Notes from a Reading Journal: “The Toll,” by Neal Shusterman.

“And isn’t it wrong for me to pretend to be a god? Define ‘wrong,’ the Thunderhead said.” — P. 359

The much appreciated last book of the “Scythe” trilogy has arrived and wraps everything up perfectly for fans.

Scythe Goddard has removed quotas on gleaning, which means scythes are encourage to “make-up” for those scythes who choose to glean less. He’s the same psychopath he always was, except maybe worse if that’s even possible. Spoiler alert – we find out he was behind a historic gleaning. Texas secedes from his jurisdiction, and his response is to cut off goods and services to the region.

I can’t help but see parallels of our modern society within the themes of this series. Do others see them too?

Scythe Faraday has traveled to the Kwajalein Atoll to “unlock the secret of the atoll and access the wisdom of the founding scythes. Their contingency plan for the scythedom’s failure.” The Thunderhead also has a new plan for humanity , and boy is it a doozy. Getting too tough there on Earth? No problem. Let’s just pack up the ships and launch into outer space. It’ll be fine. Humanity won’t repeat the same mistakes on a new planet. Yeah, right!

Citra and Rowan have a good closure. What is inside the Scythes’ rings? You will find out. What does a Scythe do once rendered obsolete? You will find out.