UnWholly by Neil Shusterman (Unwind #2)
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.
Most sequels to great books contract Second Book Syndrome. They lack the depth and character of the first books, aren’t plotted as well, or aren’t really needed. Needless to say, I was a little worried that UnWholly wouldn’t live up to its predecessor. But my doubt was squashed as soon as I started reading.
If anything, UnWholly is even more thought-provoking and developed than Unwind. Whereas Unwindtackled the idea of death, UnWholly tackles the idea of life. While Conor, Lev, and Risa are running for their lives from the Juvey cops and harvest camps, you have to ask if unwinding is really death or just a ‘divided state’ and if unwinding is ethical or not. In the continuation of their story, those questions are still relevant, but you also have to ask if Cam is even alive, if he has a soul, if he’s a new person or not.
Just as rife with philosophy, plot twists, and incredible writing as ever, UnWholly makes a fantastic addition to the Unwind trilogy.
Once Upon a Time...
As a longtime lover of stories and a believer in the power and magic of books, I've spent my life seeking out the best reads. This blog is dedicated to reviewing the books I read - good, bad, or magnificent - to help other readers find their next favorite books.