web site hit counter Unity - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Unity

Availability: Ready to download

Evoking the grittiness of Mad Max and the idealism of Sense8, this absorbing sci-fi debut is a dynamic vision of the fluidity of identity. With Unity, breakout author Elly Bangs has created a prescient, moving, and unforgettable adventure that expands upon human consciousness and its possibilities. “Imagine Neuromancer and Lilith’s Brood conceived a baby while listening to Evoking the grittiness of Mad Max and the idealism of Sense8, this absorbing sci-fi debut is a dynamic vision of the fluidity of identity. With Unity, breakout author Elly Bangs has created a prescient, moving, and unforgettable adventure that expands upon human consciousness and its possibilities. “Imagine Neuromancer and Lilith’s Brood conceived a baby while listening to My Chemical Romance and then that baby was adopted by Ghost in the Shell and Blue Submarine no. 6. The baby’s name is Unity.” —Meredith Russo, author of If I Were Your Girl Danae, a tech servant in the underwater enclave of Bloom City, is haunted by a grief that cannot be contained in a single body. But while in the city, her fractured self cannot be returned to the larger collective of beings to whom she once belonged. Unable to tolerate separation any longer, Danae plans to escape the city with her lover, Naoto. Just in time to avoid disaster, they hire the enigmatic ex-mercenary Alexei to guide them. But returning to Danae’s home means fleeing across the otherworldly beauty of the postapocalyptic Southwest. Meanwhile, an old stalker has picked up her trail, and a new foe has put a bounty on her head. Unbeknownst to any of them, Danae, Alexi, and Naoto are also in their own pursuit—of a completely new configuration of mutual understanding.


Compare

Evoking the grittiness of Mad Max and the idealism of Sense8, this absorbing sci-fi debut is a dynamic vision of the fluidity of identity. With Unity, breakout author Elly Bangs has created a prescient, moving, and unforgettable adventure that expands upon human consciousness and its possibilities. “Imagine Neuromancer and Lilith’s Brood conceived a baby while listening to Evoking the grittiness of Mad Max and the idealism of Sense8, this absorbing sci-fi debut is a dynamic vision of the fluidity of identity. With Unity, breakout author Elly Bangs has created a prescient, moving, and unforgettable adventure that expands upon human consciousness and its possibilities. “Imagine Neuromancer and Lilith’s Brood conceived a baby while listening to My Chemical Romance and then that baby was adopted by Ghost in the Shell and Blue Submarine no. 6. The baby’s name is Unity.” —Meredith Russo, author of If I Were Your Girl Danae, a tech servant in the underwater enclave of Bloom City, is haunted by a grief that cannot be contained in a single body. But while in the city, her fractured self cannot be returned to the larger collective of beings to whom she once belonged. Unable to tolerate separation any longer, Danae plans to escape the city with her lover, Naoto. Just in time to avoid disaster, they hire the enigmatic ex-mercenary Alexei to guide them. But returning to Danae’s home means fleeing across the otherworldly beauty of the postapocalyptic Southwest. Meanwhile, an old stalker has picked up her trail, and a new foe has put a bounty on her head. Unbeknownst to any of them, Danae, Alexi, and Naoto are also in their own pursuit—of a completely new configuration of mutual understanding.

30 review for Unity

  1. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Anders

    Unity by Elly Bangs is both exhilarating and refreshing: a brand new spin on the ideas of personhood and identity that science fiction, and cyberpunk in particular, have been playing with forever. If you've always been fascinated by Star Trek's Trills, or the body-swapping hijinks of Altered Carbon and other brain-upload fantasies, then you're in for a treat here. Unity follows Danae, a young woman who's not what she appears: She's actually just one body in a huge gestalt, a shared consciousness Unity by Elly Bangs is both exhilarating and refreshing: a brand new spin on the ideas of personhood and identity that science fiction, and cyberpunk in particular, have been playing with forever. If you've always been fascinated by Star Trek's Trills, or the body-swapping hijinks of Altered Carbon and other brain-upload fantasies, then you're in for a treat here. Unity follows Danae, a young woman who's not what she appears: She's actually just one body in a huge gestalt, a shared consciousness that joins together scores of human minds. But Danae has become separated from the rest of herself, and she's been hiding away because she did something unforgivable. She and her lover Naoto meet Alexei, who is also struggling with the weight of his own horrible actions. The three of them leave Bloom City, an undersea metropolis under attack, and journey to find Danae's other selves. Unity starts out feeling like an adrenaline-fueled futuristic thriller, and slowly starts unspooling all of its big ideas about what it means to be one consciousness with multiple selves -- how is this different from the way that Alexei learned to subsume his individuality into the whole, when he was a child soldier? Bangs keeps a bunch of plates spinning, including a warlord who wants Danae for nefarious reasons, and a former friend of Danae's original self who's hunting her, but everything comes together in a surprising way in the end. And it leads up to a final epiphany that I won't share here, but which made me gasp out loud. Anyway, this powerful book snuck up on me and ultimately blew me away, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jael

