Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Toll by Neal Shusterman
Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Series: Arc of the Scythe #3
Published by Audible on November 5, 2019
Genres: Science Fiction Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 15 hours, 23 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.
In the highly anticipated finale to the New York Times best-selling trilogy, dictators, prophets, and tensions rise. In a world that's conquered death, will humanity finally be torn asunder by the immortal beings it created?
Citra and Rowan have disappeared. Endura is gone. It seems like nothing stands between Scythe Goddard and absolute dominion over the world scythedom. With the silence of the Thunderhead and the reverberations of the Great Resonance still shaking the earth to its core, the question remains: Is there anyone left who can stop him?
The answer lies in the Tone, the Toll, and the Thunder.
For some reason, I thought Thunderhead was the sequel to Scythe and it was the end of the Arc of a Scythe series. After I finished reading, I went to look because, man, it could NOT end there. I wouldn’t call it a cliffhanger but there is so much more I want to know. The Toll is the completion of so many story lines with a few new ones developed. It is really necessary to read these books in order.
We have my long time beloved characters in Rowan, Citra, Farraday, Grayson and the Thunderhead. We have the “villains” with Goddard and Rand. There are new players like Jerry, Mendoza, Minerva, and some Nimbus agents. These are complex characters with flaws and strengths. Even the side characters are quite well developed.
Again, Rowan and Citra are separated for most of the story. Citra is so strong and compassionate. She makes a difference in the world. Rowan is mostly a prisoner until he is not. I want them to have a future together.
Grayson is the main connection with the Thunderhead. Through him, we see the Thunderhead staying just barely within the rules to make the changes needed.
Another key player is Rand who serves Goddard. She is having second thoughts about his harsh love of killing and her part in taking Tiger’s body for him. She sees no way to make a change and goes along doing her work as always.
I was lost in the world, my feelings for the characters and the world events. The intricate details were stunning. There are many moral issues involved from immortality to artificial intelligence. I recommend this series highly.
I have really enjoyed the voices by Greg Tremblay. He made it easy to bring the characters back to my mind as well as my feelings. The different voices for different characters were great, particularly the non-emotional tone for The Thunderhead. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2019 Audiobooks
- 2019 Releases
I keep dancing around this series, wondering if it’s for me. Your enthusiasm for it certainly gives me more to consider. Excellent review, Anne?
Thanks Jonetta! I really enjoyed the series. It is fantasy with battles and politics but there is a background of considerations of what is moral, what is right. IRL, nothing is completely black or white and the issues have shades of gray here also.
tha’s an interesting cover and i love a book that takes me into a world i can get lost in. forgetting about time and whatever’s going on around me
This dystopia is a world with its own cultural groups and governing bodies. I got caught up in the various characters and their efforts to make their place in the world.
This is a series I have been curious about and probably one I will devour when it is complete. Great review, Anne!
All three are complete now so it’s available to binge. I had to wait for each on to release. 🙂
I finished this just the other day. I have so many mixed feelings at the end. It was a good ending, a fitting ending and still 117 years! You know what I’m talking about Anne.
Great sum up. I did really like this trilogy and I too though it was going to be a duology so I was confused at the end of the last book.
Yes I would have preferred more Citra / Rowan than so much Grayson time. Rowan didn’t get much action here at all. But I did like the detailed development of some new characters.
I have the first two books in this series in audio. I am going to have to get my hands on this one and binge the series. I am so glad you loved it, Anne.
I did. I think it is labeled as YA but I would say more new adult, although I suppose they were YA when it started. It really gives a graying to black /white or good/evil. It’s a fine line sometimes.
Fantastic review, Anne. I really need to read my copy of Thunderhead and get started with these. Based on your thoughts, I am certain I’ll love them.
The top layer of the story is action / adventure / politics but the depth has much more concepts to consider.
Lots of love for this series, Anne! I’m curious if I’d enjoy it now.
Perhaps. I don’t see it as your usual but there is lots of killing so horrors do happen. lol. I hope you would enjoy it.
Yay! I’m SO GLAD the conclusion was satisfying. I gobbled the first two books up about a year ago and was thrilled when I saw this book come out. I have it on my audible, but I’m reading it as a COYER buddy read… December 1st though! So excited!
I liked Greg Tremblay so I only did audio for this series. I hoe you enjoy!