Characters & their development: 5
Personal enjoyment: 4
-the character growth
-a confusing timeline
In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.
SCYTHE and THUNDERHEAD were great books in my opinion, and THE TOLL is no different.
THE TOLL, continues after the shell shocking ending of THUDERHEAD and takes us to see what the world has become, and where it is going. We follow many characters, Citra, Rowan, Faraday, Goodard, Gulliver, Jeri and more. We see how their lives intersect and cross as their lives come to a head, and the world is ushered into a new era.
One thing I loved about this book was the positive LGBTQIA+ rep. Jeri, is a genderfluid character whos gender changes depending on if the sun is visible or not, and they take no crap for the way they are. I absolutely adored them as a person, and I love that they were included as it really normalises the idea of genderfluidness which is ALWAYS great.
Let’s talk plot, I will admit, this got a little confusing mainly because we follow so many characters and they are all in different timelines, i.e we would be with Citra in one year, then the next chapter we are with Gulliver two years prior and it doesn’t really state that until sometimes further in the chapter which makes it easy to get the timeline muddled up.
Besides that though, I adored the plot. It’s easy to see how the world has grown, going from being a narrow angled view into two peoples lives, expanding into watching the whole world, and some of the most important people in it. I think this was unique, as while there is normally some expansion on the world as you get further into a series, this felt like it was a wider lense than we are normally offered.
I truly didn’t expect the ending that came about or the plot twists that came in the last 100 pages. I was too engrossed in the world at that point to really stop myself from just turning each page and sticking in for the ride. To not spoil anything, all I’ll say is it was a satisfying and happy ending for all the characters that deserved it, and all the bad guys got their just desserts.
Overall, I think this was the best conclusion that could have happened for the series and I will forever hold it in my heart because it was one of the first series I came to love.
If you’re a fan of DYSTOPIANS, SCI-FI’s, worlds where humanity has to fix itself and worlds where the big questions don’t have easy answers, then pick this up.