    A dystopian future featuring nanobots and underwater cities. Aptly described as "evoking the grittiness of Mad Max and the idealism of Sense8". Great commentary on what it means to be human with some transcendentalist undertones. Highly recommended for all science fiction/cyberpunk fans! I really enjoyed Unity. The world building was superb, the two main characters were likeable despite their flaws, and the villains were unhinged and legitimately terrifying (looking at you, Luther, you incel mfer A dystopian future featuring nanobots and underwater cities. Aptly described as "evoking the grittiness of Mad Max and the idealism of Sense8". Great commentary on what it means to be human with some transcendentalist undertones. Highly recommended for all science fiction/cyberpunk fans! I really enjoyed Unity. The world building was superb, the two main characters were likeable despite their flaws, and the villains were unhinged and legitimately terrifying (looking at you, Luther, you incel mfer). It was both a fun and contemplative (but not heavy) read. Will definitely be recommending this one to friends, and I am very much looking forward to the next book by Elly Bangs!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Midu Hadi

    I requested this book on Netgalley and I'm so glad I did! Like most of my favorite sf movies, such as Total Recall, Mad Max Fury Road, and Matrix, this book doesn't let off on the action. Our protagonists are constantly on the run and things keep on happening. In short, I liked the fast pace. But like those same movies, this book was a collection of ideas and all of them could be potentially explored for world-building and extending purposes. Since this is a stand-alone, I felt like that didn't I requested this book on Netgalley and I'm so glad I did! Like most of my favorite sf movies, such as Total Recall, Mad Max Fury Road, and Matrix, this book doesn't let off on the action. Our protagonists are constantly on the run and things keep on happening. In short, I liked the fast pace. But like those same movies, this book was a collection of ideas and all of them could be potentially explored for world-building and extending purposes. Since this is a stand-alone, I felt like that didn't take place. And just like those flicks, I could pretty much predict that the ending won't satisfy me -- and it didn't! So, to conclude, if you like gritty, post-apocalyptic stories, then this is the book for you!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Rixon

    Full disclosure: Elly is my friend, and I think she's one of the coolest people I know, so take that into consideration when I say that book is fucking amazing and I'm so glad I read it. Even with covid-related-attention-deficit I finished it in a single day. I felt SO MANY FEELINGS. The setting is feral and fresh and upsettingly plausible while still somehow featuring a Mad Max-esque warlord-torn Arizona that nearly gets eaten by nanobots after a nuclear-brinksmanship-esque cold war goes hot. Y Full disclosure: Elly is my friend, and I think she's one of the coolest people I know, so take that into consideration when I say that book is fucking amazing and I'm so glad I read it. Even with covid-related-attention-deficit I finished it in a single day. I felt SO MANY FEELINGS. The setting is feral and fresh and upsettingly plausible while still somehow featuring a Mad Max-esque warlord-torn Arizona that nearly gets eaten by nanobots after a nuclear-brinksmanship-esque cold war goes hot. You can tell that Elly knows things about science and history and so on, but what she knows best is the human heart. It left me with an aftertaste of resolve to make the world better, which is my favorite kind of story. Seriously, read this. You won't be disappointed.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aliki Ekaterini Chapple

