UnWholly (Unwind, #2) by Neal Shusterman

Title: UnWholly (Unwind, #2)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Pages: 402, Hardcover
Rating: 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa — and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp — people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.

Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.

Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live.

This review may contain minor spoilers for Unwind. Continue reading at your own risk! If you want to know whether or not the second book continues the epicness of Unwind, the answer is yes, yes it does. If you are wondering whether or not you should read this series, that answer would also be yes, with a side of chiding for not having read it already!! :D

This book continues the stories of Conner, Risa and Lev after the attack on Happy Jack Harvest Camp. Connor is trying to run The Graveyard despite the threat of the Juvenile Authority looming over the camp. Risa finds herself mixed up in a political campaign by Proactive Citizenry and struggles to keep her conscience clear. Lev is dealing with the consequences of his decisions at Happy Jack and his new importance to the Anti-Divisional Resistance.

New characters are introduced into the mix. Cam has been created out of the best parts from ~99 different unwinds to launch a new era for unwinding. Miracolina is a tithe that is resolute in her desire to be unwound despite attempts to keep her whole. Lastly, Starkey is the new Roland - a keen, power-hungry kid with an iron-fist who fights for the rights of storks and wants to overthrow Conner's power. 

Guys... Neal Shusterman did it again. This book is controversial, compelling, unnerving, and beautiful. His writing is masterful, thought-provoking and elicits emotion. Although there is a noticeable change in pace as a result of the larger scope, I was so enthralled with the story that I didn't mind fewer action scenes and less suspense. We get so much more in this second novel that I was still turning pages and needing to know more.

Where Unwind was adventure, Unwholly was political. In this book, we experience the trials and ploys  of various key players: the Juvenile Authority, Proactive Citizenry, Parts Pirates, and the Anti-Divisional Resistance. Highlighting differences in opinions and goals, Neal Shusterman paints a not-so-pretty big picture and forces readers to confront many of the issues surrounding unwinding. He also conveniently places advertisements and news clippings between chapters to further sell readers on the story and setting of this dystopian future. 

But I think this story's greatest strength lies in its characters. I'm surprised that I don't even have a favorite, but rather I am 100% invested in each character's story and conclusion. This rarely happens for me. I even found myself caring for (or pitying?) Cam who is an abomination but surprisingly vulnerable. Each character is distinct and powerful in his/her own way and draws you in. They each face their own battles, and do so with integrity, courage, loyalty, strength and unwavering devotion.  

Wrap Up
I think the developments in this sequel were very well-done. Neal Shusterman carefully expands the story to include much more than just a few unwinds on the run. Nevertheless, he skillfully weaves the stories together so that the fates of each character are intertwined. This is a great, powerful read and I 'd recommend it to everyone. 

1 comment:

  1. Great review!
    New follower via GFC. :) Follow back if you like. :)
    Heather @ Owlnestly Reviews


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