Disclosure: I received this complimentary product (Unleashed) through Raincoast Books.
Jinxed, which I have not read and now wish to, is the prequel to Unleashed by Amy McCulloch. Imagine a world where humans and machinery/technology are linked together. Baku come in different levels with a variety of capabilities to be used for good. The question is… what happens if someone programs them for personal gain? Therein lies the story behind Unleashed. Can Jinx (the baku) along with his human friends keep people safe?
Affiliate Links will be used in this post with no cost to you, it just helps to support my blog.
Unleashed is the second in a series by Amy McCulloch. Produced by Sourcebooks, This non-fiction read runs at 352 page and is written for youth 8-12 years of age. It’s a good introduction in to the world of science fiction, and who couldn’t love a book where one of the main characters is a cat! In this world humans are paired with “baku”―a customizable “pet” with all the capabilities of a smartphone. These Baku are available ability levels 1-4.
I am reviewing Unleashed on behalf of Raincoast Books.
Before I get too far into this review can I talk about the cover? Wow… draw a person in! As soon as I saw the cover I was intrigued! I just love the colours used and the implication of action. My curiosity was piqued by the animals (that didn’t look quite right) running alongside the youth.
Digging into Unleashed
Amy McCulloch brings her characters to life with keen descriptions and real-life dialogue. Quick-pacing draws you into the story wanting to know just what will happen next. The only slow-feeling bits are when she’s worried over her mom, and I would expect that section to feel slower, out of concern you know?
This hardcover novel is easy to hold in your hands with a font size that is comfortable for reading. I appreciated the font type difference between internal thoughts, baku thoughts, and the rest of the book. Helped with keeping everything straight.
The artwork within is very simple. Each of the 43 chapters starts with this logo. The five sections are simply labeled with an overall theme.
Should you get Unleashed?
If your teens have a fondness for science fiction or are just branching out in this genre, Unleashed is a well-written tome. With a visually compelling cover, well-developed characters, and a storyline that makes sense you’ll find it a good read (or at least your middle-schoolers should!) Mind, you might want to read Jinxed first! It will fill in some of the gaps that I felt while reading.
The themes about using technology to force an ideology could make for an interesting discussion. Was Eric wrong in what he wanted for people and his method wrong? Or was his ideology just plain wrong? Only you can truly decide that based on your paradigm of thinking. Thought-compelling to consider both the positive and negative implications of having a talking, interactive, cellphone smart pet at your beck and call. But overall, a good read.