Monday, December 3, 2012
UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
If you need a refresher--and I went into this reading without one--there's been a war, presented as being over abortion. It is proposed that peace come over an unreasonable, twisted compromise: no abortions, but children can be "storked," or forced upon other families, and once a child is thirteen, a child's guardians can reverse the child's life, essentially splitting the child and its consciousness into spare parts. Understandably, though some kids are tithed--born to be Unwound--others aren't so happy when they get the news that they're unwanted, due to circumstance or relationships, and scheduled to, in essence, die.
Unwind is about getting away from the first, horrific situation. UnWholly is about the after. What if you escaped? What if you were safe? What if your friends weren't? What do you owe for your freedom? And what if people aren't really on your side? What's the deepest, darkest place from which you can return?
That's vague, of course, but I wouldn't want to give anything away. UnWholly is as intriguing and complex as Unwind, and every bit as harrowing.
UnWholly is nominated in the YA SF/F category for the 2012 Cybils. I reviewed a copy provided by the publisher, with no explicit or implied strings.