The Toll by Neal Shusterman – DISCUSSION

This has spoilers. You have been warned. I do also have a spoiler-free review of the series if you want to check that out instead. This is mainly a discussion for the final book, but I will also be talking about the series in general.

I didn’t like this book. I loved the first two, but I hated the ending. It’s so unsatisfying. The problem that we spent two books on, namely Goddard and the New Order Scythes is not solved. At all. Sending a bunch of people into space to possibly set up colonies and start over IS NOT A SOLUTION!!!!! I am so mad at that ending. It’s rubbish. It’s utter rubbish! I know that Goddard did die, but it still wasn’t a solution. It just happened because Rand was fed up. But the resolution of the plot was to send a bunch of people into space and hope. Which was a stupid solution.


Especially with the whole fail-safe thing. Scythes were cancelled, basically. So the Thunderhead could have intervened. He could have like supplanted the New Order Scythes. Or it could have let one of its copies that didn’t have the stupid no-intervention rule to supplant them. Or something. I don’t know, literally anything would have been more satisfying than what we got. They could have dealt with Goddard and THEN tried colonising space. That would have been fine. And if the colonies were successful, they could cancel the fail-safe too and then it would have been even more utopian. I don’t understand why do it this way. It’s stupid and totally unsatisfying and it ruined such a great series.


Also the fail-safe was so anti-climactic. We spent so much time building up to it and then it all resolved in like one chapter. We barely got to see any repercussions for it. Everything was just left open ended and I hate it. I don’t always mind open ends, but this one sucked. And it didn’t make sense. If it had made sense, I think I’d have been okay with it, but it just didn’t. There were so many better solutions to all the problems. And I just find it hard to believe that the Thunderhead, who supposedly was never wrong, figured that this was the only viable option.

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I also didn’t like where most of the characters ended up and how their stories developed. Wasn’t a fan of Greyson’s story arc in the final book. He could have been so much more interesting based on the first 2 books. The whole Toll thing was just… meh in my opinion. I didn’t hate it… but I just found myself uninterested whenever his chapters were on. I didn’t think he really evolved in this book and he was annoying at times when interacting with the Thunderhead. To be fair, the Thunderhead was being infuriating as well.

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I think Scythe Rand was done a huge disservice. There was so much potential for character development with her. I loved the parts about her and Tiger and I think way, way more could have been done with her, but she was just kind of relegated to the sidelines. At least she kills Goddard I guess, but more could have been done.

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I would have been… okay with how Citra and Rowan ended up. If it had been under any other circumstances. But considering how much I hated the space thing, I was not happy with how their story developed either.

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I didn’t really care much about the two new characters. The captain and the former nimbus agent. I forget both their names. I didn’t really like the captain, I found him/her annoying on several levels, but at the same time, I could very easily ignore that because I just didn’t care about him/her. I have no opinion whatsoever on the nimbus agent. I think she was bland, to say the least.

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I think the only character I was okay with how they ended up was Faraday. I think that all things considered, he’s the only one who got a somewhat satisfying ending.

So yeah, I’m very mad at this book. I have strong feelings, which just goes to show how much I cared. It’s such a great story and I’m really mad that it got such a crap ending. It deserved better.

3 thoughts on “The Toll by Neal Shusterman – DISCUSSION

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