UnBound – Neal Shusterman
In the latest installment of the Unwind Dystology, Shusterman—along with collaborators Terry Black, Michelle Knowlden, Brendan Shusterman, and Jarrod Shusterman—explores even more aspects of a world that has accepted the unacceptable. These short stories examine the world of unwinding in a way we haven’t seen before, providing a fresh framework, new characters, and a different take on some events.
This is a review of a book in a series. The review is as spoiler-free as I can make it, but you might want to check out my reviews of books #1, #1.5, #2, #3, and #4.
Review: First, the covers changed! I am pleased. No more creepy cover critters for this series! I hope that the new covers encourage more people to pick up these books.
UnBound is currently the last book in the Unwind Dystology. (Is Dystology even a real word? I still haven’t figured that out.) Whatever a dystology is, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m sad it’s over. I’ll miss this world.
UnBound is a collection of stories and novelettes set in the Unwind universe. A lot of these stories have spoilers for the series. Don’t read them until after you’ve finished book #4. The stories introduce some new characters and give updates on the lives of Cam, Una, Miracolina, Hayden, Grace, and Argent. The stories also fill in some gaps in the series. We get to see the real reason behind why Risa became an unwind and the history of Roland’s tattoo.
I think the stories lack the depth of the novels. I didn’t find them as thought-provoking as the full-length books. None of them blew my mind, but it was so much fun to be back in the Unwind world. I think I said this in another review, but I’d read anything set in this universe. Every time you think this series can’t get more depraved, it does. There seems to be no bottom to the horror that is unwinding. Who knew you could do so much with human body parts?
Like I already said, I didn’t find any of these stories to be mind-blowingly amazing, but I did like some more than others:
“Unfinished Symphony” introduces a few characters who knew Risa before the start of the series. The feud between Risa and the main character is really stupid, but the story has great suspense and untrustworthy characters. It shows why Risa was chosen to be unwound.
“Unnatural Selection” explains the mysterious Burmese Dah Zey. The doctors who work for the organization make some interesting creations with human body bits.
“Rewinds” is my favorite story because Cam is in it. I honestly didn’t care about the other characters after the series ended. I just wanted to know what happened with Cam. “Rewinds” follows Cam and Una as they try to deal with Proactive Citizenry’s failed military experiment.
“UnStrung,” which is the #1.5 novelette, is in this collection, so you don’t have to buy the e-book if you don’t want to. I’m very happy to have a hard copy of it now.
Mostly, this collection made me sad that the series is over. My favorite characters are the Rewinds, and this book just proved to me that we didn’t get enough of their disturbing awesomeness in the series. I think the Rewinds deserve a spin-off novel . . . .