Review: Neal Shusterman’s Unwind Dystology (Thus Far)

Neal Shusterman is a genius.

There are four books in the Unwind dystology– the fourth and final installment is scheduled to be released fall 2014.

My question: how in the world am I gonna wait that long???


These are books that make you think.  They take place in the future, years after the Heartland War (between the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice movements).  The agreement that everyone has come to is this: abortion is illegal, but when your child is a teenager, you can choose to have him/her “unwound”– that is, every part of their body will be used for organ donation.  This is not seen as the equivalent of killing a teen because all of their parts are still technically alive; instead, they are “living in the divided state.”

Dystopian novels are not really my thing.  High-octane action and adventure?  Not really my thing.  I like my contemporaries with great characters and lots of emotional processing.

But these books?  Yes.  So good.

There’s so much to think about– and so many wonderful characters, the three primary characters being Connor, a would-be Unwind on the run; Risa, a state ward being unwound due to budget cuts; and Lev, a “tithe,” the tenth child of his religious family, who has been raised his whole life to believe that his unwinding will be a gift back to God.

Book one: awesome.  (Bonus: includes the most disturbing scene I’ve ever read in YA ever.)
Book two: even better. (Bonus: Miracolina.)
Book three: love this series. (Bonus: frenemies/rivals/awkward love triangle!)
Book four: can. not. wait.

Split Up by MiaSteingraeber on deviantArt

Split Up by MiaSteingraeber on deviantArt

Other series I love:
The Lumatere Chronicles
Chaos Walking Trilogy
The Chronicles of Narnia

Related post:
My Mixed Feelings on Book Series

6 thoughts on “Review: Neal Shusterman’s Unwind Dystology (Thus Far)

  1. I’ve been on the fence about whether or not to read this series for a while because the concept disturbs me a bit (I had to stop reading House of the Scorpion, which has a slightly similar concept, halfway through because it was too graphically disturbing). But maybe I ought to pick it up after all.

    Have you read House of the Scorpion? I’d be curious about your take on that one since it also has a similar idea at its core (although the main character in Scorpion is pretty much slated for a certain fate from the get go, so the concept isn’t exactly the same).

    • Hi Christi!

      Yes, I read House of the Scorpion too! I like the Unwind dystology better– HOWEVER (big however), there is a very, very disturbing scene in the first book. Much more disturbing than anything I remember from HotS!

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