Mini-Review // The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3)

Hey everyone!

Okay, so a fair warning here. I read The Toll back in December 2019 shortly after the book was released. This review sat around in my phone for a long time and I never posted it because… Well I knew it was going to be an unpopular opinion.

Truth is, I didn’t love The Toll.

I loved Scythe. I loved Thunderhead even more. And I was so SO excited for The Toll. But I didn’t love The Toll. I didn’t even like it.

Note: While this is a spoiler-free review for The Toll, it would be difficult to avoid spoilers for Thunderhead or Scythe. If you haven’t yet read the first two books yet, check out my reviews for Scythe and Thunderhead.

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. 

  • The imagination that went into building this world fascinated me. The world of scythes and Thunderhead and tonists felt even more immersive in this book.
  • And… that was probably it?
  • My favourite characters were Citra and Rowan. They were the reason why I loved Scythe and Thunderhead. But… unfortunately they got about 5% of the screen time in this book.
  • At the same time there were 100 other characters (ok I exaggerate but still) who I really didn’t care for. Many of those characters were just introduced in this third book. Some made only minute appearances and were almost hard to keep track of. 
  • The omniscient narrator really started to get on my nerves.
  • The time skips. I was able to keep track of the plot but… was it necessary to tell the story from 3 different points in time?
  • That ending??? Without giving much away, I felt like the ending was a bit of a cop out. I was confused and not too convinced by how the logic worked out in the end.
  • I was not a fan of the audiobook narration in this book. Sometimes I felt the narrator had a mocking tone which made it hard for me to take the story seriously at times.
  • Overall I felt like the book was all over the place. There were too many characters and too many things going on, and in the end I didn’t care for much of it.

2/5 fishies!

The Toll didn’t live up to my expectations… Although the world was fascinating, I was turned off by the huge cast of irrelevant characters and the way the story jumped all over the place.

Did you read The Toll and what are your thoughts? Are there any popular books that you didn’t enjoy?

Psst!!! My 3-year blogiversary giveaway is still happening!! I am giving away $40USD and $20USD on BookDepository to 2 lucky winners (available internationally.) Click here (or the happy fishy below) to check out my giveaway post.

Photo by Helena Yankovska on Unsplash

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