UnWholly by Neal Shusterman (review by Catherine H. ’17)

UnWholly (Unwind, #2)UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Connor is now known as E. Robert Mullard and has to run the Graveyard, a haven for AWOL Unwinds. He has less and less time for Risa, and the mysterious company, Proactive Citizenry, eventually takes her away. There, she meets Camus Comprix, a perfect person made entirely from Unwinds, who is struggling to come to terms with what he is. On the other hand, Lev has recovered from his trauma and is now helping to rescue tithes. Neal Shusterman has developed each character in a unique fashion, crafting the story to fit the world he has created. The second installment of the Unwind Dystology, I highly recommend UnWholly to anyone who enjoyed Unwind or likes dystopian novels. – Catherine H. ‘17

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2 thoughts on “UnWholly by Neal Shusterman (review by Catherine H. ’17)”

  1. After their rebellion at Happy Jack Harvest Camp, Connor, Risa, and Lev have been propelled to legendary status, and the world has been awakened to the morally questionable aspects of unwinding. This puts our protagonists in positions of unexpected responsibility and danger. As Catherine noted, Shusterman fits the story to the world, but he also masterfully takes the simple idea of unwinding and foresees its impacts on the culture and politics of his highly realistic, dystopian society. The prime example of this is Cam, an intriguing teenager never born yet born one hundred times. As a collage of the best unwinds, he is the quintessence of strength and intelligence, but society, increasingly unsure about unwinding, does not accept him. Additionally, though I agree with Catherine in that each character is unique and well-developed, Shusterman goes further and links the details of each character’s qualities with their experiences to form an intricate and logically flowing storyline, but one which, at times, becomes overwhelming for the reader. Nevertheless, UnWholly is an imaginative expansion on the world of Unwind, creating deeper layers to culture, mysteries to be solved, and revelations to be uncovered in the third book of the Unwind series.

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  2. Shusterman already proved himself master of the complex character in books like Everlost and Unwind, so I was slightly disappointed to find that the protagonists of the first book in the series don't develop much in this sequel. The author makes up for that, though, with additions to the cast of characters like Trace, a new arrival in the Graveyard with a questionable story to explain his appearance, and Cam, the synthetic human (inhuman?) being Catherine and Kai already discussed. The real improvements UnWholly makes over Unwind come partway through the story, when Connor learns more about the history of unwinding–before, all Shusterman told us was that the new process came about as the result of a civil war, but now he gives us details that make the original premise of the first book seem fresh and exciting again. If he keeps slipping in hints to the past as well as the future of unwinding, the third book in the series, UnSouled, has the potential to live up to, or surpass, Shusterman's other novels.

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