Unwind by Neal Shusterman
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.”
Summary: A Second Civil War was fought over the rights of reproduction. Under the new Bills of Life children between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can be unwound which means their organs will be harvested and given to patients who need new parts. Every part of the Unwind will be used so technically they are still “alive” but just in another form.
Connor has been trouble for his parents for years but he never thought that they would actually choose to unwind him. Risa is a ward of the state. She lived her whole life in a state home learning how to play classical piano but when it comes time to test her she does not measure up to the set standards. Lev was raised knowing he was born to be an Unwind. He is called a tithe. But on one fateful day these three get thrown together and their lives will change forever!
My Thoughts: I absolutely love everything that Neal Shusterman has written (at the last the ones I’ve read so far)! He is a genius. He writes books that really make a person think. It is great that there are books like this and his other series, Scythe, for kids to read. The stories deal with tough topics and decisions. And the worlds he builds are just unreal. I am blown away by his story telling and his plots.
It is easy to get caught up in the story. I was listening to this as I took a trip to Kansas City and one of the discs had trouble loading and I was yelling at it to start working. I needed to know what happened! Luckily it started playing.
Each of the characters is unique and have difficult stories to tell. Shusterman brings in minor characters that give even more insight into life in the days of Unwinds and the recipients of the organs. And at one point we get to experience the consciousness of an Unwind while he is being unwound. It was disturbing.
I cannot wait to start the next book and see how the story continues. It is scary, realistic and very thought provoking. I highly recommend this.
FYI: It does have some graphic moments and can be a little disturbing for some people.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
First line: We must, by law, keep a record of the innocents we kill.
Society has finally learned to conquer death. The world is no longer
starving, dying from disease or dying in general. However, one small
problem remains. Overpopulation. The solution is the Scythedom. Scythes
are people who are chosen and trained to take human lives in order to
keep the population of Earth to a manageable level.
and Rowan are chosen by Honorable Scythe Faraday as his apprentices they
are less than thrilled. Life as a scythe is one of isolation and
loneliness not to mention death. As their training commences they learn
that there is more to the Scythedom than they originally knew including
some darker secrets at its core.
My Thoughts: I absolutely
loved and devoured this book! It was recommended to me by one of the
booksellers at Watermark Books. I finally bought myself a copy because I
could not wait for the library one to come back in. I am so happy that I
did. It was fast, fun and crazy. So many different twists and turns. I
loved the characters. The world is fascinating. Shusterman did a great
job of creating a real Utopia but also bringing in some very dark themes
as well. As soon as I finished it I immediately downloaded the digital
copy from Sunflower eLibrary. If you need something to suck you in from
the very beginning then this is that book!
FYI: Lots of
death and violence but I don’t think it is over the top. It would be
hard to avoid this topic in a book all about bringers of death.
Coming Home by Jack McDevitt
First line: When Alex Benedict graduated high school, his uncle Gabe, the only parent he’d ever known, provided the ultimate gift: a flight to Earth, the home world, the place where everything had started.
Summary: The year is 11,256 C.E. Earth is no longer the only inhabited planet in our galaxy. Thousands of years have passed and new worlds have been discovered but the artifacts from the Golden Age (early space travel) are rare and valuable. Many items have been destroyed or lost as Earth has dealt with flooding and other disasters. When an artifact is brought to Alex and his assistant, Chase, they begin to search how the item was just discovered and where it may have come from.
At the same time, a ship has been missing for 11 years. The passengers are believed to be dead. However, when the ship appears it is only available for a few short hours. For the passengers aboard they believe it has only been 3 days. How are all the people off the ship in such a short time?
Highlights: A very imaginative science fiction novel with a very intriguing plot. This was recommended to me and I was immediately interested. The idea of space travel and that items from our lives are considered ancient artifacts is fascinating. The science is not overwhelming which is perfect for me who has very little scientific knowledge. I liked the mysteries intertwining. I kept trying to think what I would do in the situation if I were stuck on a ship not realizing that 11 years had passed by in the blink of an eye. What would I be willing to do to get back to my family who have moved on? Highly enjoyable novel.
Lowlights: The book is part of the Alex Benedict series but he was in the story very little. It mainly followed the assistant, Chase. We never found out too much about him but those details may have been included in other books in the series.
FYI: Part of a series but can be read as a standalone. It has references to other books in the series but not enough to hinder the reading of this one.