Series or Standalone: Series
First Line: “There are places you can go,” Ariana tells him, “and a guy as smart as you has a decent chance of surviving to eighteen.”
Unwind Series Order
Book 1: Unwind
Book 2: Unwholly
Book 3: Unsouled (15 Oct 2013)
Unwind by Neil Shusterman is a book that I remember buying shortly after it first came out. I thought the premise sounded interesting and just a tad bit creepy…the whole idea that a parent could decide to unwind their child was just terrifying. But for whatever reason the book just sat on my shelf and I eventually gave it away. Then one day I was searching through audible and stumbled upon the title once again. Since I’m always on the hunt for a good audio I listened to the sample, liked what I heard, and not long after I was listening to this story.
Events in Unwind start off with a bang. There is no long build up you are thrust into the action and the world and the pace never really lets up. What really surprised me the most about this story was that it was told from three main points of view. What I didn’t like was that sometimes Shusterman would head jump into other characters to help the story along. When its done for ease of plot movement I am not a fan. Although I did enjoy being in the head of one character towards the end as he was going through a procedure. Well, enjoy is the wrong word but it was one of the creepier scenes in the entire book and it had me riveted.
The ending was also a bit rushed for my tastes and I thought that there was a bit of a hypocritical action that happened in terms of one of the mains even when there was little choice in the matter. I totally found myself rolling my eyes and thought…oy with the poodles already did that really happen? And it did so I rolled my eyes again for good measure.
There was also a romance to be found in Unwind which was also unexpected. But it was very understated and I think that is one of the main differences between male and female authors. Male authors tend to put more emphasis on the story and not as much on love (unless of course you are Nicholas Sparks, but he’s an anomaly) while with many female authors the romance of a story tends to be more on the front burner. Both styles I enjoy and sometimes its really nice to have more of a plot then just two characters mooning over each other.
All in all I really enjoyed Unwind and I thought that Luke Daniels did a fabulous job with the narration. Yes, his female characters weren’t the best but then I find its always hard for narrators of one sex to do voices of the other so I don’t hold it against them. Unless of course its excruciatingly bad. There were a few times when the voice would slip from one character to the next but never too terribly that I had trouble knowing who was speaking when. I’m also really glad that they recently recently released the audio of book two, Unwholly, as I was pretty disappointed when I finished Unwind and learned that I’d have to finish the series in print. That, to me, is one sign of a good narrator and fortunately for me Luke Daniels is back with the sequel and I’ll be starting that one once there is a break in my schedule. That is, if I can wait that long.