Thunderhead (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Arc of a Scythe Series #2)

Thunderhead (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Arc of a Scythe Series #2)

by Neal Shusterman

Hardcover(B&N Exclusive Edition)

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This B&N limited edition of Thunderhead includes exclusive chapter-by-chapter commentary from Neal Shusterman, providing background for characters and scenes and explanations of why he made specific decisions in writing this novel.

Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the chilling sequel to the Printz Honor Book Scythe from New York Times bestseller Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

The Thunderhead cannot interfere in the affairs of the Scythedom. All it can do is observe—it does not like what it sees.

A year has passed since Rowan had gone off grid. Since then, he has become an urban legend, a vigilante snuffing out corrupt scythes in a trial by fire. His story is told in whispers across the continent.

As Scythe Anastasia, Citra gleans with compassion and openly challenges the ideals of the “new order.” But when her life is threatened and her methods questioned, it becomes clear that not everyone is open to the change.

Will the Thunderhead intervene?

Or will it simply watch as this perfect world begins to unravel?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781534429369
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 01/09/2018
Series: Arc of a Scythe Series , #2
Edition description: B&N Exclusive Edition
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Neal Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including The Unwind Dystology, The Skinjacker trilogy, Downsiders, and Challenger Deep, which won the National Book Award. Scythe, the first book in his newest series Arc of a Scythe, is a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows. The father of four children, Neal lives in California. Visit him at and

