Disclosure, I wasn't a huge fan of the first book. Scythe was enjoyable enough but I had issues with it. You can check my review on that to know more. So, I wasn't sure if I should read this. I picked this up for one reason only. It's named Thunderhead which meant this was definitely going to focus more on the benevolent AI (the lack of which was a sore point for me in book one). Having said that, I wasn't really expecting to be blown away. Boy, was I wrong.
This was a gripping read from start to finish. We get a lot more background and world building here. While the first book was mainly about the two apprentices, Citra and Rowan training to be chosen as scythes and going up against corrupt Scythe Goddard, this second installment has a far more complex plot with much higher stakes. Like the author zoomed out and we finally get to see the true scale of the story. There are multiple threads in progress and the author weaves them together brilliantly. The Thunderhead plays a huge part. It's ruminations on it's origins, humanity and it's role in current events were by far the highlight of the book. The Thunderhead knows all, sees all and when it can't see, because of self imposed limitations, it knows to bend the rules just enough to find out. How else will it save humanity from the terrors of it's own making? As the story progresses we see its thinking evolve. We get new characters plucked from obscurity that take center stage and become central to the plot. Don't worry, we still have our main characters, Citra and Rowan fighting for the greater good albeit in different ways. The romance is still there but takes a backseat to everything that is going on. Scythe Faraday meanwhile has codes to decipher and quests to go on. There's political intrigue and devious plotting. We get to visit the illuminating city of Endura and the whole sequence of events there will give you an adrenaline rush like none other. There are twists and turns and a deep sense of foreshadowing, that 'something-big-is-about-to-go-down' feeling which will make you just devour the pages. And THAT soul crushing ending, you guys. I need a moment.
This installment has redeemed the series in my mind. I am completely invested in this world and the characters. Book three is definitely going on my TBR.
Rating: 5 stars
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