    This is an excellent science fiction novel, combining a terrifyingly plausible and beautifully thought-out nightmare future with fast-paced violent action (something I don’t always love, but it works just right here) and a deep concern for character, consciousness, and the nature of humanity. All the charm of a puzzle box with a great deal more substance. That it comes down, in the end, on the side of a metaphysical argument I instinctively distrust and ultimately disagree with and that I loved This is an excellent science fiction novel, combining a terrifyingly plausible and beautifully thought-out nightmare future with fast-paced violent action (something I don’t always love, but it works just right here) and a deep concern for character, consciousness, and the nature of humanity. All the charm of a puzzle box with a great deal more substance. That it comes down, in the end, on the side of a metaphysical argument I instinctively distrust and ultimately disagree with and that I loved it anyway is an indication of just how good it is.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my fair and honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed are completely my own. This was largely a novel of ideas. The characters themselves were not a strong point, nor was the world the author had created. You had your pretty typical dystopian world, a mishmash of different potential awful futures. It might not even be that far off. Everything politically destabilized, constant war, undersea cities, the land destroyed ecologically, irradiated I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my fair and honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed are completely my own. This was largely a novel of ideas. The characters themselves were not a strong point, nor was the world the author had created. You had your pretty typical dystopian world, a mishmash of different potential awful futures. It might not even be that far off. Everything politically destabilized, constant war, undersea cities, the land destroyed ecologically, irradiated and/or desertified. It often falls into the trap of telling instead of showing - way too much exposition. The beginning was really confusing and it didn't get better going back knowing what was going on. It wasn't a bad first novel. It had a lot of good ideas, it makes you think. I'd read her next novel.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Corvus

