Review – UnSouled by Neal Shusterman

January 25, 2014 All-Time Favorites, Reviews 0 ★★★★

Review – UnSouled by Neal ShustermanUnSouled by Neal Shusterman
Series: Unwind Dystology #3
Also in this series: UnWholly
Published by Simon and Schuster on 10/15/13
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pages: 416
Source: Purchased
My content rating: PG (Nothing more than kissing, Some violence)
My rating:
4 Stars

The story that began with Unwind continues.

Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they’re not just running away from something. This time, they’re running toward answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to bringing down unwinding forever.

Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. Because he knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human.

With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, the paths of Connor, Lev, Cam, and Risa will converge explosively—and everyone will be changed.

Neal Shusterman continues the adventure that VOYA called “poignant, compelling, and ultimately terrifying.”

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 ***This review may contain spoilers for the first two books in the series.  You can find my review of Unwind HERE and my review of UnWholly HERE.***

This is one of my absolute favorite series!!  If you haven’t read Unwind and UnWholly, you should.  It is one of the most unique, thought-provoking dystopians out there.

UnSouled picks up where UnWholly left off – Lev has just rescued Connor from the Graveyard and Risa has just escaped from Proactive Citizenry (after appearing on national TV and declaring that she is against unwinding and rewinding).  Cam is desperate to find Risa and to somehow win her love – he figures that bringing Proactive Citizenry is the best way to do that.

The negatives:

  • A bit of middle book syndrome.  While I loved this book, it did seem a bit like it was mainly just setting us up for book #4. Somehow Shusterman still made the journey feel fresh and interesting, but, in terms of important plot, not that much happened in this book.  It was really all about the journey – bringing our characters back together.

What I LOVED:

  • The moral questions.  I can’t possibly talk about the Unwind dystology without mentioning all of the moral questions that are raised. This book further explored the issues that were raised in the first two books (the value of human life, what makes a person a person?) and added one new one: Does a criminal’s life hold value or is it okay to end it? (Capital punishment).  In this book, it has been proposed that criminals can “volunteer” to be unwound – it’s a win/win situation, right?  The criminal has supposedly chosen to end their own life and the world benefits by being able to use their unwound parts.  But, who monitors it?  How is there any guarantee that this will actually be voluntary?  And, more importantly, is the value of a criminal’s life any less important than anyone else’s?  These are the types of quandaries that Shusterman is so incredibly good at examining.  He’ll make you examine tham too, and that is why I LOVE this series!!
  • Grace.  Grace is a brand new character – and she was so incredibly unique and interesting.  I adored her.  What makes Grace so unique is the fact that she is both cognitively limited and brilliant at the same time (a bit of a savant, if you will).  When Connor first meets Grace, he doesn’t expect much from her (and neither do the other characters in the book), but it doesn’t take long for Connor to realize that Grace is actually something very special.  Her unique intelligence actually saves the day more than once.  I actually think that Grace was one of my favorite characters in this book!
  • Game changer.  The ending of this book is a game-changer.  It could possibly turn the characters’ world on its head!  I definitely can’t wait to read the last book in this series – Undivided.

If you enjoy dystopians, you should definitely be reading this series!!  UnSouled was an excellent addition to the series and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!  4/5 stars.

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