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Thunderhead (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Arc of a Scythe Series #2) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished it and I- I have no words. I just- it- how- what- it was awesome. SO, so awesome. Read it. Yup. Read Scythe first though... since this is book 2...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The relevance of this book is so immense. Grappling with such issues as choice, free will, power, immortality, and faith in such a compelling way, I can not say enough about this book. Bravo!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG a must read!!!!!!!!!!????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was lots of fun to read, and I'm really excited to see what happens next. Marvelous plot development and a gripping story line.
paisleypikachu More than 1 year ago
You'd think that by now I'd be getting pretty used to writing five-star, gushing reviews for Neal Shusterman's books, but I'm definitely not. Full Tilt is in my top three books ever. The Unwind Dystology is genius. Scythe blew me away last year. Not to mention ALL of his other amazing books. And somehow, somehow Thunderhead managed to top them all. ...except for Full Tilt because I'm sentimental like that... This book was incredible. The characters introduced in Scythe were all back with a vengeance, only this time they were more fleshed out, more intricate and heartfelt. Citra- ahem, I mean Scythe Anastasia- is probably my favorite. I absolutely loved her story in Thunderhead. But then there's Rowan too, who is so complex and wonderful and I just want to protect him forever. Or have Citra protect him, either way. A few other characters got side stories this time, which really reminded me of why I loved the Unwind books so much. Those smaller stories never felt boring or out of place, and they way Shusterman brought everything together at the end was absolutely brilliant. Speaking of the end. Oh. My. Goodness. I think that was the best cliffhanger I've ever read. Don't get me wrong, it's awful, horrible, excruciating and I have no idea how I'll make it waiting for book three, but WOW. As I said before, everything just tied together so well at the end. I didn't see any of it coming- yay for surprises!- and was literally rocking in my seat as I read the last few pages. Then I had one of those moments where I read the last page, dropped the book, and had a bit of a crisis because I've never read something so beautifully cruel before. Neal Shusterman is one of the best authors out there. I recommend every single one of his books. But if you're looking for one to start with, I'd definitely say Scythe, quickly followed by THUNDERHEAD. Then you can join me sobbing in the corner waiting for book three.
Anonymous 2 days ago
The conclusion of this was epic. Really looking forward to the next.
Take_Me_AwayPH 17 days ago
When this book first came out I had it pre-ordered. For some reason I didn't read it right away. And then time got away from me and I just never read it. Next thing I knew the next book was coming out this year! So I finally decided it was time to get it done. Citra is a junior scythe and things are going well for her. Rowan is still gone and still acting against other Scythes and calling himself Scythe Lucifer. But as conclave arrives things go down the drain... No pun intended. Just like in Scythe, this book was like a slow boil. The characters are introduced and there's the set up of the plot, and the parts where The Thunderhead is showing what it does. And then once all that is done, everything goes up in flames. Once everything starts happening everything goes so fast, it left me with whiplash. Although I had to wade through about 7 CD's with like 20+ tracks each to get to the meat of the novel, it ended up being so good! As for the characters, Citra and Rowan were still amazing. And the other characters were interesting to meet. And those that we've met before in Scythe... let's just say they were a lot to take in because they had ALOT going on in this book. And I loved to hate them lol Lastly, I am so glad I waited to read this until now. Those that had read this early on have been waiting on The Toll forever and I can definitely say I understand them. I read this about 4 months before The Toll and I'm still mad I didn't wait lol The ending is CRAZY and there's all types of bombs that are dropped and it sets the tone for the next book. And let's be honest. The Toll seems like it's bout to be one of the most epic series enders ever! (Well to me anyways lol) This series is one of my favorites and I can tell its only going to get better. Scythe is still my favorite, but I haven't read The Toll yet. I'm thinking that one is going to be the one that gleans me though!
Anonymous 20 days ago
Before I read this, I read Scythe and I THOUGHT that Neal Shusterman couldn’t top that (because, simply put, Scythe was perfect) but now I realized that I was terribly mistaken because my mind is BLOWN. This book makes you think about our world and humanity, subtly but with an impact. I thought Thunderhead would be only about the Thunderhead. Instead it was a beautiful blend of the Thunderhead’s thoughts and Citra and Rowan’s lives and then some! This had a some brilliant twists and a terrifying yet perfect cliffhanger. You NEED to read this!! Trust me when I say that I am counting down the seconds until The Toll is out!
Kibbyra 5 months ago
Thunderhead is an electric sequel to Scythe and will go down in memory as a book with one of the most intense endings I’ve ever read. Thunderhead is one of those books that sticks with you long after you’ve finished reading it. The exploration of humanity, immortality, immorality, and the things humans do when given the chance and opportunity leaves the reader questioning themselves. Neal Shusterman effortlessly weaves together the journeys of numerous characters through the deepening world of Scythe and drops them into one of the wildest book endings I’ve read in a long time. This novel is fantastic. That’s really all there is to it. I never wanted to stop reading it and when I got to the end, I had to slowly put the book down before I threw it across the room out of that good anger/joy feeling you get when a book punches you in the stomach. So many people had warned me about the ending and holy heck were they right. I 100% recommend Scythe and Thunderhead. 100%.
Anonymous 11 months ago
I loved every minute of this book. It is predictable yet unpredictable, a real treat to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the second book, Thunderhead (2018), in the “Scythe” series, New York Times Bestselling author, Neal Shusterman, fantasizes about a distant future world with seriousness and comedy colliding, and the exciting fantasy hooks readers in as they turn each page. This book will affect the lives of both adult and young adult readers with the inspirational adventure of Citra and Rowan on their quest to save the Scythedom. Neal Shusterman explains the difficulties of the world where Rowan and Citra live, and thrive even when all odds are stacked against them. For example, A splatter is person who runs in front of a car or jump off a building to get the thrill of danger, “The two of them approached the wire, which stretched to trees on either side. That’s when it came to her what the splatter was trying to say. Booby Trap. They followed the wire to the tree on the left, and sure enough, just behind the tree was a detonator wired to enough explosives to blow a crater a hundred feet wide” (85). This demonstrates an example of one of many danger that could have happened to Citra or Rowan, and also shows how much a random stranger watched out for them. The author uses this to explain the development of the characters in the story and even though this happens near the start, it illustrates the danger that could happen to Rowan and Citra to the reader. . The writing that describes the characters makes them seem if they are sitting right the reader while they read. The author illustrates the story in a way that the reader will be absorbed into the book and it will make adults and young adults feel like they have been reading for hours on end. The two main protagonists make the story come to life with their developing storyline and interactions with the futuristic. If are a fan of the Fifth Wave series by Rick Yancey then you will love Thunderhead because of the similar dystopian worlds and incredible characters and plot. Thunderhead easily deserves a 5 out of 5 stars for the outstanding development of the characters, a plot that keeps you entertained, and breathtaking moments that will have you mesmerized in the book until you turn the end page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth your time. The first book was great, this book even better. Would love to see BOOK 3 come about
