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Arc of a Scythe Series, Book 2

eBook - 2018
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"Intelligent and entertaining." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Even better than the first book." —School Library Journal (starred review)

Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the chilling sequel to the Printz Honor Book Scythe from New York Times bestseller Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.
Humans learn from their mistakes. I cannot. I make no mistakes.

The Thunderhead is the perfect ruler of a perfect world, but it has no control over the scythedom. A year has passed since Rowan had gone off grid. Since then, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. His story is told in whispers across the continent.

As Scythe Anastasia, Citra gleans with compassion and openly challenges the ideals of the "new order." But when her life is threatened and her methods questioned, it becomes clear that not everyone is open to the change.

Old foes and new enemies converge, and as corruption within the Scythedom spreads, Rowan and Citra begin to lose hope. Will the Thunderhead intervene?

Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers


From the critics

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Mar 12, 2021

It's been a year since Citra Terranova has become Scythe Anastasia and Rowan went off the grid. Rowan as Scythe Lucifer has started gleaning scythes that he has deemed unworthy throughout Midamerica. As Scythe Anastasia, Citra gleans with compassion and methods that go against the ideals of the "new order." However, it soon becomes clear that not everyone is open to the change that Scythe Anastasia is bringing when her life is threatened. Citra's and Rowan's opposite stances on matters in the Scythedom continue to put them at odds. While all of this continues to unfold, the Thunderhead continues to watch. Will it remain an impartial observer or will it finally be forced to take a stand?
I really liked this book. Most of the time I don't like the books in the middle of a series because they seem boring and more like filler. This wasn't the case here. The plot of this story was great and you could see wonderful character development especially in the main characters. If you were to give me a sentence from the book, I would be able to identify the character who said it. The author was able to craft a unique personality for each character in a way that is relatable and keeps the reader engaged. I loved how the story ended in a way that left the reader scrambling to try to get their hands on the next one. There aren't any warnings except for some brief mentions of violence. I would highly recommend not just this book but the entire series.

Overall, it was another great book in the scythe series. Likable, well developed characters and other evil really dislikable characters. This is one of the books, where I actually really dislike the villains, an unusual occur because often times the protagonist isn't developed well, compared to the antagonist. This was packed with suspense, action and adventure. I have to admit though I really disliked the ending, not because it was random and made no sense with the book, but because it was unexpected. Looking forward to the next book!

LoganLib_Sheridan Jan 15, 2021

Gonna be honest: this is the unnoticed middle child. It's a great book but maybe not as compelling as the eldest and youngest but you know, still loved, and definitely worth reading to get to the final installment. This book builds up on the foundation of the first adding a new essential character and elaborating on the direction the trilogy might go.

Dec 15, 2020

It has been almost a year after the elevation of Citra Terranova to Scythe Anastasia when the novel starts. There have been burnings of scythes in Midmerica as the infamous Scythe Lucifer gleans those whom he deems are unfit for scythehood. Meanwhile, Scythe Anastasia attempts to reform the scythedom from within, following her own gleaning procedure despite backlash from most of her peers. For her desire to change the scythedom back to its roots, Anastasia is targeted for assassination. In this arc of the novel, we are introduced to Greyson Tolliver, a young man training to be a nimbus agent, an organization tasked to carryout the orders of the Thunderhead. He is told of a plot against Anastasia and prevents the plot from succeeding. However, the Thunderhead reprimands him for breaching the separation of Scythe and Thunderhead and expels him from the nimbus academy and marks him as unsavory, an outcast of the society. Through this status, Greyson transforms himself into Slayd Bridger, a set of eyes in a place the Thunderhead cannot see. This second installment of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy provoked thoughts of a relation between us, humans, and some greater intelligence. The musings of the Thunderhead between chapters was a very nice touch as the reader gets insight into the thoughts of the machine and what it believes. But at the same time, it wonders should it leave humanity and what has humanity gained from its existence.

Oct 08, 2020

Enjoyed the first book (listened to it on cd and felt the voices appropriate). Not as taken with the second book though it's new direction from the first raised my curiosity and interest. It was slower paced yet the ending was riveting and was well worth getting to.

