this sequel, Citra is revived and anointed Scythe Anastasia, while Rowan goes rogue and flees underground, taking the moniker Scythe Lucifer and gleaning only unethical and unworthy scythes. Anastasia and her mentor, Scythe Curie, find themselves the target of assassination attempts ahead of a surprising announcement by High Blade Xenocrates that he will resign to take a promotion to Grandslayer. Curie is the obvious "old guard" candidate to replace him, and as the "new order" faction puts their candidate forward, the plot quickly coalesces around the Machiavellian struggle to gain the upper hand. Meanwhile, Scythe Faraday remains in hiding, looking for knowledge from the founding scythes, and the Thunderhead (the god-like technology that governs and regulates society) is searching for answers, too; both lines of inquiry serve to deepen the world-building and raise questions about the foundations of this society. Shusterman expertly weaves the various narrative strands together, culminating with the requisite cliffhanger, and the excellent storytelling is complemented by ethical considerations of power, corruption, and virtue at both individual and global levels. jonathan hunt Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 November #1)

Shusterman cranks up the stakes in this blistering sequel to 2016's Scythe, set on a "post-mortal" future Earth in which easily revived humans are only "deadish" when killed, not permanently dead, except for the few "gleaned" by scythes, who kill to keep population growth under control. The narrative focuses primarily on Citra, who is gaining influence as Scythe Anastasia, and Rowan, who has adopted the mantle of Scythe Lucifer as he furtively gleans amoral scythes. New presences include Greyson Tolliver, an unassuming young man who becomes aware of threats on Scythe Anastasia's life, and the voice of the Thunderhead, the artificial intelligence that manages virtually all aspects of life on Earth. As the political machinations between scythe factions collide, the Thunderhead's dispatches reflect powerfully on its relationship with humanity ("All I can do is watch unblinkingly as my beloved humankind slowly weaves the rope it will use to hang itself"). Interweaving heady questions of morality, responsibility, loyalty, and power, Shusterman builds to a devastatingly intense conclusion that sends the characters and larger world into terrifying new territory. It's difficult to fathom what awaits in the next book. Ages 12–up. Agent: Andrea Brown, Andrea Brown Literary. (Jan.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 January)

POPGr 9 Up—A year has passed since the events of Scythe and Scythe Anastasia, once known as Citra Terranova, lives with her mentor, Scythe Marie Curie, and performs her gleanings in relative peace despite causing a rift in the Scythedom by giving her subjects a month to choose how they want to be gleaned, aka killed. Anastasia argues that it is more humane this way which earns her the favor of the "old world" scythes, those who feel they perform their job with dignity and humility rather than with joy and pride, like the "new world" scythes. Still, she cannot escape the tidbits of news surrounding her fellow apprentice Rowan Damisch, who now goes by the name Scythe Lucifer. He is hunting down corrupt scythes as a vigilante who deals death to those whom he feels besmirch the title. Ruling over this world is the Thunderhead, an omniscient artificial intelligence. However, it has no jurisdiction over the Scythedom and therefore has done nothing to stop Rowan. When an old enemy resurfaces, throwing the Scythedom into chaos, and Rowan unable to stem the flow of corruption on his own, the world begins to wonder if the Thunderhead will break its own laws and intervene. Shusterman wields his magic once again in this continuation. The exploration of how the Thunderhead operates and thinks, told through "diary entries," gives the story an extra dimension: how would an all-knowing, all-powerful AI think, and how would it process a flawed humanity? The climax and twist ending will leave fans of the series begging for the next installment. VERDICT A rare sequel that is even better than the first book.—Tyler Hixson, Brooklyn Public Library

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.