UnSouled by Neal Shusterman young adult science fiction audiobook reviewsUnSouled by Neal Shusterman young adult science fiction audiobook reviewsUnSouled by Neal Shusterman

The third book in Neal Shusterman’s YA UNWIND DYSTOLOGY is UnSouled (2013). It follows Unwind and UnWholly, and you’ll need to read those first. I almost gave up on this series because I found the premise to be so unlikely but, while Shusterman has not convinced me that many Americans would choose to have their children “unwound” (scrapped for parts, basically), he’s managed, over three books, to build an alternate history that at least has made me seriously consider the possibility and has challenged me to consider the consequences.

If you’ve been reading the UNWIND DYSTOLOGY, and are interested enough that you’re thinking about reading UnSouled, let me assure you that this installment maintains the quick-paced, dramatic, and high-stakes action you’re expecting. Shusterman is such a good storyteller.

Our favorite characters, Connor, Risa, Lev, and Cam are still working to change public opinion and stop the practice of unwinding. Along with all the normal sorts of dangers they’ve been encountering all along (such as parts pirates and juvie cops), new ones arise in this story.

One of these is in the form of an odious but fascinating new character named Argent Skinner. He idolizes Connor but his lack of social skills and a moral compass lead him down the wrong path. Every time Argent was on stage, I felt nervous. The same is true of Nelson, the parts pirate we’ve met previously, and Starkey, whose band of escaped storks continue to terrorize the populace, making it even harder for our protagonists to sway public opinion. Argent, Nelson, and Starkey are sociopaths – cruel, unpredictable, and unremorseful.The UNWIND DYSTOLOGY by Neal Shusterman science fiction audiobook reviews young adult

Argent Skinner’s sister Grace, who’s been classified as “low-cortical” is another new and important, but much more likeable, character. Some protagonists from previous books make surprise and welcome re-appearances in UnSouled, too.

UnSouled is an exciting and entertaining story that explores the ethical dilemmas and societal consequences of “aborting” unwanted teenagers. These consequences become more believable with each installment and I’m curious to see how Connor and his friends will change people’s minds.

My daughter and I are looking forward to what should be an epic conclusion in the final novel, UnDivided. We’re listening to the audiobooks (Audible Studios), performed by Luke Daniels.

Published in 2013. Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they’re not just running away from something. This time, they’re running toward answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to bringing down unwinding forever. Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. Because he knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human. With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, the paths of Connor, Lev, Cam, and Risa will converge explosively—and everyone will be changed. Neal Shusterman continues the adventure that VOYA called “poignant, compelling, and ultimately terrifying.”



  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.