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review 2016-04-23 18:25
Undivided - Neal Shusterman

Well, that was satisfyingly messed up.


In the final-ish book of this series, Connor, Risa, Lev, and Cam uncover some of Proactive Citizenry’s secrets. The organization has been blocking scientific progress so that they can use their technology to get rich off military contracts. While Cam tries to expose Proactive Citizenry, Connor and Risa are on the run from parts pirates, and Lev is trying to get justice for all of the teens who have been unwound. While all of this is happening, Starkey continues his terroristic attacks on harvest camps, but some of the kids he commands have a plan to overthrow him.


One of the reasons why I don’t read a lot of series is that I usually don’t like how they end. There are so many plot threads in a series that they are rarely all wrapped up in a satisfying way. I think authors also sometimes chicken out with the ends of series. Authors are so desperate to give every character a happily ever after that the finale is bland.


Neal Shusterman did a fairly awesome job of ending this series. UnDivided is unpredictable, fast-paced, and creepy. There were several times where I stared at the book in horror, thinking No, that did not just happen! I was scared for the characters the whole way through. Every time I thought this series couldn’t get any more disturbing, it gets more disturbing. I would love to give examples, but everything I want to say is a spoiler, so you’ll just have to trust me.


This is my second-favorite book in the series. The first book is still my favorite, but this is a satisfying ending. I only have two small problems with it:


First, (I know I already said this in another review), I still don’t understand Risa. She’s a love interest and nothing else. I really, really wanted her to have more of a role in the conclusion of the series.


Second, there is a scene where Connor is trapped in a room full of kids who are sedated with IVs. Connor can’t get out of the room, so he pretty much just sits there until he’s captured. Why didn’t he yank the IVs out of the kids? He yanked out his own IV. Maybe taking out everyone else’s would have caused enough chaos that he could have escaped. Or he could have had a very sleepy army at his disposal. Maybe I missed something, but that part of the book didn’t make much sense to me.


Again, I’ve said it in other reviews, but my favorite part of this series is the ethical questions that it examines. UnDivided shows the dangers of letting science go too far and also the dangers of suppressing science.


“ . . . facts never prevent the ignorant from jerking their knees into the groin of science.” - UnDivided


Just because modern science doesn’t have the perfect solution to a problem doesn’t mean that it never will. We have to keep working toward solutions, but we have to be careful about how we do that work. Getting rich from scientific advancements should not be more important than human lives.


If I had to sum up this series with one word, I’d call it “brave.” The author confronts a lot of topics that most other authors would shy away from. I don’t agree with every position that the author/narrator/characters take in these books, but I think UnDivided is a brave conclusion to a brave series.

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text 2015-11-04 09:06
3/5: UnDivided
Undivided - Neal Shusterman

Book four of four.

Having a destination, Lev, Risa, Connor and Cam are on the move again. Their arcs, started four books ago, come sluggishly to a close. I plowed my way through this one. Shusterman takes his time to explore the characters and develop them right to the end. It feels like he didn't quite have enough material to stretch to four books.

I had a few problems with this one. There were a surprising number of easily spotted typos, for one thing. But more importantly, some characters who were working up to be major players were forgotten in the climax. I would have liked to have seen them standing at the end, to know how they were doing.

This is a series that was running low on steam towards the middle of book three, and it’s straining to reach a conclusion by the end. Stop at the gut punching UnWind or go no further than UnWholly.

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text 2014-12-02 01:14
Feeling my biblio-groove again! (Nov reads)
Undivided - Neal Shusterman
Symbiont - Mira Grant
Hate is Such a Strong Word... - Sarah Ayoub
The Final Descent - Rick Yancey
Revival - Stephen King
Somebody Killed His Editor - Josh Lanyon
All She Wrote - Josh Lanyon

This feels so good!


For months and months, since the spring, my reading has been nearly nonexistent.  I mean, I'm talking only like one or two books a month.


The worst part was that I went into this change in my life and pattern just after joining an actual blog, when I'm supposed to be on my game and I just wasn't.  


I've finished SEVEN books this month!  It's not quite the 11 I was at previously, but damn it I'm proud of those 7 books up there.


Best book that I read up there is probably Undivided.  It's maybe a little bit cheating though since it's the final installment in a beloved series so if I'm being fair my favorite book that was a total surprise was Someone Killed His Editor.  (Awful cover.  Awful.  Really cute story.)


I don't think that any of these books qualifies as a 'disappointment' but I guess if I had to pick one that I liked the least it would definitely be Hate is Such a Strong Word.  


Overall, I'm happy with how my month ended.  I definitely intend to do more for December!

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review 2014-11-27 00:00
Undivided - Neal Shusterman I hated to see the series end. This book answers all remaining questions. I loved how Shusterman ended the series. Fans won't be disappointed. I literally could not put this down.
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review 2014-11-20 17:49
UnDivided by Neal Shusterman
Undivided - Neal Shusterman

This is it. The final book in the Unwind dystology. Dystology… my computer says this isn’t even a word. Which I suppose is fair, since Unwind, Rewound, and Storking aren't words either. It fits. A ‘Dystopian-ology’.

Anyway, I read Unwind quite a while ago, before even book 2 was out back when Unwind was supposed to be just a standalone but the fans fell in love with the story of the Heartland War and the Unwind accord and Shusterman decided to turn it into a series instead. The ride over the course of the 4.5 books was both up and down, some better than others. In one book I would dislike a character, and in another I would love him. (This is a good explanation for my feelings on Lev Calder/Garrity.)

In UnDivided, the final book in the Dystology, I was prepared to be let down. Usually in a final book the anticipation is so high that the book can’t measure up. You feel like something is missing, or glossed over, or rushed through. I thought it likely that I would just read it and then move on, unaffected. The reality is that I don’t think it was the best I've read, but it did make a statement. At about 75% the tears were rolling down my face, and it continued that way off and on until the end of the book. So much sacrifice. I don’t want to give anything away, just take away from this review that it was so good. It was worth it all.

One thing, you know how other series where the novella’s and shorts are accents but don’t necessarily need to be read to enjoy the main series? The Unwind Dystology is not like that. There is one short. It comes after book one, before book 2, and you really should make sure you read it. You can read 2 and enjoy it, though there are some undertones you won’t understand. You can’t read books 3 and the final book 4 if you haven’t read Unstrung. The events in Unstrung have a very big influence on what happens in those final books.

Unique, wonderful, dystopian series.

There are plenty of great reviews, just like this one, over at Badass Book Reviews! Check us out!

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