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Ned VizziniWhat keeps Unwind moving are the creative and shocking details of Shusterman's kid-mining dystopia. First, there are the Orwellian linguistic tricks. People who have been unwound are not "dead"—they are "in a divided state." Then there are the rules and rituals. Before being unwound, Lev is honored with a lavish "tithing party," which bears a strong resemblance to a bar mitzvah. The most terrifying scene is devoted to the unwinding itself. The author's decision to describe the process is a questionable one—a book's great unknown can leave the strongest impression on a reader—but he executes as precisely as the surgeons who perform the unwinding. Ultimately, though, the power of the novel lies in what it doesn't do: come down explicitly on one side or the other.
—The New York Times