Thunderhead

by Neal Shusterman

Citra and Rowan, now full scythes named Anastasia and Lucifer, respectively, have... read more

Citra and Rowan, now full scythes named Anastasia and Lucifer, respectively, have similar beliefs about the roll scythes play in society, gleaning lives to keep the population in check, but vastly different approaches to bringing about change within the scythedom. Lucifer has gone off the grid, gleaning corrupt scythes at his own discretion, and is wanted by the scythedom. Anastasia controversially allows her innocent victims a month to prepare for their gleaning and to choose how they will die. As the division within the scythedom between the bloodthirsty “new order” and the seemingly moral old guard continues to grow, the all-seeing, self-aware, artificially intelligent Thunderhead questions its purpose. In striving to be fair and minimally involved in the decisions made by humans, the Thunderhead—created to protect humanity from certain dangers—may find itself standing by as society falls. This compelling, finely plotted sequel to Scythe ends on a cliffhanger, but not before skillfully building on the first book’s foundation, or before inviting thoughtful consideration of ethical questions not easily answered. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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