Teens control the fate of America in the fourth and final book in the New York Times best-selling Unwind dystology by Neal Shusterman.
Proactive Citizenry, the company that created Cam from the parts of unwound teens, has a plan: to mass produce rewound teens like Cam for military purposes. And below the surface of that horror lies another shocking level of intrigue: Proactive Citizenry has been suppressing technology that could make unwinding completely unnecessary. As Conner, Risa, and Lev uncover these startling secrets, enraged teens begin to march on Washington to demand justice and a better future. But more trouble is brewing. Starkey's group of storked teens is growing more powerful and militant with each new recruit. And if they have their way, they'll burn the harvest camps to the ground and put every adult in them before a firing squad - which could destroy any chance America has for a peaceful future.
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BonsaiCats are Gross
fun, creepy, fresh
I would compare the format to A Song of Ice and Fire or Zelazny's Donnerjack, or Gaiman's American Gods (which is a pretty blatant Zelazny rip-off, IMO). The point of view jumps from one character to another, and often to characters that are actually peripheral to the central plot line, characters with no name who do little more than witness the events. This keeps the story fresh in ways that other books do not.
Let's face it. YA dystopian novels are a dime a dozen anymore. But if you've ever found yourself sick of listening to Katniss talk about how she's not-so-hot but can't decide which dude she wants, or Triss talk about how she's really not-that-hot but can't stop obsessing about the dude she wants, or any John Green character talk about how they're not-so-hot but can't stop borderline stalkerish behavior over someone they like, then this book is for you. Sure, that stuff comes up in the Unwind series. But just when it could start to get annoying, the point of view jumps to a gardener across the country, or inside the head of someone being harvested for organs, or whatever.
When Shusterman gets creepy, I enjoy it. And I need to be clear about this: I don't like horror. I find it gory and often silly instead of scary. Shusterman is not horror. He is suspense. He places the reader in the minds of characters slowly watching something terrible happen, slowly comprehending their levels of helplessness, slowly admitting to themselves that it is really happening. It sounds terrible, and it is. Which is what makes it so effective. Shusterman understands that enduring hope can sometimes be the worst thing to have in a bad situation.
Shusterman also does not always go for the cheap creepies. Which is not to say that the books do not go to extremes. They do. However, just when you think, oh gods, I am about to listen to some gross and predictable teen sexual assault, it turns out, no, actually, it's something completely different. And when a villain would normally menace and threaten a kid in another book, Shusterman has the villain show surprising integrity, or indefensible violence, or some messed-up combination of both.
It's not boring.
In this book, I think it was the scene when Camus asked Roberta to say Risa's name. It was just a damn shame, and it was the first time I kind of cared about Camus Comprix.
I want another series like this, full of action, politics, sci-fi, and heart. And read by Luke Daniels. <3 Luke Daniels. Hook up recommendations if any of you have them. I plow right through book series, both in audio and print, so I could use some fresh material.