I finally finished up the Arc of Scythe trilogy today — ending with the massive finale: The Toll!
2019 has been such a year for epic finales, which seems fitting: end of a decade, END OF OUR EMOTIONS!!!! I have reviewed the first two books before, but I thought I’d walk us through my feelings on the whole trilogy.🤗I’ve read quite a few Shusterman books, and I’m pleased I finished up this trilogy although I think my favourites of his collection are Unwind, Dry, Bruiser, and Challenger Deep!
“Therein lies the paradox of the profession,” Faraday said. “Those who wish to have the job should not have it…and those who would most refuse to kill are the only ones who should.”
✨no spoilers, hopefully!! but I am talking about the 3rd book will inadvertently give hints about the first two, so you’ve been warned!✨
Scythe | Goodreads
The first book is definitely my favourite of the trilogy. It introduces us to a perfect world, where no one dies…unless they’re gleaned strategically by scythes, who keep the population balanced. Citra and Rowan are taken on as apprentices and they have to learn to kill. For a good cause. Failure equals their lives forfeit. Basically it’s a utopia, with rotten threads under the surface. Those kind of narratives, I LOVE, because there’s so much intrigue and mystery. Also Schusterman has such a wonderful writing style. You just get swept up in it and — boom — next thing you know, you’ve read 4 of his books already and you’re thinking too much and you’ve named your firstborn fish THUNDERHEAD.
Citra and Rowan were the reason I got invested. They’re good kids: wholesome, a little snarky, and I loved their friendship. Also PS. the entire series is really focused on friendship over romance!
Thunderhead | Goodreads
This one really amped up the stakes and it was POWERFUL. This was intense and full of plot twists and politics and muRDeR. The actual plot of this one is kind of slow, but very thoughtful. I definitely enjoyed it, although it was super long, so there were a ton of scenes here thought I wished were more concise. However, I really loved how twisty and schemey everything turned out?! Citra is over here doing the political side of the scythedom and Rowan is over there just murdering bad scythes like a righteous angel of death. Gotta stan our child-disaster-scythes.
But this was when I really started to love the Thunderhead (hi title of the book!). He reminds me of AIDAN in Illuminae (less murdery though and more chill) and I love how it was everyone’s caring mother, but also calmly ordered deaths. The Thunderhead was the mum-friend who also would maybe stab you a little.
And this one? Left you internally screaming over the cliffhanger.
The Toll | Goodreads
So in a well-ordered universe I would’ve reread the first two before picking up the finale, but I had no time and while I’ve liked the series very well, it hasn’t sparked me into an exploding Christmas tree lightbulb of infatuation. I DO feel a bit bad about that. So I went in feeling a bit lost…and remained lost for 90% of the book. I fully admire how politically applicable this series is, and how the story is clever and intricate and very very intelligent.
But it’s really plot-driven. Rowan and Citra were barely in it, and I just wasn’t invested. The storyline is about scythes and the world falling and how the Thunderhand had a plan of clever subterfuge to save them all. But we dodged from so many narratives (from a lot of people I don’t care about oooops), that I couldn’t feel locked into the story. And at 600pgs with Rowan and Citra maybe gracing about 50pgs all up? It lost me. (I still loooove the Thunderhead and ship it and Greyson.🥺)
For me, the finale finished up as something I admire as an intelligent pice of art, even if it wasn’t my favourite storytelling style. Scythe is my pick of the three!
| what do you think? |
have you finished any series this year??? have you been reading this one? tell me your thoughts!!