4 stars

A unique, interesting YA science fiction novel.

This was a very original story that completely intrigued me. Don’t get me wrong, the concepts in this book are horrifying, but it is well-written and tells a great story. The book is fast-paced and a quick read.

The book is set sometime in the future. The country has endured a second civil war over reproductive rights. In the end, abortion is outlawed and a child’s life is protected from conception until the child turns thirteen. From age thirteen to eighteen, however, the child’s parents can choose to have the child “unwound”, a process whereby every organ of the child is transplanted into multiple people. The rationalization is that the child’s life is not really over because it lives on in others.

The book follows three children’s journey as they each face being unwound. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa is a ward of the state and deemed not important enough to live. Lev is a tithe – a child born specifically to be unwound as a sacrifice.

There isn’t very much world building in the book, so we don’t really know why society ended up with this crazy concept. The characters are fairly well developed, however, with plenty of people to cheer for and hate. This is the first book in a series, and I plan to read the rest of the books.