I just finished reading Unwind by Neal Shusterman. The novel is set after the second civil war between pro-lifers and pro-choice armies. There are massive losses. In the end, the opponents sign a Bill of Life which ends abortion as we know it. The Bill says between thirteen and eighteen years old, a parent can sign an unwind order. This essentially means retroactive termination. Children are sent to harvest camps where all of their organs are harvested, and the child lives on in the lives of many. The story is about three unwinds who run away and hope to survive to their eighteenth birthdays.
The way Shusterman presents complex moral and ethical issues here is similar to speculative fiction writer, Octavia E. Butler does. Neither of the authors supplants simplistic stances over others. While a reader may have an initial preference or belief, they soon find their ideas and perspectives challenged. The work demands deeper examination. What the reader initially feels repelled by becomes complicated when faced with circumstances that don’t lend themselves to either/or choices.
There are parallel stories involving the three main characters that collide, and there are some good secondary characters to help round out the cast. There is intrigue and mystery and action that move the story along at a good pace. The reader can feel the adrenaline kick in for the characters and feels choked with anxiety and fear.
I really enjoyed this page turner. The author doesn't take a position on abortion, when life begins or what army was right. Instead, his characters wrestle with the ramifications of the war and the creation of the Bill of Life. Shusterman is a new author for me. I intend to check out more by him.