Unwind was written as a stand-alone novel, but the author, deciding that he just couldn’t leave it that way, turned Unwind into a trilogy. Five years after the release of the first book, UnWholly is born. I approached this sequel with much trepidation – hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. The result? UnWholly completely captured my attention, exceeded my expectations, and left me eagerly anticipating the third installment. I was quickly caught up once again in the story of AWOL Unwinds trying to survive and desperately fight a system that sees them only as parts to be harvested.
Told in multiple points of view, UnWholly brings back the characters from the first book and introduces a new set of characters, including a futuristic Frankenstein—a teen made entirely of out of the parts of other unwinds. UnWholly offers more detail about how unwinding became a way of life, dives deeper into political issues and continues to blur the lines of morality, all while taking the reader on a well-plotted, fast-paced story of survival filled with danger, intrigue, and even a little bit of romance.
In my experience, it’s rare that a novel can include so many sensitive issues, challenge your ideas about life, and NEVER feel like the author is pushing his own agenda; Neal Shusterman manages to do that.
Overall, UnWholly is a strong follow-up that is just as unrelenting and horrific as the first book.
Movie tidbit: This series has been optioned by independent producers for development as a feature film.