    3.5 stars One thing I can say for sure about Elly Bangs is that she is not short on creative and interesting ideas. Her first novel- Unity- is quite the showcase of these ideas. It is difficult to describe this book in a review without giving spoilers, but I am going to do my best. In the afterword of the book, Bangs tells us that she started Unity in high school 18 years ago and that the book kept evolving and transforming as her life did. I can see these kinds of themes throughout the book amon 3.5 stars One thing I can say for sure about Elly Bangs is that she is not short on creative and interesting ideas. Her first novel- Unity- is quite the showcase of these ideas. It is difficult to describe this book in a review without giving spoilers, but I am going to do my best. In the afterword of the book, Bangs tells us that she started Unity in high school 18 years ago and that the book kept evolving and transforming as her life did. I can see these kinds of themes throughout the book among the multiple, interconnecting elements. There were a lot of things in this book I had not seen or read before, or at least not in the way Bangs wrote them. There are cyberpunk, post apocalypse, dystopian, futurist, and many other science fiction subgenres that all meld together. This is a strength of the book. The story is interesting and full of twists and turns. Some of the bigger reveals towards the end are unique and multidimensional in ways that are engaging and entertaining. You can definitely see leftist political persuasions throughout (which I am all for, if that's not clear,) including diverging ways that certain leftist thoughts can become dangerous- particularly those that are authoritarian or pseudo-leftist power grabs. Where I struggled with this book is that there were so many ideas that it sometimes felt as if none of them was fully fleshed out before the next was created. I can see how 18 years of different ideas ended up in the same book. It's not that all of the different things don't fit together- though there are times where I was left wondering why certain things survived apocalyptic collapse intact while others did not. It's more that I was often trying to figure out what was what up until the end. Since the book changes perspective between first person narratives of different characters to the occasional third person narrative, it is important that these characters be distinctive enough from each other. Their life experiences definitely are. But, there were many times where I found myself asking, "wait, who is talking right now?" and flipping back a couple of pages. Now, this could be because I happened to read this book during one of the more tumultuous times in my personal life leading me to have a flawed attention span. But, I do think that also, I often found it hard to tell the narratives and internal dialogues of Danae, Naoto, and Alexei in particular apart. These are very different characters who all sound very similar during their personal narratives. We learn more about "Borrower" as the story goes on, and it fits into how his narrative sets itself apart a bit more. Many of these characters are referred to by completely different names at different times which makes their distinctiveness more important. We also have multiple villain or villain factions (3-4 depending on your perspective) in the story, all of which seek to capture or connect with Danae. Each one has an interesting premise, but again often feels unfinished. We learn more about them as the story progresses but they still remain a bit shallow to me. I would have loved to see this book take on fewer ideas and expand on each one a lot more. Or, to create a series of books where all of the ideas get to remain and be built upon over time. During the last stretch of the book where various villains intentions and worldviews are revealed, there are a lot of interesting explorations of uniformity, power, authority, misanthropy, technological progress vs detriment, and the all around messiness of what it is to be human. I liked that two of the bigger reveals involve characters that represent two sides of the same coin, but for different reasons (I know this is very vague, but I don't want to spoil the most interesting parts.) Learning why all of these people were seeking Danae and the technology contained within her was interesting. The epilogue, though, was not my favorite. There is a moment with Danae and Alexei who once again are doing very similar things despite being very different, and there is a message that the author clearly wants to convey- about allowing humans to be flawed- that I think is an excellent message to end the book with. The vehicle for this message was what I really did not like, and the way it played out was another way in which a shallowness permeated something that could have been further developed into something very interesting. I think that Elly Bangs is overall a good writer with fantastic amounts of creativity and imagination. I would definitely be interested in reading her next novel. I think this is a good start and I also think she can give us a lot more. This was also posted to my blog.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Unity is a bold and impressive debut novel from author Elly Bangs. The premise and the plot are made out of big ideas spread over a landscape scarred with the detritus of innumerable lifetimes. War is coming to Bloom City, an underwater ‘aquapolis,’ and three people are looking to get out before it happens. Danae wants to return home to reunite with her other selves. Her lover, Naoto, will not leave her side. But, Alexei, the mercenary they hire to help them escape, doesn’t exactly inspire confid Unity is a bold and impressive debut novel from author Elly Bangs. The premise and the plot are made out of big ideas spread over a landscape scarred with the detritus of innumerable lifetimes. War is coming to Bloom City, an underwater ‘aquapolis,’ and three people are looking to get out before it happens. Danae wants to return home to reunite with her other selves. Her lover, Naoto, will not leave her side. But, Alexei, the mercenary they hire to help them escape, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. That would be because he really doesn’t care whether he dies in the attempt. They do manage to escape disaster. As in all great adventure novels, however, this is merely the start of their journey. The world portrayed in Unity is more than a post-apocalyptic dystopia. It’s a vision of Earth battered and scarred by multiple disasters, the latest of which looms over the horizon as a deadly gray cloud. Danae might be able to stop this latest threat if she can get home before it’s unleashed. It wouldn’t be the first time she’s saved the world. But the conflict she has left behind is following her, and so is a mysterious stalker from her past. One of the most fascinating aspects of this book is the concept of unity. While I grasped early on that Danae was the current, chosen body of a group consciousness, sorting out who was who and how it all worked did take a little work – work I didn’t at all mind. I enjoy being thrown in at the deep end and learning a world as I go. Bangs’ descriptions of how Danae connects and communicates with others were some of my favourite parts of the novel—especially the conversation she has with herself toward the end. The very important conversation and the revelation that comes along with it. Deeply thoughtful and worth the read just for that. What I did find as I swam up from the deep end, however, was that a heck of a lot of this story happens before the novel begins. Backstory is important an important facet of any character, but when it threatens to bury the current plot, or drives it too directly, I often end up feeling as though a book has started in the wrong place. For as much as I enjoyed Unity as a novel, and I did, I found myself wishing we’d been able to start at the beginning, when Danae first discovered the concept unity. This event is covered, but as a recollection – one that pauses the novel at a pivotal point. This choice on the part of the author does work in a way, in that all is revealed in a sequence of memories that flesh out the characters and connect them more securely to each other. But as each backstory unfolded, I found myself wishing that I was experiencing them in real time, as part of the story rather than the explanation for ‘how we ended up here, as this person.’ I felt somewhat as though I was reading the last book of a trilogy without the benefit of having fully experienced what had come before. The characters of Danae and Alexei didn’t grow on the page for me. I had joined them at their lowest point, when they were worn down and exhausted. So completely done. This feeling robbed a little of the joy out of the ending for me. That being said, I did enjoy the book. I read it all the way to the end because I did want to know how it ended. And when it was all done, I did feel a sense of awe over Elly Bangs’ achievement. It’s a fantastic story and very capably told. I just wish there had been more of it. I’d love to have ridden alongside Danae, Alexei, Naoto, Kat, and even Luther, through the early days of discovery, to have learned their characters as they grew and changed, as their innocence was squashed and hope became buried. That would have been epic. I look forward to seeing where this author takes us next. Reviewed for SFcrowsnest.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Reid

