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(Arc of a Scythe #2)

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  51,566 ratings  ·  9,169 reviews
“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.

Paperback, 504 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published January 9th 2018)
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Average rating 4.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  51,566 ratings  ·  9,169 reviews

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Emma Giordano
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Edit 4/7 - After raving about this book for a video review (which you can find here:, I decided to raise my rating to 5 stars. Despite that I didn't enjoy Thunderhead EXACTLY as much as Scythe, I feel the book itself is nearly flawless and one of the greatest YA books on the market. This story is too well-written for me to be comfortable giving it any less of a rating.

A very satisfying sequel!! I didn’t enjoy Thunderhead AS MUCH as Scythe (It is a TOUGH book to
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

"Scythe Johannes Brahms, you are accused of abusing your position and multiple crimes against humanity."
"How dare you!" Brahms gasped. "Who are you to accuse me?" He struggled, trying to rally strength, but it was no use. The painkillers that were in his system were filling his responses. His muscles were weak and useless to him now.
"I think you know who I am," the young man said. "Let me hear you say it."
"I will not!" Brahms said, determined not to give him the satisfaction. But the boy in
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
That cliffhanger though...

Solid read! I liked it more than the first book. If you like political intrigues, you will love this!
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who read the first book and loved it!
5+ Stars – EXCELLENT!

Update 12/5/2018 - Should have won the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy Category! In my heart, it is the winner!

First of all – that cover . . . beautiful! It is one of my favorite covers of the past few years. An improvement on the cover of the first book – and that cover was pretty awesome, too. This cover makes you want to read this book even if you have no idea what the book is about. In this case you can judge a book by its cover!

A fantastic continuation of
My original review still stands. Shusterman played us. Hard! That ending is one of the best and psychotic endings I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

(view spoiler)

I can't wait to see what Shusterman's brilliant mind has come up with
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I can't believe what I just read

This is quickly becoming my favorite series EVER

I actually thought I will not enjoy this book as much as the first one because the first half was a little boring but the second half was the best thing that I have ever read and that's why this piece of writing deserves a million starts.
I can't remember the last time I was so invested in a story in this way.
I have so many emotions over this book and these
Second time reading and that ending!!!

Still worth every stars.


First read: 26/4/18

Hot damn. That ending.

Shit absolutely and unequivocally just hit the fan but... no worries. It’s only a year right?

The cruelty...

I pondered for days over how to rate this (needlessly it seems) because I finally came to my senses.
There’s nothing to overthink here because I am so fucking speechless that I don’t know how I could give this anything less than what it deserves.

NS is. A.
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
I am dead! This book killed me!! That ending!! Dead. All I will say is that this is becoming one of my absolute favourite series ever. The wait for the next book is going to be brutal.
Holy freaking crap this was amazing. So many twists and turns and so thought provoking! So amazingly good!
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
its 2018, so can we just go ahead and put forth a movement that says cliffhangers qualify as cruel and unusual punishment!? i mean, i will start a petition and everything. whos with me??? because there is no way the ending to this should be legal. its the very essence of torture.

okay. now that i got that out of my system, lets talk about everything other than the last 30 pages. im pretty sure i am in the minority when i say that i didnt think this was better than scythe, but i didnt think it
Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.25 stars, one of my favorite fictional characters are back! Welcome back Citra and Rowan! They’re tougher survivors and they are more connected to the Scythedom madness. Now it’s time to meet with fantastic AI Thunderhead! He is genuine, caring, polite but also righteous, smart, professional enough to achieve the requirements of his position.

I think this is another delicious feast for me which I skipped to devour for so long and finally decide to taste vivid, exciting, adventurous tastes of
Helen 2.0
Without context, the word Thunderhead could mean a variety of things; for instance, it sounds like it it might be:
-the newest Scandinavian metal band
-a kind of migraine
-something you may overhear a group of college boys bragging about on the subway
-a pagan shrine to Thor

But stupid jokes aside, in Neal Shusterman's world Thunderhead is the ultimate cloud collection of human knowledge, given consciousness and the task of governing Earth. It is a benevolent ruler, having eradicated death, disease,
C.G. Drews
Okay so WOW this was intense and full of plot twists and politics and muRDeR. I mean it is literally a series about a (nearly) utopian world with ordained murders so. I love that and it's also terrifying! This book though! I am a little dazed by tHAT EnDING.

Me: This book looks nice.
Me: The ending looks like it'll wrap up quite nicely with--
Book: [smASHES me in the face with a cliffhanger]

I don't !! even know what to think while I wait for book #3!! AHHHH.

+ The actual plot of this one is kind of
may ❀


wowowowoowow, okay my dudes, lets get this straight, if you loved book 1, READ THIS RIGHT NOW. if you hated book 1, READ THIS RIGHT NOW.

This. Was. Everything. That. Book. 1. Wasn't.

im actually so amazed, like the characters, the development, THE PLOT TWISTS. THE REALIZATIONS, it was ALL SO. GOOD.

i don't even have words beyond WHERE IS BOOK 3

this is going to be me @ anything related to this book for the rest of the decade
♡ ᴅ ʀ ᴇ ᴀ ᴍ ♡ (semi-hiatus)
5 / 5 stars

Question (10 points)
Is the romance in this book / this trilogy necessary?
Answer —> No.

Everything in the story is already perfect on its own. Even if there’s no romance between Citra and Rowan or other couples, it‘s still completely fine and the book itself can easily make me love it without that.