Sep 10, 2020

This sequel to Scythe is almost as incredible as the first. Citra, now the newly appointed Scythe Anastasia, becomes accustomed to the scythe way of life, while Rowan, taking on the nom de guerre Scythe Lucifer, delivers his own brand of justice against the scythedom. Although on opposite sides of scythe law, the two learn they can trust almost no one but each other in their battle against the corrupted side of the scythedom. And, a new hero ordinary teenager named Grayson Tolliver is thrust into an unfamiliar world of violence and terror by the Thunderhead as its plan unfolds…
Thunderhead is an amazing addition to the Arc of the Scythe series, with incredible action, intriguing plot twists, and impossible revelations. Shusterman’s ending is masterfully suspenseful, shaking the entire world, scythe and otherwise, to its very core.

Aug 05, 2020

I love this series! I read and thoroughly enjoyed the first book, Scythe, but it was some time before I picked Thunderhead. It was one of those rare cases where the first book in the series was brilliant, and the second book is equally so. It manages to combine action, interpersonal relations and political intrigue in such a way that each element is relevant and contributes to the storyline. The two main characters, Citra and Rowan, are inspiring as they try, in their own separate ways, to challenge the "New Order" who are power hungry and serve only their own agenda. Great read!

Jul 11, 2020

This was an amazing book. However, it was not what I expected. It does not match the same writing style as the prequels. The writing was, (in my opinion), a little distracting. There was so many things going on from many different perspectives that it made it difficult to read. It was still a great read. I hated the ending though.

Jun 28, 2020

This sequel shakes things up, introduces an interesting new POV, and delivers some satisfying twists and turns. Scythe Anastasia has a very logical narrative progression and her story proceeds as expected, as she gains more influence and connections. Rowan, on the other hand, is transformed in an entirely new direction, with his purpose displayed in the first few chapters. A very good sequel that builds well with a fantastic conclusion. I'm very excited for the third and final novel in this series.

This was another wild ride. I don't know that I had the same connection to it that I did to the first book, but I enjoyed it all the same.

Citra is now Scythe Anastasia, and Rowan has adopted the persona of Scythe Lucifer. It's been months since the match between them that left Citra deadish and Rowan on the run after he dispatched Scythe Goddard and his crew. Both are adjusting to their new lives, but neither can anticipate what is coming: a rift in the entire Scythedom is about to leave them both reeling in ways they could never imagine.

I read the first book in this series a long time ago, and I know I rated it 5 stars and enjoyed it immensely, but this time, I found there was a certain disconnect between me as the reader and these characters. Don't get me wrong, this story is so ridiculously well-written, creative, and timely, but for me, the emotional connection just wasn't there.

That said, these characters are extremely well-developed, and I especially enjoyed Rowan's development. I typically root for the characters who turn to the "dark side", for lack of a better term, but what is so great about this series is that there really isn't a dark side. Both Rowan and Citra are fighting for what they believe in in two different ways, and though Rowan takes on the moniker of Lucifer and is seen as a villain by the Scythedom, he is really fighting the same forces that Citra is combating, just in an extreme way. I did enjoy Citra also, how smart she is and how interesting her arc has become.

Maybe it's the intricacy of the plot and just how damn political things are that left me a little cold. I like the emotional side of lit, and I think I enjoyed the first book so much because there was that emotional connection between Rowan and Citra. Here, that's really subdued, a minor plot point in comparison to all of the other happenings, and though, again, everything is so well-written and well-constructed world-wise, it just didn't engage me as much as I wanted.

*spoiler* I also tend to not like books that bring people back from the dead. I understand in this case why this is the route taken, but god, I really hoped it wouldn't be. It took the spontaneity and unpredictability of book one and just...disappointed me in this one way. *spoilers done*

I'll be back for book three, but it'll be when it comes out in softcover. I can wait for this series, which is not something I say very often. I'm keeping my 4 star rating, because really, it deserves those stars, but had it not been so well-written, this would've been more of a 3 star for me.

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Mar 25, 2021

black_wolf_3134 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Sep 10, 2020

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Jan 14, 2020

SO Basically its about when the amazing scythe Anastasia lets rowan go and they travel together going in different ways. the thunderhead does not like it and scythe Goddard rises from when rowan killed him. anyway.... its a very nice story to read and a great one to look forward to. its nice to see the story play in your eyes. but for a reminder to anyone who read my comment READ THE STORIES IN ORDER


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Jan 14, 2020



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"The simple pleasure of being good at what you do is very different from finding joy in the taking of life." Then she took a long look at Citra, gently held her hands, and said, "The very fact that you are tormented by the question means you are a truly honorable scythe. Guard your conscience, Anastasia, and never let it wilt. It is a scythe’s most valuable possession."

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