When Neal Shusterman started the Unwind Dystology, he created a world that is both terrifying and all-too-familiar. While I am horrified at this dystopian world that literally tears apart its unwanted teenagers in order to harvest them for body parts to transplant, I am also reminded of our own society where people with money routinely undergo surgery to improve their looks and where politicians call for ever more punitive policies toward poor students (such as denying students a free lunch or tying food assistance for families to student test scores).
UnSouled, Book 3 in the series, continues to raise questions about our society even as Connor, Lev, and Risa continue their fight to change their world. Connor and Lev are on the run to find answers from the woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to eliminate from history. Along the way the pick up Grace, a low-cortical girl who is much smarter than most people suspect. They also detour to the Arapache Reservation Lev had previously visited with disastrous results. Risa is on her own now that she revealed Proactive Citizenry’s blackmail to the world. Cam, the perfect being of rewound parts, is determined to bring down the the organization that created him in order to win back Risa. Just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse, Starkey is back to rescue his fellow Storks and exact revenge.
I love the shifting points of view that give this book the complexity it deserves. While there are definite right and wrong sides, no one person is entirely right or wrong. They all have conflicting motivations and incomplete understanding of events. I like being able to connect pieces that the characters cannot see while trying to wrap my own brain around the conflicting bits of information.
I’m not sure if UnSouled is the end of the story. Connor, Lev, and Risa certainly haven’t stopped Proactive Citizenry and their unwinding, but the seeds have hope have taken root. Even if they can’t see how the can stop it or how soon, they believe there is a way out. I hope the same is true for the problems facing our world. We may not see a way out immediately, but hope still simmers and waits to come out of hiding.