Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Series: Unwind Dystology #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on October 13, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Length: 10 hours 9 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
In America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called "unwinding." Unwinding ensures that the child's life doesn’t “technically” end by transplanting all the organs in the child's body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound.
With breathtaking suspense, this book follows three teens who all become runaway Unwinds: Connor, a rebel whose parents have ordered his unwinding; Risa, a ward of the state who is to be unwound due to cost-cutting; and Lev, his parents’ tenth child whose unwinding has been planned since birth as a religious tithing. As their paths intersect and lives hang in the balance, Shusterman examines complex moral issues that will keep readers turning the pages until the very end.
I have considered the Unwind series, after becoming a fan of his Art of the Sycthe series. So I was thrilled to see a new release of the first book on audio available for review. Plus the narrator is the outstanding Luke Daniels. A friend had mentioned this was a tear-jerker so I was a little afraid.
The style is very much what I expect from this author. There are great characters who develop in a dystopian environment where there are issues of morality. Those considered the good guys aren’t always good; the bad guys aren’t always bad. Sometimes a great idea over time really goes rotten.
Those who are selected for unwinding are those rejected as not good or special enough to continue their life or the tithes who are like grass-fed beef, treated well but raised to harvest. Unwinding was a result of the war between pro-choice and pro-life. The concept is horrific to me. I was rooting for these unwinds from start to finish.
For them, they are fighting for their lives. It is an emotional journey as well as one of fighting and running to keep existing. Young as they are, their dire circumstances provide them the opportunity to really assess their life choices. What is the value of a life? What is the essence of a soul? Why does anyone have control over their life but themselves?
Luke Daniels is one of my favorite narrators. He provides distinct, realistic voices which make an excellent listen. I listened to this at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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