05. September 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Dystopia, Teen Books, Thriller/Suspense

UnWholly (Unwind Trilogy, Book Two) by Neal Shusterman, 416 pages, read by Courtney, on 09/02/2012

It’s been about a year since the explosion at Happy Jack Harvest Camp. Connor is running things at the AWOL camp in Arizona. Risa is out there too, in a wheelchair due to her severed spine and refusal to accept unwound parts. Lev, the boy who didn’t clap, is doing his part for the underground resistance movement, saving tithes on their way to the camps. Things begin to change when a new kid named Starkey is brought to the camp. Starkey was storked and, as a result, has a serious chip on his back. He’s also brilliant and possibly dangerous. In the world outside the camp, the world’s first “rewind” has come into being. His name is Camus Comprix and he is a composite of over one hundred of the smartest, most athletic and most aesthetically pleasing unwinds. Camus, who prefers to call himself “Cam”, is meant to be the next big thing for the pro-unwind camp, but he’s having some problems of his own. Add in a few more colorful characters and you’ve got yourself quite the harrowing ride.
The second book in a trilogy can be tricky, but UnWholly passes with flying colors. It’s got the characters we grew to know and care about in Unwind, plus a new set of equally compelling teens to up the ante. Shusterman also takes this time to really dig into the political and ethical questions raised by the series’ premise. In Unwind, the premise felt a bit flimsy, but it was easy to overlook because the story was so well written. In UnWholly, the premise starts to feel more realistic, fleshed out by a chilling back-story that is only really hinted at. As with most books that fall second in a trilogy, things at the end seem about as bad as they can possibly get. It’s clear, however, that Shusterman has a lot more to say about this world and frankly, I can’t wait to read it.

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