Saturday, September 1, 2012
UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
It’s finally here. The long-awaited sequel to the bestselling Unwind, which Publishers Weekly called a “gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller.”
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 simltaneously 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.
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
It's not Unwind, but almost... because i can't... and then.. and even if i could... and i just can't... wow...
Yes! It's finally here indeed... except that I wish I’d done a reread of UNWIND before diving into this simply because there were quite a number of people (details) I’d have wanted clearer to me. That said, not only do we get to reconnect with Connor, Risa and Lev (yays!), we are also introduced to new players, some with more interesting contributions than others. I’ll be frank though sometimes things felt like we were going over areas already covered as was immediately obvious with the whole Miracolina/Lev facing off or with Starkey/Connor, whose opposition felt a little like that of Connor/Roland.
Connor’s troubles in this stem from him leading, not knowing whom to trust and in the most aggravating of instances, trusting the wrong ones! He had me scream-asking, “WHYY???!” His troubles were all about shouldering a responsibility he’s unprepared for and sometimes leading in a half assed way. His troubles stem from jealousy. So basically, he’s got problems coming at him from everywhere and though not oblivious them, he’s able to do little about the same!
Lev’s got a little moment to himself in the beginning and it’s his part of the story that takes a turn into the odd and disturbing. Think reluctant golden boy. Think god-thing. It took me by surprised and I couldn’t get enough of it because now the clapper who didn’t clap is now the object a disturbing sort adulation. More interesting? I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. Not once did he have me scream-asking, “WHYY???!” I can thank Miracolina for that.
Notice, me barley mentioning Risa perhaps because her part in this had me split: she’s yet another that prompted my “WHYY???!” While things eventually are cleared up, it took a long while prior to that, in the mean time I was all, “WHYY???!”
On one hand there were the straight forward villains; on the other, there are those who had me on the fence… until they didn’t have me there anymore. The introduction of Starkey into Connor’s life was something expected, so frankly (again) his slightly cackle crazy power hungry thoughts could go along the lines of a James Bond villain. Instead of being an interesting point of opposition, the guy ended up sounding just one-note for me. We know who the baddy is and that is what Starkey is what Starkey is what Starkey is. Simply, there’s little to the guy, when there could have been more! Now, the reintroduction of Nelson was slightly more interesting if only because of his odd fixation. Except there really was more to the old guy given the definite darker feel to him and his motives.
Then came Camus. He was something else is all I’m saying.
So, there’s the whole people-with-destinies thing and taking the same on… and yet, I still loved this. Why? Not once did it slow down (although sometimes to its detriment): with so many things happening all at once, I’d struggle to recall what was happening to who, where, and when. So that that when someone would pop back in, it’d take some time to shift back. Still what’s not to love when something was always happening to someone, somewhere?
Even better is that the very same questions in UNWIND are asked, who deserves to do this or to do that? Who suffers? Who’s the true victim? And in the midst of all that, the ominous is touched on. There’s general sense of foreboding here, that we know something terrible was going to come down on not just one of them but all of them. But it’s the source, the who’s behind it all, that’s still the biggest mystery.
View all my reviews