    What an absolutely wonderful debut this is! While it shares some of the limitations of other first-time novels, it is mostly clever, original, compelling, and well-structured. I enjoyed it very much. Danae is a person with a secret: she figured out many years ago how to thoroughly unify with others, leaving no barriers between them. As you might imagine, this has to potential to be both highly beneficial and to have some rather nasty unintended consequences. But Danae and her fellow unifiers are What an absolutely wonderful debut this is! While it shares some of the limitations of other first-time novels, it is mostly clever, original, compelling, and well-structured. I enjoyed it very much. Danae is a person with a secret: she figured out many years ago how to thoroughly unify with others, leaving no barriers between them. As you might imagine, this has to potential to be both highly beneficial and to have some rather nasty unintended consequences. But Danae and her fellow unifiers are extremely careful and only extend themselves to those who think much like them. That is, most of them do.... Sadly for everyone, they are living in a wasted world in the last gasp era after environmental and nuclear devastation has driven most people to live in or on the oceans, where there are still some raw materials for survival. Life is mostly grim in Unity, with little hope for improvement and all sorts of opportunities for making things much, much worse. But some of the denizens of this world retain their consciences and at least a modicum of hope. When Danae and her friend and lover Naoto set out to escape the hell they have been inhabiting, they enlist the services of a mercenary with deep, dark secrets of his own. Told from the perspective of several of these characters, Unity drives us forward relentlessly, adopting the tropes of both a good thriller and first-rate science fiction. Though I found myself scratching my head a bit, trying to understand the different ways that unification works, for the most part the science of all this seemed plausible enough for me to suspend my disbelief and buy wholly into the story. The characterizations are precise and well-crafted and the story arc superb. As I mentioned at the beginning, as with many first novels, this one occasionally falls into the trap of inserting a plot point because it is convenient for the author rather than because it follows logically from the events that came before and/or after. For instance, while I will not give anything away by being more specific, there is a moment when our travelers are attempting to get transportation from someone who would just as soon turn them in for the bounty on their heads and they use a combination of a bribe and a threat to overcome this quandary. My question: why wouldn't their target simply have pocketed the bribe and also turned them in, a win-win for him? I doubt it had anything to do with being honorable. My second observation along the same lines is that Naoto's antipathy toward Standard seems a bit manufactured, as if that conflict is needed to drive the plot but isn't based in any plausible reality. I understand the distrust, but in this case it goes beyond what one would normally expect in the circumstances. Neither of these are deal-breakers, by any means, but feel a bit clumsy to me. One other complaint, and this one I do not lay this at the feet of Elly Bangs, but at her publishers': this book is not copy-edited well at all. I counted at least ten instances of words being left out and at least one of an extra word added. It would not have required much time or expense to have someone go through this text and catch these errors; I consider it a sign of disrespect to the author that the publishers did not see fit to do so. This has become a trend in modern publishing and is far from benign. Elly Bangs worked for 18 years to produce this work and deserves to have her authorship treated seriously enough to have a well-edited book to present to the world. Overall, though, this is a wonderful book and well worth a read. I strongly encourage you to go out an buy a copy so that we can encourage Elly Bangs to keep writing her fascinating stories. I look forward to reading them as soon as I can.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joe Karpierz

