I don’t know if you knew this, though I suppose if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you do, but I love Neal
Shusterman’s writing. He’s been one of my favorite writers for a long time now. So when The Arc of a Scythe series came along, I was definitely the first one on the bandwagon.
In the world of The Arc of a Scythe, the entire world is governed, if you will, by the Thunderhead. It’s like the cloud (digital storage) was programmed with a consciousness and maintains everything. We’ve gained immortality, however, population control is still necessary.
Enter the Scythedom. Scythes are basically the human embodiment of grim reapers. They help maintain the population. The Scythedom is the only part of the human world that the Thunderhead doesn’t control.
The first book follows two scythe’s apprentices. The second focuses more on the Thunderhead and it’s musings about how close to godliness it is. It’s amazing. And I’m not just saying that because I love Shusterman’s stories. Or because I love stories about grim reapers.
So here’s my Sticky Note Review:
I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to Thunderhead. Shusterman is a master storyteller.
First, I love how the Thunderhead is god-adjacent. The way it talks about itself — shouldn’t it be adored? I mean, it is, in fact, perfect — makes me wonder if it has aspirations. I love how Shusterman took the AI-takes-over trope and turns it on its head. It’s not the Thunderhead that has the capacity for eivl, but it is humanity that continues to cause conflict in this perfect world.
I love that Citra and Rowan aren’t on the same side anymore, through they’re both working toward the same goal – a more honest Scythedom. I can’t wait to see what ridiculous twists Shusterman has in store for Book 3.One thing that didn’t fit on the sticky note was how I find it interesting how the Thunderhead is like a petulant child in some ways. Also how Shusterman both subtly and not-so-subtly provides social commentary through this futuristic dystopian novel.
Actually, for those of you who have read either book, would you call this dystopian? Or the next generation of dystopian? Or something completely different?