Top critical review
Well written but ultimately disappointing (Spoilers)
Reviewed in the United States on July 5, 2015
I really enjoyed the first Unwind novel and the second, while inferior to the first, was still enjoyable. The first two novels were entertaining throughout (though there are some exceptions in the second book) and build to a climax that is both exciting and game-changing. This novel, however, functioned as the padding-heavy middle novel of the cytology; one that functions more to set up the final novel than to tell it's own story. As such, nothing particularly dramatic happens in the book. Connor and Lev begin the novel on their way to meet Sonia, but end up taking a frustratingly long detour to the other side of the country, to an Indian, or "chancefolk", reservation that Lev apparently spent some time at in between his abduction by Connor and Risa and his stint as a flapper. Since this was never actually mentioned in the first book, it seems like Shusterman added it in later as an afterthought. Consequently, it is somewhat hard to care about the people and the community that lives on the reservation, as it seems that a chapter was missing from the first book, a chapter that would have made us more interested in the characters who live on the reservation. Connor is at least on the audience's side, finding life on the reservation dull and wanting to leave for Ohio, but they don't get to leave until well into the novel. Connor (without Lev) eventually arrives at Sonia's antique shop, but there are not enough pages left at that point for the plot to advance significantly. There is a potential alternative to unwinding revealed at the end, but it does not fill the hole that is in the absence of a climax. Starkey grows more powerful with his band of storms, liberating several harvest camps through violent means, and it is rather interesting that Starkey is hurting the case against unwinding by doing so. However, there is an expectation that something major will happen with him and his stork army; that they will run into Connor and Lev again, perhaps, but this never happens in the novel. Any sort of battle between Connor and Starkey will not be seen until the final book. As with the rest, not much of note happens with Risa- she meets up with "CyFi" from the first book; this at first seems like it will lead to further plot developments but likely will not as she leaves him and moves on not long after meeting him. She eventually reunites with Connor, but, again, there are not enough pages left in the book at that point for anything significant to happen between them. There is also Cam, who gets somewhat more interesting in this book with his hopelessness and pain at feeling as if he is not a real person. He is part of a sort of love triangle between him and Connor for Risa, though he is eventually taken captive after running away from his duty to join the military. There is also Nelson the parts pirate, who, under the false instruction from his new companion Argent, is led on a wild goose chase across America in search of Connor. Eventually realizing his partner's deception, he becomes more focused and ends the novel at more or less where he started it, though at least he now knows where to find Connor, which I expect will happen in the fourth and final book of the dystology. Overall, the book is a page-turner, as the reader is fooled into thinking something exciting will happen soon. There are some tense and exciting sequences in the novel, but these never lead to any sort of climax. As such, I felt I was reading Unwind: Part Three rather than UnSouled. The book lacks a structure of its own. That said, I am definitely looking forward to reading the fourth and final novel of the Unwind Dystology, which is sure to be exciting and gripping, delivering everything it promises. It is a true shame that one cannot say tHe same of UnSouled.