I’ll be honest and say that UnSould is not my favorite book in the Unwind series. Like Many books in the middle of book series, though it does move the story along, it does not feel like it has as much momentum as the first two prior books or the last book. It’s more set up for the final book in the series. However, that does not mean it doesn’t matter. Interesting things do happen, especially with character intevhppy ns. One of my favorite things about book series, particularly this book, is all the different character interactions. We get to see so many characters meet that haven’t even known each other existed. Usually, there is at least one character with the two meeting characters that have met both of them before, and that connects them, but there are still new character dynamics to be explored. I also think that Neal might have wanted to have some fun, but that’s just my speculation. Either way, I had fun. One of the most interesting examples of this is between Cam and Una. If, like me, you unknowingly skip UnStrung (a novella by Shusterman that explores what happened to Lev between leaving Cyrus and arriving at The Graveyard, you wouldn’t know who Una is or another character mentioned in their conversation. However, regardless of whether you have all the information or not, their meeting is still one of the best moments character-wise in the book too. The other one that will make you think about all of these new interactions is Shusterman uses them to discuss more of the society in Unwind and make the world more complex.
My favorite way Neal did both of these at once was when Risa ended up with Cyrus and his dads. They rescue her from a parts pirate trap, and while she heals, they look after her; more specifically, they do so at a compound where many people who have received a part of Tylor have chosen to live together. Not everyone, but many. Through this time, we learn that Cyrus has been campaigning against unwinding and for the Cap 17 bill to make the age at which someone can be unwound lower, saving many people. I love this. Not only do I get to see a great character, whom I haven’t seen in two books again, and he’s used to furthering changes in the story and the world at large. It’s great to be able to follow the main characters, pushing through the main story, but we get all of the above stuff at the same time! It’s great! Everything is connected.
The setup for later stuff is also very cool. I don’t want to spoil what that stuff is, but I will say that there is one thing, in particular, that would greatly benefit the real world as well as the world of Unwind. It’s both unsettling and very cool. Also, something that makes me happy as a neurodivergent person is a new character introduced, who plays a huge part in the plot moving in the long term. It makes me happy to find a character similar to me in something other than skin tone, and, though she is not a main character, the story would still not have moved forward without her. Very nice to see, especially in a society where disability can be cured so easily. She sees her neuro divergence as a positive thing, and that’s great.
All in all, though UnSould isn’t my favorite in the series, I appreciate the new characters and new character dynamics it introduces. I like seeing characters who wouldn’t normally interact, especially when they have a connection neither knows about. It leads to exciting drama and, usually, actions that progress the story. I also like seeing characters again, which I haven’t seen in a long time. It’s entertaining seeing how they’ve changed since I last saw them and how they’re trying to change society for the better or worse. This is a must-read if you want to finish the series, and though it’s slower, you’ll enjoy seeing the characters again, along with new ones.