Note: I’m going to be talking about the plots to the Scythe series in great detail, so don’t read this if you plan on reading these books (which you should, because they’re brilliant).
So, I finished Thunderhead last night to end my NewYearsathon, and I have some thoughts. I thought about doing a review for both titles in this series and then realized quickly that my spoiler-free opinions would quickly devolve into me just gushing about how good the book is. Instead, I want to write down all of my opinions and thoughts upon finishing the first two books in the series while waiting impatiently for book three to be published. Not only will this discussion allow me to get all of my thoughts and theories in one place, but it will also serve as a synopsis of sorts when I inevitably can’t remember what happened at the end of Thunderhead.
First of all, I would like to pay my respects to the wonderful Scythe Curie. She didn’t deserve her fate. Honestly, she’s probably my favorite character in the series and her self-gleaning at Endura shattered my heart. The fact that she sacrificed herself to save Citra and Rowan just made her even more amazing as a character. Of course, in this universe, it seems that no one important ever dies, so who knows what may happen? Although, honestly, I think it would cheapen how powerful the ending to this book was if the next entry brings her back, so even if it hurts me to say this, I hope she’s really gone.
Rowan and Citra are locked in a vault at the bottom of the sea right now, which should make for an interesting sequel. Will we start the next book at the point where someone rescues their deadish bodies and revives them, or will they show up at some random point in the middle of the story at a pivotal moment? A time gap could be really interesting, as it would allow us to see what happened in the years following the events on Endura. Since all of the council members and Scythe Curie are dead, nothing stops Goddard from going back to the MidMerican Scythes and claiming that he is their rightful leader.
Speaking of Goddard, I think the last time I hated a character this much was Umbridge in the ‘Harry Potter’ series. He just makes me physically clench my fists whenever he shows up because I know something awful is going to happen. His decision to kill everyone because he didn’t get his way reminds me of a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. I wonder if the fact that he is using Tyger’s body, given the party boy’s notorious impulsiveness, will continue to come into play because it’s possible that the disconnect between his head and body may continue to make him act more unhinged as time passes. I’m also hoping that in the next book, we get a little inside knowledge as to what he was like before he took on the Scythe mantle, as it would be interesting to know more of his backstory.
A character that I’m not certain about is Scythe Rand. She’s clearly a horrible human being, given what she did to Tyger and her adoration of Goddard. Still, she let Rowan go because she ultimately serves herself above all else and she wanted to both hurt and manipulate Goddard. While I don’t expect her to suddenly turn good in the next book, I think that she may be a bit of a wild card. She may turn out to be even worse than her boss, but she could actually do things to undermine him if he continues to belittle her abilities and reject her advances.
Regarding Endura as a whole, I wonder how the Scythedom is going to act in the wake of this tragedy. My guess is that they’re going to try their best to cover it up, though I’m not sure if the cover-up will simply be to hide that the attack was Scythe-made or to fully hide that the council even died. The rumors that this event will cause around the world will likely bolster the new order and make it much harder to control some of the group’s more murderous members. Goddard’s goal was to ultimately make it so there was no worldwide ruling power and every region could rule how it wishes, but my suspicion is that he won’t fully succeed here.
It’s really hard to tell where the Thunderhead is going to go from here. Clearly, its faith in humanity was shaken upon the realization that it has been lied to from the moment it was created, but I’m not sure what happens next. Is the Thunderhead going to become a rogue AI and start undoing its own rules, or is it going to try and right the sinking ship? The fact that all of humanity was marked unsavory makes me think that, even if the Thunderhead doesn’t ultimately do anything bad, humans might revolt without it around to console and aid them.
The Thunderhead screaming was seen as the great resonance for the tonists, which could be interesting. Do we know yet what tonists believe will happen at the time of the great resonance? I think their beliefs will play a part in the next book in some way, though your guess is as good as mine as to how. They just seem like they haven’t played a large enough role in the story to this point, in spite of the fact that they seem to be purposefully fleshed-out by Shusterman to do something eventually.
Finally, Greyson Tolliver finally lost his unsavory status at the same time that everyone else was marked unsavory. He can finally talk to the Thunderhead again, which makes me believe that he will be doing its bidding for whatever his role in the next book is. Whether the Thunderhead turns out to be acting for or against the best interest of humanity will likely impact how Greyson is perceived from here on out.
Land of Nod
While Scythe Faraday’s plotline didn’t take up a lot of time in the book, it was the section I was most interested in because of its implications. A failsafe in case the Scythedom failed is incredibly intriguing, and I envision that this is going to be the main focus of the next book. What is this failsafe, and is it better or worse than how things are operating now?
I have a theory regarding what this failsafe involves, but it could be completely off-base. Every time people talk about a Scythe’s ring, they always comment that there’s this dark center to it that no one knows the origins of. We also know that the founders created the gems and that they’re lining the vault Citra and Rowan are currently in, meaning that no one currently living knows the contents of these gems. My guess is that what is in the center of those rings has something to do with the failsafe. Either the gems are rigged to explode upon typing a command into a computer somewhere, the rings actually have mind-control capabilities to quite literally turn the Scythes into killing machines, or something else I haven’t thought of yet. The unknown item in those rings has to come into play at some point, and I think this is a logical place.
My primary final thought is that this book needs to be out as soon as possible because I need to know the answers to my questions. I’m really curious to see if my theory regarding the failsafe is correct or totally wrong, but in general, the fates of all of these characters will be interesting to see. I don’t actually know for sure if this series is meant to be a trilogy, but I hope it is because I think we are at a great point in the story to release an explosive finale that ties everything up.
Do you have an opinion or just want to vent about what you read? Let me know all of your Thunderhead theories in the comments below!