Therefore, I see no reason why Neal Shusterman need to include romance in the trilogy if he cannot make it good enough or make it at least believable.
(It’s harsh. I know. But if
Christina - Traveling Sister
5 MILLION, Shusterman revived me only to slay me again stars!!!

Full review featured on my blog Recipe & a Read!

So if you'll recall for my review ofScythe(book one in this series) Shusterman did a bang up job of literally slaying me with his sheer genius. Well folks, he's done it again - only this time the magnificence of this story literallyrevived me heart and soul only to kill me once again.You may be asking yourselves:Christina, you're saying this book literally killed you - can that
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
If I use the term shook like I usually do to describe what I’m feeling right now, it would seriously be an understatement for this book. I loved every. single. page. and I am so glad that it loved up to my expectations of being just as great as Scythe which was one of my favourite reads of 2017

I used to think that I wasn't really into dystopia anymore but I reckon it's Neal Shusterman's mind blowing writing style that has made me fall in love with this world! Also can we please come up with a
Second reading - listened to on audio this time. It was still great, a solid story that held me the entire time. The cliffhanger ending! Glad I have the finale to get right to. I can't believe I waited this long. Definitely glad I re-read it because I had forgotten a lot. I was thinking it was more of a four-star rating. Surprised to see I rated it five stars. It's really good and I don't have any complaints. Guess I'll keep it. :)

Previous post:

Just kidding! Everyone gets a cape robe in this.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And always with those jaw dropping cliff hangers ...more
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Review Blog Twitter Instagram

“Death must exist for life to have meaning.”

The Toll, the third and final book to this series is out in a couple of days. I recently read scythe and finished this one last month and I am planning to read the finale as soon as I get it. I only recently joined the fandom and understood part of the hype surrounding this series.

I liked book one a tiny bit more than book two maybe because I was awed by the amazing world building and good writing. I still
Iryna *Book and Sword*
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
4.5/5 stars (rounded down) - now if only Goodreads would introduce half star ratings, then I wouldn't have to go breaking mathematical rules to round down, when I am clearly supposed to be rounding up!

“An arrogant head of state gives permission to all nature of hate as long as it feeds his ambition. And the unfortunate truth is, people devour it. Society gorges itself, and rots. Permission is the bloated corpse of freedom.”

I think I've found another favorite author. I had a feeling after I've
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
It’s my pleasure to be your displeasure. (c) It's this series' pleasure to be my displeasure.... Though installment #2 happens to be waay better than #1.

A bit more definition added to this world, and still... a lot of key ideas seem to be missing from this society, still.

In this one, Thunderhead discovers it has been a DunderDolt all along. It entertains us with musings of its inherent godliness, the challenges of practicing omnipresense as well as demonstrates its quite possibly first taste
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed by Nia on

I’m so glad that I read this book directly after the first in the series, I was still very much in the zone and this book was absolute perfection.

I felt that Scythe, the first book, was a little slow in the action and pacing department but it turns out that it was all about setting things up for this book – the politics we were introduced to have now taken a dark turn, we learn more about the Thunderhead and its origins, and Citra and Rowan are
Tan Markovic
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Love this world, love the characters, hated/loved that ending.....

Need the next book ASAP...
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tucker by: Matthew
[12/26/19] - wow, I read book almost a year ago and still haven't reviewed it


Words... Fail me

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Robin (Bridge Four)
Again I will say it, Neal Shusterman (NS) is the Sci-Fi King of What If….


He takes a thought like hey we have a cloud now and we are putting more and more stuff in it what if years and years down the road we have an AI version that is a mash up of The Cloud/Google/Facebook/Amazon and it had a social conscience and was put in charge of EVERYTHING. How would the world change?
How could I not love the very beings who gave me life? Even if they don’t all agree that I am, indeed, alive. I am the sum
Iben Frederiksen
Thunderhead is every bit as interesting, terrifying and good a story as Scythe. For some reason I simply ended up taking a week long pause when I was about halfway through the book...

Mr. Shusterman continues enriching the world of Scythe when he delves into the Thunderhead, an AI that controls almost everything in the world - everything except the Scythedom. I found this side of the world both really cool but also wicked scary.

All in all just a really good sequel to Scythe, which was an amazing
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, sci-fi, 5, starred-2018, 2018, 2019
Now that I've settled into this at first hard to swallow premise, I am enjoying the series quite a bit. Although I still don't feel particularly connected to the main characters (3rd person narration must have something to do with that), the world is fascinating, and Shusterman has done a great job expanding it in this sequel. In Thunderhead he has one of the most interesting AI creations I've encountered so far in YA (and adult lit), and glimpses of Unwind-like horror kept me pleasantly ...more
Jillian Reynolds (Jillian Loves Books)
JUNE UPDATE ON MY FAVORITE READ OF 2018: Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the fact that this book has over 11,000 ratings, and the average GR rating is freaking 4.55 STARS?!?!
If this isn't a contender for a 2018 book of the year, I will come armed to the tooth with sporks, willing to fight anyone who disagrees..... Okay, that's the end of this update. Onto the review...




Oh my god.


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Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a ...more

Other books in the series

Arc of a Scythe (3 books)
  • Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)
  • The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)
“Death must exist for life to have meaning.” 101 likes
“if we were judged by the things we most regret, no human being would be worthy to sweep the floor.” 70 likes
More quotes…