The Toll

The Toll

Book - 2019
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In the finale to the Arc of a Scythe 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.--adapted from publisher's description.
Topical Term: Immortality
Dystopias
Death
Murder
Fantasy fiction
Science fiction
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster BFYR, [2019]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781481497060
1481497065
Branch Call Number: YA
PZ7.S55987 Tol 2019
YA
Series:
Characteristics: 625 pages ; 22 cm

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LoganLib_Sheridan Jan 15, 2021

This book was a spectacular finish to the trilogy and boy did we go out with a bang. Everything that has been set up in the previous books comes together in one massive ending and it is just so perfect.

Somehow, despite there being more characters, we get to learn more about each of them as they come together to create an epic conclusion to the trilogy.

We have Rowan doing his Damsel in Distress but I am Scythe Lucifer act again. Citra is still going strong with her crush on a guy I'm not sure she's honestly spent that much time with. She is also still being completely bad-ass so loving it.

The toll is doing his thing and I love this character and the way he develops, especially his connection to the Thunderhead.

There is so much allegory for religion and politics in this book which is completely unsurprising given the current social climate. I just couldn't help but think of Trump whenever I read about Scythe Goddard.

This is definitely another full on book that pulls you from place to place and character to character waiting for you as you lag behind trying to connect all the dots and eagerly wait for the next big reveal.

This was one hell of a conclusion and ultimately, I'm satisfied with how it all ended.

After the sinking of Endura, Rowan and Citra are at the bottom of the sea. The world has gone on without them, with Goddard solidifying and amplifying his power, while the Tonists now have a new person, the Toll, that they serve and worship. The Thunderhead has marked everyone as unsavoury - except this mysterious Toll, who can still hear its voice. Powers will clash as old heroes are brought back to life and new ones are put to death, and the scythedom itself may be in mortal peril.

So, the reason I didn't enjoy Thunderhead half as much as Scythe was because of the shift to a bigger perspective. I wanted more of Rowan and Citra, and them together, and I truly didn't get that, and so, I didn't really care about anything that was going on.

Nothing changes with this one. But I found that I was better able to just go along for the ride this time, enjoy what Neal has given us, and not fault him for going bigger than the two characters I cared most about. Mostly.

That said, there were a few characters and plot lines that I didn't care much about as I read through this. Loriana and her crew, and even Faraday and Munira, made me slow down my reading process. I didn't care much for them, and it made me lose some interest in the story at large when their chapters came around.

But I really enjoyed everything about Greyson. I do agree with some reviewers who have said that he became a little less interesting as the Toll, but I found that he kept his essential Greyson-ness, and I loved his insight into the Thunderhead every time his chapters came around. And I really enjoyed Rowan and Citra here again as well - they were the highlight here for me. I found Goddard and his chapters frustrating, though I understand why they were necessary. He was just such a villain character with no redeeming qualities that it was a struggle to get through his bits.

I've heard lots of critiques of Jerico, and I can see why, but I also enjoyed them as a character and looked forward to their chapters. Is Jeri a token character? Perhaps. Should Neal have included more varied sexualities and gender identities throughout the series instead of just throwing Jeri out there in this last book as a kind of bandaid? Yes. But I enjoyed Jeri nonetheless.

The plot here is so complex and well planned out. Everything contributes to the final event that I didn't see coming until it was fully presented to me, so that was cool. I always like being surprised by authors' choices, and although going to space was perhaps a bit too science-fiction-y for what the , it still felt right with how the story went. I personally liked the ambiguity of the ending, of not knowing who made it to their planets and who didn't, how the scythes fit into the new normal, and the ultimate conclusion for Rowan and Citra.

Overall, this isn't my favourite series. I know so many people love it, and I can see why, but it didn't have any kind of emotional impact on me. I wanted to love it for Rowan and Citra, and especially in the first book, I really, really did. But the large scale plot and huge cast of characters didn't do it for me in these later books.

p
PortTriple
Dec 15, 2020

Three years after the events of Thunderhead, Greyson Tolliver is a figurehead for the tonists and is called The Toll. He is the last human to be able to speak with the Thunderhead and is treated almost as a Christ figure in the novel. Citra and Rowan are revived but Rowan flees to escape certain death by the hands of the scythedom for the sinking of Endura was pinned on him. However, he is found and sentenced to be burned at a stake. Citra is hidden from the wrath of Goddard and is secretly transported to the Afric region where she uncovers a secret of the scythes in the Thunderheads “backbrain.” She then takes a lead to group with Greyson Tolliver in a cave where they find an old scythe and convince him to broadcast a speech about the crimes he and scythe Goddard performed in their scythehood. Meanwhile, humans have found secret island on Earth where they build spacecraft. As the reader may be able to tell, Shusterman attempts to detail multiple timelines in one book. I held a lot of anticipation for this conclusion and I feel it has disappointed me. The plot is twisted with so many narratives and many different time skips. There might have been a overarching point as there was in the last two books but it was mostly muted by the overly complicated plot.

m
My_2_Crazy_Doggos
Oct 14, 2020

This series reveals some ugly truths about the nature of mankind, what happens when power isn't clearly limited, what power looks like when it lands in the wrong hands, what happens to those who misuse power, and the heights that those who care for others can rise. This book in three words - terrifying - inspiring - enlightening

Darkness can hide the purest parts of a person, good and bad, their monsters, their angels, the only way to find witch and how much of each you hold, is to look for them your self, or for them to reveal them selves to all, through your actions.
Occasionally darkness strips away darkness and your vision of yourself.

