Oh. My. God. I cannot believe that I didn’t know this was released already!!! The Toll is the third part (and maybe final, I would guess?) of Neal Shusterman’s “Arc of a Scythe” series that started with Scythe way back in 2016. Even before I read the description of that one, I knew I had to read it because Neal Shusterman’s previous series that began with Unwind was astonishingly complex and dark and was one of those books that made you face uncomfortable truths and questions about your own beliefs.
Why wait on this one?
Well, because Neal has managed to do something very rare: make the sequel to a book EVEN BETTER than the first book. Sequel slump? What’s that?? When the second one wound deeper into the theology behind the Scythes’ organization and added in intriguing political machinations and ended with one of the boldest endings ever that even I didn’t think he’d have the balls to go for, I NEED THE NEXT BOOK. Somehow I forgot it was coming out, so shame on me, but the plus side is now I don’t have to wait?
Summary of the first book, Scythe:
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.