The Toll

Image result for citra and rowan

Paperback, 625 Pages
YA/ Sci-Fi/ Dystopia
By: Neal Shusterman
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 1/2

β€œcan’t see why I should concern myself with humankind at all.”

Scythe β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… 1/4
Thunderhead β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Toll β˜…β˜…β˜… 1/2

🌟 I am mildly disappointed with this how ended. I don’t like when the first book in the series is the best one and that as the case here. I think I should have expected this after the ending of book 1. My main problem with this finale is that it tried too much and it expanded the story on a worldwide or a universal scale and sometimes too much of a good thing is a bad thing!

🌟 The writing itself is as good as usual! I found myself reading this quickly. My reading speed was higher while reading the first two books but I think the philosophical themes and questions that the book asks made me slow down a bit and try to absorb what I am exposed to. There are good quotes as usual but I think I am a bigger fan of the first two books in the series!

🌟 The first problem is that I like Rowan and Citra and that is a problem because they are literally not involved in the story until like 50% of the book and I am certain that 150-200 pages could have been cut out and improved the flow of the story. I was not a big fan of “Greyson’s Arc” from the last book and I think that is a major factor in deciding how much is this enjoyable to readers. This book focuses more on this arc and neglects the arc in book 1 that I liked more.

β€œWe’re exploring the possibility of building a wall to stem the exodus.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Goddard said. “Only idiots build walls.”

🌟 The second problem is the plot, I believe the author tried to take some bold choices in expanding it in a different direction and I did not see it coming when I first started this series. I respect those choices but I can’t say that I approve of them. I think book 1 was the peak of the story because the characters and plot were very well done, a thing I can’t say that I found here! I don’t know if making the scale of the plot on a worldwide level is a trope but I have read it a few times and I was never a fan of it. I think if you prefer book 1 to book 2 then you should lower your expectations going into this one, but if you loved book 2 and Greyson’s story then you will probably like this one!

🌟 The thing that I am in love with the most regarding this series is the flawless world-building, I guess this book can be used to teach world-building because I have not read many YA book with such a good world-building! Every book adds to the world more and more and it just gets more interesting without being overwhelming!

β€œBetter to be numb than plagued by longing for something that could never be.”

🌟 Summary: A kind of average finale that surely had more potential from what I have seen in the first two books! The writing is good as usual with the amazing world-building we are used to. The absence of the MC in addition to the philosophical plot made the ending rather anticlimactic than the epic ending it deserved. Still, a good book overall and I can recommend it as a good dystopian series!


  1. I had some annoying moments from this book too, and i think the first one was better – though I didn’t like the way book 1 ended. The diamond ring was a nice touch, so was the tuning fork sarcasm. But I think what annoyed me the most was all the exclamation marks, they were so many.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Exclamation marks with screen readers are more pronounced, I never gave them much attention before that either. I’m amazed though Neil Schusterman’s editors didn’t decrease the excess use – they’re known faux pas. Your use of exclamation marks is a personal matter, and it certainly is your choice to use them as much as you’d like. I do too on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhhh, I’m almost finished with book 1! I wonder why it’s always so hard to make a great conclusion!! A little sad that it wasn’t epic bc soooo many people recommended it before book 3 came out!

    Liked by 1 person

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