Book Reviews, YA book reviews

The Toll by Neal Shusterman – ARC Review


My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  5 November 2019

Publisher: Walker Books

Format: Paperback

Pages: 631



Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

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.





Thank you so much to Walker Books Australia for providing me with a copy of The Toll, in exchange for an honest review.

Please note, this is book 3 in the series, so there will be spoilers for book 1 (Scythe) and 2 (Thunderhead) in my review!


It’s been three years since the collapse of Endura.  Three years with Rowan and Citra missing, Scythe Goddard in power and since Grayson Tolliver found himself the only person still able to communicate with the Thunderhead.

With Grayson taking a lead role in this story, somewhat reluctantly, as The Toll (a person the Tonist’s worship as godlike), we get to witness his conversations with the Thunderhead as the sole go-between for humanity.  Of course, that’s a lot of responsibility and Grayson sometimes takes it upon himself to dole out his own advice, disguised as the Thunderhead’s, as you would.  As Goddard’s power grows and he abolishes the Scythe quota, marketed as allowing Scythe’s who don’t want to glean too much to have break, but in reality created to allow bloodthirsty Scythes to glean as much as they like, the Thunderhead struggles to assist humanity to survive.  But it must do so without breaking any of its own laws and communicating things directly (so as to not interfere in Scythe business and not speak to those humans it had listed as unsavoury – ie: everyone other than Grayson Tolliver)

The Toll was told from multiple POV’s, such as Scythe Goddard, Citra, Rowan, Scythe Morrison, Grayson, a few new characters and even the Thunderhead itself.  Surprisingly I didn’t find that too confusing at all!  The chapters alternated between the different characters, which meant the whole story came together slowly, with everyone’s individual stories building up to a truly shocking conclusion. I really love books written in this way.  I enjoy the feeling of being able to put it all together, without just being told what is happening by one or two people along the way.

The ending of this series took me by complete surprise!  The entire ending did not go the way I expected and I loved it!  I have to admit, my favourite book in the series is probably still Scythe – it just opened my mind to so many questions about how I felt about a world where people couldn’t die naturally and knew they were about to die when a Scythe told them.  Whether I would find that preferable or not to the way things are now (I never really did decide).  But I did really love the inclusion of the Thunderhead (I am a sucker for clever AI’s who struggle with wondering what it would be like to be human and I got those vibes from the Thunderhead in this final book).

If you haven’t read this series yet (and hopefully you’ve read the first two books, otherwise, why are you spoiling it for yourself!), I’d highly recommend giving it a try!




Photo from my Instagram account

1 thought on “The Toll by Neal Shusterman – ARC Review”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s