Review: The Toll by Neal Shusterman

Title: The Toll (book 3 in the Arc of the Scythe)

Author: Neal Shusterman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA, dystopian

Source: library

Publication Date: November 5, 2019

It’s been three years since the sinking of Endura. Scythe Goddard is now in power, influencing and encouraging scythes all around the world. The Thunderhead has declared everyone as unsavory save for Greyson Tolliver. Rowan and Citra remain locked in the vault at the bottom of the sea.

And then, despite Goddard declaring the sea around Endura a sacred space, a salvage begins that will change everything.

This book was amazing. From start to finish, it had me mesmerized. The main action is three years after Thunderhead, but there are parts that take place before. It took me a bit to figure out what was happening “now” and what happened in the past, but that’s fine. It didn’t distract me.

I continue to love the Thunderhead with the fire of a thousand suns. A benevolent AI who has humanities best interest at heart is not something I run across a lot. Usually, AIs are evil (shout out to AIDAN–I still love you), but the Thunderhead isn’t. It’s complex and thoughtful and terrible and just.. wonderful. I was so interested in what was going on and I love what happened at the end.

The only part of the book that felt weak to me was Rowan and Citra’s relationship. I really like Citra and Scythe Anastasia, but I never have really been invested in her and Rowan’s romance. And I wasn’t here. There was some stuff that was supposed to be gut wrenching, but it just never managed to move me. I was more invested in Greyson’s relationship with the Thunderhead. Now that was gut wrenching and well done. It was perfect.

Overall, this book was very well done. It was intricate and complex and had a lot of threads that were tied together well by the end. It needed to be as long as it was, and maybe could have been longer (I really would have liked to know more about some of the things that were uncovered by Citra) Despite its length, the pacing was tight, the plot moved along, and I didn’t feel there was any filler in it.

Yes. Wholeheartedly. I want everyone to read these three books and love them as much as I did.

What was your favorite moment in The Toll? Let me know below!