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read....... bad ending. Cliff hangers suck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, great series.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
I’m so glad that I read this book directly after the first in the series, I was still very much in the zone and this book was absolute perfection. I felt that Scythe, the first book, was a little slow in the action and pacing department but it turns out that it was all about setting things up for this book – the politics we were introduced to have now taken a dark turn, we learn more about the Thunderhead and its origins, and Citra and Rowan are now finding their footing in the world of scythes. The Thunderhead is a giant AI system created by humans to run the world and sustain humanity, exploring what all that means is fascinating and a deeply compelling read. The pacing is punchy, taking us from one event to another with just the right amount of suspense and intrigue in between. We’re introduced to a new main character in this book, Greyson, a regular person who was raised by the Thunderhead rather than his negligent parents. The author then tells us about events from the perspectives of Greyson, Rowan and Citra, with journal style entries by the Thunderhead between each chapter. So that’s two people who can’t communicate with the AI that runs the world, one who was raised by it and the AI itself which has to abide by its own rules, which means being unable to intervene in events despite being able to see what’s coming. The best thing about this book is the huge and unpredictable leaps it takes with the narrative; some things you can see coming but others will leave you reeling. The author isn’t afraid to do some risky things, which I think pays off big time. Knowing that absolutely anything could happen makes it more exciting and a 500 page gut punch, which has left me devastated that the next instalment hasn’t been published yet. It would be remiss of me not to mention the cover art for this series – I LOVE the cover design, I can’t wait for the entire series to be released so I can decide whether or not it would be too obsessive to have a poster made of them all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Completely and thoroughly enjoyed this book as well as the first one. Can't wait till next year now ?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great job Neal you got a man who doesn't read, to read. This series put me in shock.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Shawscribbles More than 1 year ago
Wow! This was a great sequel to Scythe. The book opens with Rowan living out life as a vigilante and Citra continuing to define her unique spin on what her role as a junior scythe will mean to her. While that is exciting in and of itself, Shusterman raises the stakes until the world is on the brink of collapse. Amid all this is the Thunderhead, the operating system that has saved the world for humankind. But the Thunderhead is having an existential crisis, realizing that humankind has betrayed its benefactor. In Book 2 of this series, the Thunderhead takes on a depth of characterization that makes it the protagonist of the tale. The books appears to end where the series would ... except for the last few pages where the reader realizes that Shusterman has simply created more layers and the story will likely continue. And I, for one, hope it does!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Someday maybe, Neal Shusterman will write a book that doesn't make me cry. And then I will cry because I miss it. I LOVE so much the way that Shusterman books are so complex and beautiful and tragic and just like he compares a situation in the book to a lobster in a slowly heating pot, I feel like that is precisely what he does to us. Maybe I'm just a naive reader, but I never see his twists coming. Something I've also noticed that I really enjoy about Shusterman's books, and this is no exception, is that although there are multiple storylines going throughout the books, I never get bored of one and start to wonder what's going on with another... I'm often surprised when suddenly another storyline comes crashing back into the scene. I always think, "Wow! I forgot that was even happening!" For me, it is a testament to the complexity. It's all of these threads being pulled together behind the scenes... you have no idea how it's coming together until you see the beautiful and typically destructive results. The world-building, as always, is beyond spectacular. I liked how some of the robes reflected the patron historic-- leather, denim, etc. Even such a simple little thing like Supreme Blade Kahlo misquoting [book:Where the Wild Things Are|19543]... because those are the kind of things that happen with time. This book makes us wonder about the people who helped create and hand over power to the Thunderhead. In [book:Scythe|28954189], we're lulled into acceptance of it, even though we have a hard time imagining giving an AI all of our power (though I wonder if each new generation in our actual world will be less worried about technology's intrusion). Now we start to see that maybe not only the scythedom has been hid from the Thunderhead... there are failsafes in place. But what if those failsafes are going to be our downfall? What if we put these rules in place during a time when we couldn't possibly conceive of how things were going to play out and how PEOPLE would change? It makes me think about the Constitutional debates we're having as a nation right now. How can we imagine all eventualities? The Founding Fathers couldn't even imagine a time when the races were equal... how could they imagine how technology would change? And this is what comes up with the Thunderhead... the original Scythes created rules, blocks, failsafes... and then the world changed. Are their protections going to help or hurt? I am dying to know what comes next. Why doesn't The Toll have a release date yet? (No, I don't really mean that... take as much time as you need, Shusterman, to make the third book amazing. It's so worth the wait.) Also, a note. I need more words to describe books I love besides beautiful and tragic. Or maybe I just only really love beautifully tragic books...
Mel-Loves-Books More than 1 year ago
“The work of scythes is not to completely curb population growth, but to smooth its edges. That is why, at current quotas, one’s chance of being gleaned is only 10 percent over the next thousand years. Just enough to make gleaning the furthest thing from most people’s minds. I do foresee a time, however, when population growth will need to reach an equilibrium. Zero growth, one person dying for every person born.” ~The Thunderhead This series is officially my very favorite dystopian series. The idea is seriously so fascinating and it addresses issues in a way that creates interesting conversations about things I had never even thought about for the future. The idea is that humans can truly live forever because of the development of technology, and all knowledge is stored in a “cloud” called the Thunderhead. The Thunderhead being all knowing is also what is used to govern all people on the earth, with the exception of one group, the scythes. Scythes are used to curb population overgrowth, and are sent to kill or “glean” people under a specific set of guidelines and with a certain quota to meet. In this second book we learn even more about this world and just how deep the Thunderhead’s knowledge and control goes. Some truly shocking things occur in this book, and when it was over I found myself just staring at the last page, a bit in shock at all that had happened. I cannot recommend this series enough. This book is a definite five star read for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looking forward to #3. Well written. Good character development. Great plot twists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My brother dragged me into the first book and I'm glad he did. Waiting anxiously for the next one.