Friday, March 28, 2008

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Third person present. Third person present. I had great difficulty getting used to this perspective, but the novel in question proved well worth the effort. Creepy, suspenseful, and thought provoking, Unwind by Neal Shusterman was a surprise from an author I have never taken the time to be particularly familiar with.

In an age not very far along from now, the teens that no one wants are harvested for their organs. Rebellious, deformed, or simply not good enough, they are sent to the infamous Harvest Camps, to be dismembered for the "good of mankind". Connor is a financial liability and his parents sign the forms of release. Risa is a foster home kid with a future in classical piano, but maybe not as much of a future as the next virtuoso. Lev believes firmly in his unwinding, honored by his religion as a Tithe. But their fates collide when Connor shoots his transport (with a tranquilizer) and helps save Lev in the process, Risa pursuing in her interest. Together and apart they find their way through the hazardous days in between them and their 18th birthdays, the age of neutrality.

I really enjoyed this novel. Reminiscent of a futuristic perversion, there were secret hide outs, crazed revolutionaries, and demented medical staff. Connor is a hero in his own right, but his mistakes are glaring reminders at his humanness, while Risa is piecing out what she means to her world. Probably the most fascinating character in the book was Lev. He betrays, kills, searches, and saves at different points, his growth increasingly more involved as the pages turn. Some parts of the story were particularly disturbing, common in a dystopia novel of this subject matter. But a fantastic plot and writing handled inquiries about the value of life and the meaning of death in a sensitive and clever way.

6 out of 7 lightnings. BOOM ZAM SCHWA!

Futuristic Culture Defiant,
*Aella Siofra*

12 comments:

Medeia said...

Organ harvesters!

This book sparked quite the conversation... heheh... remember everyone, censorship is bad and dystopia novels are not desensitizing...

Khyrinthia said...

Third person present? Ew. Present tense bugs me.

serafina-zane said...

ha, i put this book on my school's summer reading list.
because i loves it.

and i actually like third person present, when done well and in moderation, because the slight disruption of my grammer lobe is just jarring enough for really good suspense/horror novels and such.

Reader Rabbit said...

I just read Everlost so I already wanted to read this book. But now I really want to review so thanks for the great review.

By the way, I like the name of your blog!

serafina-zane said...

and just putting this out here, but there's still no header image on my computer.
intentional?

Medeia said...

No, I'm pretty sure it's just you...

The Compulsive Reader said...

I read this book recently, and I was just so affected by it. Great review.

The Maelstroms Themselves said...

Thank you!

Heather♥ said...

I'm glad you reviewed this book, because I have it on my TBR list, and I didn't know whether I should buy it or not. Thanks.

Ink Mage said...

Nothing whatsoever to do with your post (although the book does sound interesting), but of course I wouldn't mind if you add my blog to a link list. :-)

BooksandLove said...

sounds interesting!

Readingjunky said...

Just stopped by to see your review. Nice work. I really liked this book. It makes you think.