Thunderhead is the second book in the Arc of the Scythe series (the first book is called Scythe). Thunderhead is a great book set in a dystopian future where humans can only be killed by acid, fire, being eaten, explosions or Scythes, professional killers who kill to prevent the world from being overpopulated. Thunderhead teaches about corruption, death and that not everything is black or white. Also the AI called Thunderhead, the sum of human knowledge that controls all but the Scythedom and the births of humans, isn't evil, which is a nice change. In the book, Rowan, a failed Scythe apprentice, hunts and kills corrupt Scythes. In Arc of the Scythe, Scythes have ten Scythe commandments: "Thou shalt kill.
Thou shalt kill with no bias, bigotry, or malice aforethought.
Thou shalt grant an annum of immunity to the beloved of those who accept your coming, and to anyone else you deem worthy.
Thou shalt kill the beloved of those who resist.
Thou shalt serve humanity for all of thy days, and thy family shall have immunity as recompense for as long as you live.
Thou shalt lead an exemplary life in word and deed, and keep a journal of each and every day.
Thou shalt kill no scythe beyond thyself.
Thou shalt claim no earthly possessions, save thy robes, ring, and journal.
Thou shalt have neither spouse nor spawn.
Thou shalt be beholden to no laws beyond these."
The main characters are Citra Terranova/Scythe Anastasia (Scythes take the names of historical people, their "Patron Historic", for example, Cleopatra, Mandela, Curie, Prometheus, et cetera) and Rowan Damisch/Scythe Lucifer (while not an ordained Scythe, the Scythedom has given the notorious black-robed Rowan this nickname). Black robes should not be worn by Scythes. The only religious beliefs in the world of Thunderhead are the beliefs of the Tonists. There is a lot of violence in Thunderhead, however I don't remember smoking or drinking. There are some swearing and sexual content. Thunderhead is one of my favourite books and I highly recommend it. I greatly look forward to The Toll.
This title contains:
Positive role models
Violence & scariness