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Unwholly

Narrated by: Luke Daniels
Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

It’s finally here. The long-awaited sequel to the bestselling Unwind, which Publishers Weekly called a “gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller.”

Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simultaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished.

Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself.

Rife with action and suspense, this riveting companion to the perennially popular Unwind challenges assumptions about where life begins and ends—and what it means to live.

©2012 Neal Shusterman (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dubi
  • 07-06-2017

Adding Parts to the Greater Sum

The first issue that must be addressed in reviewing the second entry in a series is whether one can start there without having read the debut. Technically, UnWholly may stand on its own. But I can't imagine why you'd want to jump in here -- there is too much world building and character development in Unwind that you would miss that would greatly enhance your UnWholly experience. If you haven't already read it, stop right here and go listen to Unwind.

The next question for those who have read Unwind is whether the sequel makes it worth carrying on with the series. This is tricky because Unwind seemed to be a standalone story, wrapping itself up neatly. And the second entry did not appear for five years. But once Neal Shusterman decided to make a series out of it, the next three volumes and a prequel novella followed rapidly.

UnWholly definitely carries the story forward. All three main characters of Unwind return -- Connor, Risa and Lev. The issues they must deal with expand -- in addition to unwinding, there is parts piracy, Shusterman introduces the concept of rewinding, and the untold history of the Heartland War begins to unwind (pardon the pun). I'm assuming you read Unwind and know what these terms mean.

But most importantly, UnWholly introduces four new characters who help take the story in new directions, most importantly Cam, a teenage boy created from scratch from the parts of a hundred unwound kids (99). As in any good book of any genre, exploring your literary world, whether real or imagined, is best done through character, and that is the case here, via Cam and the other new characters, as well as the recurring characters from Unwind.

Unwind was an unqualified 5-star listen for me, despite its requirement for major suspension of disbelief. UnWholly is almost but not quite up to that level. I was not wholly satisfied with the ending, which anticipates the next entry rather than being self-contained like Unwind. While the new characters are welcome additions (despite being recast Unwind archetypes, aside from Cam), and while Risa and Lev advance nicely, Conner stagnates, acting contrary to what we have come to expect of him for no reason that adequately presented.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Leah
  • 17-02-2014

Can not wait for #3!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Unwholly?

The ending is such a cliff hanger...Is it weird that I hope Risa and Cam wind (no pun intended) up together?

What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

The reader was expressive and held my interest. I have enjoyed his work in other books too.

Any additional comments?

Very good listen but not sure if it truly compares to Unwind but I must say Neal is an amazing author! Keep em' coming Neal...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Aaron G. Sword
  • 05-06-2013

I wish I could give it 50 stars!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely, it's an amazing story that will make you think, that will touch you deeply and besides all that it's just a darn good story with marvelous characters.

What did you like best about this story?

I don't know if I can pick just one thing, the whole story was amazing from start to finish, I desperately didn't want it to end. This sounds silly, but what I liked best was that it was a continuation from the first one, I wanted more of the story and this was it. I also loved the message of redemption.

Have you listened to any of Luke Daniels’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes I have, this one is at least as good, maybe even better. Regardless, it was AWEsome.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When I realized something about one of the characters ... before the story explained it. I was shocked, intrigued, horrified, amazed ... all that once.

Any additional comments?

Read UnWind first, and then read this one. It's an order! You won't regret it, I promise.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-11-2018

Superb

It was an excellent read, or listen I should say. Shusterman delivers a story that's exciting right from the very beginning all the way to the end. His writing style is different, yet exciting, as he uses the perspective of the many different characters to tell the story. In some books this can be overwhelming, as it seems life to much is going on at one time, and at times you catch a hint of that, but the way he ties it all in to capture the big picture of the whole story is very satisfying. I highly recommend these books!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 25-10-2018

A well told tale!!

This is a worthy sequel to an amazing story. Props to the author for being able to write from the perspective of multiple characters, and that gives a very interesting and detailed look into the mindset of the characters.

Luke Daniels does an amazing job at making sure each of the characters voice is heard and distinct. He turned a 12 hour audiobook into a 12 hour movie for the mind. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a hugely entertaining listen!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Smith
  • 11-10-2018

Excellent book, but not quite Unwind

This is an excellent second book to the series, but it doesn't have the same emotional depth as the first. That's ok, because it's also not a repeat of the first, either. It represents the movement of the series a bit closer to "the Fugitive" on the run story telling, though it still gives much insight into how this world is different from our current world, how it got there, and where it might go.

little is answered in this story. Unwind could be read as a stand-alone story, but this is clearly part of a series, and as such, it leaves many of it's answers to other installments. Once again, that's ok. I look forward to reading them.

I need to give a special shout out to Luke Daniels, who is always excellent, but really went the extra mile on this one, especially in the beginning. He totally nailed the tone this book deserves. Awesome job, dude.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • horsestuff
  • 21-09-2018

Voices drove me crazy

I love this series and don’t wAnt to stop listening but the narrator’s voices are driving me crazy. Every single voice except the main character is whiny and loud. Why???? As much as I love the story I almost shut it down several times because of the voices.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bosco
  • 15-09-2018

What Is a Person?

This book is a worthy sequel to the first book in the series. It digs deeper into the themes of existence and personhood. Just as in today's political landscape, the notion that corporations are people with more rights than actual people makes its ugly appearance here. And there's a Frankenstein sort of theme happening as well.

This book is intense, and I'll need a bit of a break before I start the next in the series.

Daniels, by the way, is a good narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • PATRICIA
  • 08-01-2017

Great story, ridiculous narration

Ever get tired of singers adding multiple notes in a song to show off their range? That's this book. The story is really good and has great characters, however the narrator is so over the top with his voices that it took a lot for me to get to the end. I had to turn it off a few times because it just got to be too much. If the next audiobook has the same narrator I'm going to have to skip it until I have time to read it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Joy
  • 27-05-2015

Great series

What an amazing if disturbing concept.
An extremely well performed production, I am finding that I just want to keep listening !!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful