Book Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

| September 22, 2015
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Photo by Angie Baquedano

“In a perfect world everything would be either black or white, right or wrong and everyone would know the difference. But this isn’t a perfect world. The problem is people who think it is.” -Neal Shusterman

Unwind is an articulately written book, set in the future after the “Second Civil War” between the Pro-life and Pro-Choice armies. The troops battle in what is called “The Great Heartland war” for hegemony in America over the issue of abortion. The almighty armies finally come to an agreement called the “Bill of Life.”

The Bill of Life in today’s world would have been considered a very controversial document. It states that abortion is illegal up until the age of thirteen and once the child has reached that age, the parent or guardian may have their troublesome or unwanted child “unwound”. “Unwinding” is the process of retroactively aborting a child and transplanting their parts– including eyes, hands and organs– to various recipients who may be sick or injured. Unwinding is an idea created to allay the conflicts that had caused the pernicious Heartland War.

Unfortunately, this quick fix soon becomes a common practice due to the jejune and vacuous society that made up America. Through unwinding, parents find comfort in the thought that 99.4% of their unwound child’s parts would be used. So almost everything is put to “good use” and technically they “are still living, but in a divided state”. This Science Fiction novel tells the story of three runaway unwinds who are brought together by chance or f.

These three unwinds are to be unwound for three separate reasons and when brought together they are forced to go incognito in an attempt to survive, until their eighteenth birthday in which they are legal adults and cannot be unwound against their will. During this time, police officers, called the Juvenile Police, are responsible for subjugating and bringing in the unwinds so they may be transferred to harvesting camps.

Harvesting camps are about as bad as they sound even though society attempts to make them seem like little heavens on earth. The unwinds that are taken to harvesting camps are treated fairly well if they behave, but at the end of the day every child in that camp knows once they go inside the harvesting building or what they call “The Chop Shop,” their body will never see the light of day again; as a whole that is. This book follows the three runaway unwinds and the conflicts they face as they attempt to stay “whole” in this intense novel.

Once I picked up this book, I couldn’t put it down for anything in the world. It is one of those rare novels that keep you on your toes and biting your nails. It excites and terrifies you all at once as if you are living and experiencing the elements within this story first hand. This book broke my heart to pieces and in perfect blissful moments put it back together over and over again. Neal Shusterman, the brilliant author of this novel, could not have done a better job with this book. Before reading it, I was unsure I would even like it, since I am not much of a science fiction fan, or should I say I wasn’t at the time. Now I am a raging Sci-fi fan and I invite everyone to join the ever-growing clan.

This book focuses a lot on the values of life, courage, love, morals and ethics. It touches on the possible evils of science and excessive power. In a way, it somewhat reminds me of the concepts within the classic book “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. “Frankenstein” focuses a lot on science and creation and in my opinion they have similar themes in the aspect of humans and their choice to be angelic or wicked. Unwind is part of a dystology and in the second book, “Unwholly,” it represents a fantastic modern version of Frankenstein itself. I would recommend this book and the books that follow it to absolutely everyone. It’s an enticing novel that keeps you interested from the first page to the very last.

5.00 / 5.00

 

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Category:Books, Lifestyle

Angie Baquedano is the Assistant Lifestyle Editor at Niner Times. She is close to completing her Creative Writing major and Journalism Minor as an Undergraduate and hopes to one day work for The National Geographic Society. When Angie isn’t swamped with homework or working her CNA job she can be found traveling, reviewing restaurants for Charlotte Food Adventures or taking up new hobbies such as painting with oil pastels (It changes depending on what inspires her that week).

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Angie Baquedano is the Assistant Lifestyle Editor at Niner Times. She is close to completing her Creative Writing major and Journalism Minor as an Undergraduate and hopes to one day work for The National Geographic Society. When Angie isn’t swamped with homework or working her CNA job she can be found traveling, reviewing restaurants for Charlotte Food Adventures or taking up new hobbies such as painting with oil pastels (It changes depending on what inspires her that week).

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