Neal Shusterman crafted a fascinating story in Unwind, and he said he “never dreamed it would turn into a trilogy,” but he “couldn’t escape the strange world it encompasses.” I didn’t expect to go back to that world, but I couldn’t resist once I heard there would be sequels. In UnWholly, he manages to keep up the action and intensity of the story, add in new elements of background, and then continue to keep readers thinking about a variety of ethical and moral issues.
In this book, we still follow several narrators, including some new characters, one who is quite literally “new” — and that is a story thread that is definitely thought-provoking. The plot includes Connor’s path as he leads the AWOLs in their hiding place in an airplane graveyard, and Lev, the former tithe, as he tries to go about life being well known as “the clapper who didn’t clap.” Risa is now wheelchair-bound, and her story takes a turn, even as she hopes to have a relationship with Connor. Of course, new “bad guys” are introduced, and Connor finds out there is a secret behind the history of unwinding.
Shusterman handles every plot thread with agility and weaves them all together seamlessly (for those who read the book: ha!). This is both a great idea and one that is executed wonderfully by a masterful writer. I’m looking forward to reading the last book.
Rated: Mild, for occasional uses of mild language and a few uses of moderate language. There is some violence and a few brief references of gore, but it’s kept to a minimum. This is reasonably clean, although younger readers might not get as much out of it as more mature teens.