Arc of a Scythe #3: The Toll – Neal Shusterman

“Can we … do that?” Nietzsche asked.

“We’re scythes; we can do anything we please.”

Scythe is one of my favourite books of all time and I was hooked for the entire series. I love the characters. I can’t get enough of the history, mythology and practices of all of the scythes, both those I love and those I love to hate. I’ve probably spent too much time deliberating about what colour my robe would be, who I’d choose as my Patron Historic and what my gleaning MO would be.

I had so many questions going into this book and I got answers, even when they didn’t look anything like I’d expected them to. I’m satisfied with most of them, with the exception of probably the biggest of them all, where we left Rowan and Citra.

This book was well written, like the rest of the series, and I couldn’t put it down. So why aren’t I absolutely thrilled right now?

I think part of it was that for much of the book I like like I was treading water, waiting for the big finish. Characters who I absolutely adore barely spent any time together when I’d looked forward to them bantering their way through the pages.

I hurt for Faraday and, like Munira, I couldn’t make it better; the Faraday in this book didn’t feel like the Faraday that made me fall in love with the scythedom. I couldn’t spend time with one of my favourite scythes because of the events of the second book.

Greyson, who wowed me in the second book, seemed more like a puppet going through the motions for most of this one and I missed the Greyson I thought I was going to hang out with here. I desperately wanted a huge showdown with the Big Bad.

Okay, so it’s starting to sound like I hated this book, but I didn’t. It was still a four star read for me, so pretty impressive. I think it’s just a case of my expectations being so unreasonably high and, as a result, reality had no hope of growing tall enough to reach them. Even though I’ve only recently reread it, I want to read Scythe again to renew my first love.

Yes, of course I sent a test email to Loriana’s email address. No, it didn’t work.

Favourite no context quote:

And what was that old mortal-age saying? Curiosity was a cat killer?

Content warnings include death by suicide and mention of self harm.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

In a world that’s conquered death, will humanity finally be torn asunder by the immortal beings it created?

Citra and Rowan have disappeared. Endura is gone. It seems like nothing stands between Scythe Goddard and absolute dominion over the world scythedom. With the silence of the Thunderhead and the reverberations of the Great Resonance still shaking the earth to its core, the question remains: Is there anyone left who can stop him?

The answer lies in the Tone, the Toll, and the Thunder.

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