Unbound

March 20, 2018

Unwind series: extra. Author: Neal Shusterman.

Summary:

Connor Lassiter’s fight to bring down Proactive Citizenry and find a suitable alternative to unwinding concluded in UnDivided. Now Connor, Risa, and Lev are free to live in a peaceful future—or are they? Neal Shusterman brings back his beloved Unwind characters for his fans to see what’s left for those who were destined to be unwound.

(Published Summary)

Thoughts:

Unlike most short-story collections added to the end of a series, Unbound is not a random gathering of prequel-material, epilogues, and what feels like deleted scenes. There’s a short story about pretty much every important character, following them for a little while after the last book, plus a couple of short stories following new characters. There are, I think, only two prequel stories bundled in – following Lev and Shark-boy, whose pasts were always the most mysterious. All together, the stories give a comprehensive view of the world moving on from the tumultuous events of the final book. Even though the collection format is very different from a novel, I still finished it feeling like I’d read a whole new book set in the Unwind world!

Unwound is not an epilogue, because the Unwind world is not headed into the sunset. It was a little bit startling, a little discomfiting, to realize this: I’m sure Shusterman was aware of what he was doing. With the same common sense and sharp acuity he used in writing the Unwound series, almost shockingly true to life in the politics and escalation and public reaction – with that acuity he writes about the world after the teenage rebellion. Unwinding is not gone. You can’t change the world just like that. It’s gone underground, into the world of cruel parts pirates , unscrupulous profiteers, and madmen. But the theme of Unbound is still hope. Some countries have outlawed unwinding; in others, citizens fight back. The world may not have changed overnight, but it is changing, one step at a time. My favorite story was that of 0037; similar, but still different, to that of Cam’s.

Content Review:

Sexual Content: Disturbed young man yells “Prom night! Back seat! Make you like it!” at a woman. One instance of minor sexual violence: at the top of Violence section.

Language: 16 hell, 5 derogatory terms, 4 d***, 4 “God”, 3 scatological terms.

Violence: Boy forces a kiss on a girl, and she bites him hard enough to draw blood. One character throws a snow globe hard at another, bruising their back. One kid beats up another with his fists. One character breaks another’s arm in a wrestling match. Shark bites down on a boy’s ankle, and he stabs at its eyes. Clapper explosion: suicide bomber dies instantly plus one character near her, a full bus of kids is flipped over and most of them die, one of them is partially caught under it and badly injured, and dies a short while later. One character stabs another in the neck. Character deliberately burns her infected hand. One character kills another with poison. One POV character is unwound, without much detail.

 

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