The Toll by Neal Shusterman
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on November 5th, 2019
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
“You can’t expose a lie without first shattering the will to believe it. That is why leading people to truth is so much more effective than merely telling them.”
I really didn’t want to finish this series. I put off finishing The Toll because I couldn’t bear to leave this world. I think The Arc of the Scythe is my favourite YA series of all time. But here we are, I’ve finished the series and I have some thoughts!
In the finale to the trilogy, Citra and Rowan have disappeared. Endura is gone. It seems like nothing stands between Scythe Goddard and absolute dominion over the world scythedom. With silence from the Thunderhead and the reverberations of the Great Resonance still shaking the earth to its core, the question remains: Can anyone stop Scythe Goddard?
I’m upset. I really didn’t want this series to end. But if it has to end, I want it to go out with a bang.
And that’s what Shusterman did! I thought that this was a fitting conclusion to this trilogy.
But that’s not to say that I thought the final book was perfect. Oh, boy.
If you’re feeling “meh” about this series, I fully believe you will hate this book. It requires a lot of time and attention. And you won’t want to fork that over if you aren’t fully invested.
This book is unnecessarily long. In my opinion, it could’ve been cut in half. And what bothered me the most was the fact that it took so long to finally get to Citra and Rowan, the two main characters.
I really disliked that Shusterman introduced newer characters first without a peek into what happened to Citra and Rowan until, like, 150 pages in. I understand that the direction of the story needed new characters. And to be fair, it’s nice to see the perspective of other people in a dystopian world. But I wasn’t as interested in these new characters.
Having said that, there’s no doubt that Shusterman is fantastic at creating a complex story.
It’s like you’re watching a puzzle being completed, with each piece slowly finding its home until you see the final result. It all clicks together and it’s masterfully done.
And that ending! Oh, that ending! Shusterman is always a million steps ahead of the reader. The ending is satisfying and it makes sense for all the characters and the scythedom world.
For as long as the book was, I did like the diary entries that continued on from the first two books and I liked the iterations that appear at the end of the chapters.
And I definitely think it’s worth it to read this book if you’ve already read the first two. And You’ll be pleased with where these characters end up. If you’re looking for a YA dystopian series that’s different from the rest (it’s not a copycat of The Hunger Games or Divergent), then I highly suggest you pick up this trilogy.