Hey there, fellow bibliophiles, and happy holidays! Whatever it is you celebrate, I hope that you have a lovely holiday season!
Now, I know I mentioned reviewing this book weeks ago, but I cancelled those plans abruptly due to a finals hiatus. So, sorry to keep you waiting.
That aside, I managed to snag a copy of this one, which I’ve been anxiously awaiting since the end of Thunderhead (book 2), and I must say…what a monumental conclusion to an unforgettable series. Without a doubt, one of the best books to come out of this year, and one of the best trilogies to come out of this decade. (Can I get a WOOOHOOOO for Mr. Neal Shusterman?)
NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW UNLESS YOU HAVE READ BOTH SCYTHE AND THUNDERHEAD, AS IT WILL CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS.
If you’d like to read my reviews for the previous two books, you can do from these links:
Enjoy this week’s review!
The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)
It has been three years since the Endura disaster, when Goddard orchestrated an attack that killed most of the world’s revered Scythes, and the Thunderhead, the artificial, world-ruling hivemind, has shut itself off to all of mankind.
In MidMerica, the diabolical Scythe Goddard has come to power, declaring himself OverBlade of the entire continent, and gleaning all who stand in his way. But on an isolated island, a Scythe that was thought dead by the world lies in wait, preparing for the opportunity to strike Goddard and his ruthless empire down.
And in the oceans where Endura once sat, a scavenger ship has uncovered a treasure that may mean the difference between restoring the balance and total anarchy.
Now, let me just say…
OH. MY GOD.
This book is very nearly flawless. The Toll is the prime example of Neal Shusterman’s storytelling prowess, a heart-pounding, dystopian epic for the ages. With even more in-depth explorations of not just the world, but of the moral grey areas in society and the consequences of religion and absolute power, The Toll brings this unforgettable trilogy to a beautiful conclusion, one that leaves the reader thinking, and provides a sense of hope. This book deserves every star in the sky, without a doubt. So thank you, Mr. Shusterman, for providing a trilogy that will stand the test of time, a beautiful spot of light in a sea of mediocrity that has defined the dystopian genre for the latter half of this decade. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Plus, you can’t argue with Jaws references. ‘Nuff said. And, if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got some LGBTQ+ representation from a secondary character who plays a major role in The Toll, how cool is that! (Jeri, who you’ll meet somewhat early on, is genderfluid.) 🏳️🌈
The Toll marks the end of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy (*wipes single tear from cheek*), but without spoiling anything, the ending *could* open itself for spin-offs, though that isn’t likely. Personally, I’d rather the trilogy be left alone, but I wouldn’t be complaining if Shusterman wrote other novels in the same universe.
And there you have it! I hope you have a lovely rest of your day, and a very happy holiday season! Stay tuned for more content later this week!
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