A review by allegiant3000
The Toll by Neal Shusterman


Wow, what a thrilling conclusion. I have to be honest, book 2 didn't really do it for me. It was a struggle to connect with characters even with a solid storyline. There seems to be an epidemic of books that are difficult to get through in the first half, and become delightful in the second. But this books snatched me within the first few pages. Its very long, but it honestly felt shorter than plenty other books with hundreds of less pages.
Each character in this book is dripping with personality and life. The constant jumping between perspectives usually annoys me but when the characters are actually able to be real people, it works. I adore the Thunderhead so much more in this book than the last one that focused on it. And I love Jeri so much it's unreal. Nonbinary representation off the charts baybee I love u jerico ❤
This book was filled to the brim with fun additions like the scythe journals, Toll testaments, and scholars analyses, as the last ones were, and those give me so much joy. The world building of this series is just stellar. It feels complete and makes sense to me, and the pages that are not the actual current plot help boost this world.
This books doesn't really have twists but it doesn't need any. It has plenty hidden and unsaid that give that feeling of suspense and of wanting to know more. While that feeling is often more gratifying than the reveal itself, I felt these reveals were pretty cool. Not astounding, but cool.
The only thing that lacked for me were the last few pages. I understand the need for vagueness, but I would have loved just a few more pages to know a bit more about what happens in the future, especially on Earth. Not a disappointing ending, just left me wanting a bit more. But it honestly doesn't even matter. I knew I was going to cherish and love this book early on.
The lessons and humanity Neal injects into his work is palpable and I recommend you give it a shot and find that humanness yourself.