Beware not the darkness but that witch the darkness hides

e
EobardThawne
Sep 30, 2020

In this epic finale to the Arc of a Scythe series, everything is at stake. The main characters Citra and Rowan have been missing for years, and when they return, things are worse than ever. Meanwhile, the Thunderhead and Grayson Tolliver make plans for the future while the entire world panics. Scythe Goddard is undeniably close to commanding the scythedom, and there is virtually no one who can stop him. Every hero must come together for one last stand...to decide the fate of the world.

The Toll is a perfectly made conclusion to this incredible series. Shusterman masterfully combines the stories of the many different characters, with incredible suspense, edge-of-your-seat action, and powerful emotion. This mind-blowing finale will leave you speechless.

l
LoganLib_Colleen
Sep 28, 2020

What a great conclusion to the "Arc of a Scythe" Trilogy. I absolutely loved that the characters remained true to themselves throughout the upheavals that occur. I loved the way Neal Shusterman concluded the series and felt it more than did the series justice. This was a very interesting series, an unusual take on the future of Earth, and very, very well worth the read.

a
alassia
Aug 11, 2020

Shusterman always has excellent premises for his books--they're very creative! I took away some stars because while the ideas are excellent, sometimes the execution is a little lacking and his characters are a bit lackluster. In this case, a few too many plot holes, and a lack of chemistry and character development for the most important figures of the story. Still, a solid conclusion to the series.

IndyPL_ShelbyP Aug 06, 2020

Like in the previous books, Shusterman does a great job with this really intriguing world and setting that just keeps you totally enraptured. Just. Wow!

e
evanbrow
Jul 20, 2020

This finale uses its expanded length to weave together many different POVs into a satisfying, epic finale. Everything feels well thought-out and properly "big," including the scythedom, the Thunderhead, and the Tonists. Small notes I would give are for pacing in the second half of the book, how some characters got odd or underwhelming conclusions, and how brief the action of the climax was. But ultimately, it was a satisfying end to a trilogy that did an excellent job world-building and introducing interesting POV characters like Citra, Rowan, and Greyson.

This book fully wraps up the series and leaves the reader satisfied with the ending. Well written. Every time the book seems to be getting boring, it picks back up. It also includes more diverse characters like Jeri Soberanis, who is gender fluid. I had expected the book to take me a while to read, (the book is 625 pages) but I finished it in 3 days. The only reason I took off half a star is because the timeline is a bit confusing in the first half of the book. It switches between character narratives so you don't quite know if you have gone back in time when it switches. The only other thing is that there are WAY more new characters introduced in this book. I was fine with that, but I didn't like how some of the new characters, like Loriana, overshadowed some of the old characters, like Munira. All in all, an amazing read (and seriously, how could anyone not read this book after the cliff hanger in Thunderhead.)

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EobardThawne
Sep 30, 2020

EobardThawne thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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NicePerson_290
Sep 10, 2020

NicePerson_290 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

olive_nightingale_25 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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brownbear_365
Dec 29, 2019

brownbear_365 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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maroon_cat_560
Dec 22, 2019

maroon_cat_560 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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ack16
Dec 18, 2019

ack16 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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red_shark_2109
Nov 10, 2019

red_shark_2109 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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sampate
Sep 29, 2019

sampate thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 19

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blue_dog_43305
Sep 06, 2019

blue_dog_43305 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 20

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tango07
Dec 14, 2020

"For you, Honorable Scythe Anastasia, I would die a thousand deaths at my own hand. But one will be sufficient."

' "A successful lie is not fueled by the liar; it is fueled by the willingness of the listener to believe. You can't expose a lie without first shattering the will to believe it. That is why leading people to the truth is so much more effective than merely telling them." '

'And, for the life of her, Loriana didn't know whether she should be positively joyful, or absolutely terrified.'

PimaLib_ChristineR Dec 30, 2019

"'We're exploring the possibility of building a wall to stem the exodus.'

'Don't be ridiculous,' Goddard said. 'Only idiots build walls.'"

PimaLib_ChristineR Dec 30, 2019

"'Short people!' said Scythe Rand. 'Can't stand them. As far as I'm concerned, they've got no reason to live.'"

PimaLib_ChristineR Dec 30, 2019

"'I have found that building a sandbox around a domineering child, then allowing that child to preside over it, frees the adults to do the real work.'"

PimaLib_ChristineR Dec 30, 2019

"To which Jeri raised an eyebrow and said, 'We're going to need a bigger boat.'"

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