Thursday, January 23, 2020

Audiobook Review: The Toll by Neal Shusterman

Title: The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) 
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 625
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Reviews for book 1 & book 2

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 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.

When I jumped back into the Arc of a Scythe series a few weeks ago I didn't anticipate blowing through the last two books so quickly! Thunderhead was only a 3.5 star read for me, seeming a bit too long and drawn out, but the ending left me needing to know what happened next. I snagged the audiobook of the final installment and finished it in just a couple days.

The Toll follows separate timelines - the one that continues after Rowan and Citra's disappearance as well as the current timeline three years later. Immediately I was happy to see Faraday back in the spotlight after wondering for most of Thunderhead where he'd gone. His journey in particular was fascinating and heartbreaking and cemented him as probably my favorite character in this series. I also loved Grayson's story! Seeing him as the head of a religion he never really believed was definitely interesting.

Of course, Citra and Rowan needed an ending I did enjoy seeing the rest of their story unfold. I was absolutely on the edge of my seat to see how they would end up from the moment they were found at the start of the book! It would have been nice to see them together a bit more, though. Honestly, they aren't my favorite characters, but I was happy to see Citra continue to fight for what was best for the Scythedom, humanity, and herself. Her character growth has certainly been amazing.

Despite enjoying the characters' arcs all come to their conclusions, I still felt that this book, like the one before it, was just too long. I know most people adored it, but I wish the story had been a tiny bit tighter. I'm not sure why there are even more main characters being introduced in the final book of the series but that was one of the issues I had. Grayson is a great character, but the I didn't need the Tonist plot line to be quite so involved. I loved the way everything ended, but the journey meandered a little too much.

I can't say much more without spoilers, but I definitely enjoyed this series! I did have some issues with The Toll, but overall I was happy with how it wrapped up the series. If you've been searching for a good dystopian series and haven't picked this up yet, you definitely should!