    Tachyon Publications has been making a habit of introducing readers to new writers, most recently with Kimberly Unger's NUCLEATION. Now, they've given us a terrific novel by Elly Bangs. UNITY is a lot of things: post apocalyptic, cyberpunk, adventure, thriller. But most of all, it's an exploration of human consciousness and what it means to be human. Danae is a worker in the underwater city of Bloom. The landscape has been obliterated, forcing most of society to live below ground. Danae does not Tachyon Publications has been making a habit of introducing readers to new writers, most recently with Kimberly Unger's NUCLEATION. Now, they've given us a terrific novel by Elly Bangs. UNITY is a lot of things: post apocalyptic, cyberpunk, adventure, thriller. But most of all, it's an exploration of human consciousness and what it means to be human. Danae is a worker in the underwater city of Bloom. The landscape has been obliterated, forcing most of society to live below ground. Danae does not feel complete, whole. She feels the need to escape Bloom and return to those that make her complete. She hires a mercenary, Alexei, to get her safely out of Bloom. Alexei, Danae, and Danae's lover Naoto begin the trek across the desolate landscape to find Danae's people. The problem - and there always is one, of course - is that there is a bounty on her head - well, more precisely what's inside of her - placed by a man named Duke, who has taken over Bloom and who wants the secret of what she carries. There is a crazy and wild escape from Bloom itself, and then an eventful chase across a desolate landscape that we learn used to be the American Southwest. Danae is desperately trying to get to the people she wants to reunite with before she is captured and taken back by Duke and his men. So far, it seems like a fairly standard kind of story we've read before, and there really is nothing new: character has a secret that bad people want, bad people chase character across dystopian landscape, other stuff happens. It's the "other stuff happens" that separates UNITY from other novels with this plot. Yes, Danae carries a secret within her. Alexei has a secret too. And within the course of the second half of the novel, Bangs slowly but surely rolls the secrets out, little by little. Danae's secret is the whopper, of course, the one that the whole story hinges on. As Danae and Alexei interact more, it becomes less of a job for Alexei than it is a badge of honor. He must finish what he started with Danae because it is the honorable and right thing to do. He is let in on the secret just as slowly and surely as the readers are, and while he may not understand it, it helps him in his journey of honor. Complicating this whole thing is the appearance of a character out of Danae's past called "The Borrower". Who is he and what part does he play in all of this? As an aside, you may be wondering how Naoto fits in with all of this. He carries a secret too, but it comes out fairly early in the story and provides motivation for what he does throughout the novel. In my opinion, he is a minor but important character. The story's climax is one of the best I've read in years. Well, maybe not a climax, but a revelation. Danae and The Borrower meet and Danae learns that her project - the secret she's been carrying with her - had been carried on without her. What she learns about humanity and herself is a wonderful statement on what humanity is and could become, and whether we'd want to go down that road that The Borrower revealed to Danae. It's a bit of an uneven book, especially at the start, but once it gets going and we find out what's really going on, it turns into one of the best first novels I've read in a long time. It seems like Bangs has a bright future ahead of her, and it may be time to hop on for the ride.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Unity is an incredibly thought provoking and morally complex story that I quite enjoyed once I got into it. I'll admit that my one qualm with the book was that I was a little lost at first. But as I got into it, I really got into it. I am going to keep it short, because learning about the world and what was happening is truly part of the enjoyment of this book. Look, I know the comps say M You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Unity is an incredibly thought provoking and morally complex story that I quite enjoyed once I got into it. I'll admit that my one qualm with the book was that I was a little lost at first. But as I got into it, I really got into it. I am going to keep it short, because learning about the world and what was happening is truly part of the enjoyment of this book. Look, I know the comps say Mad Max and Sense8, but I don't know anything about those guys. What I do know is, in various parts of my Kindle notes, I indicated several things that reminded me of The 100. Because of course I did. But that is high praise, of course! We've got some definite Transcendence-style hijinks, which you can tell from the synopsis (though in fact, it's probably more ALIE meets Transcendence which is even more fun tbh), and I was so intrigued! I was also wildly impressed with the author's ability to write a collective mindspace where it not only makes sense, but I could completely wrap my head around what the characters were trying to say. But that isn't the only storyline we have here, not by a long shot! And, it isn't the only one that reminded me of a The 100 situation, but spoilers, so I'll keep that one to myself. It's so very morally complex and gray, and the characters all have to make some pretty serious decisions as the story progresses. And as we get to know them and their pasts, it becomes so clear why it means so much to them. Bottom Line: It's an intense and enthralling ride that kept me thinking long after I finished the last page.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Monika

    When Tachyon Publications reached out to me about Unity, Elly Bangs's post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk, sci-fi debut, I couldn't resist accepting a review copy based on the blurbs I read. The novel is said to "evoke the perilous grittiness of Mad Max and the redemptive unification of Sense8." And then Meredith Russo's description really got my attention: "Imagine Neuromancer and Lilith’s Brood conceived a baby while listening to My Chemical Romance and then that baby was adopted by Ghost in the Shell When Tachyon Publications reached out to me about Unity, Elly Bangs's post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk, sci-fi debut, I couldn't resist accepting a review copy based on the blurbs I read. The novel is said to "evoke the perilous grittiness of Mad Max and the redemptive unification of Sense8." And then Meredith Russo's description really got my attention: "Imagine Neuromancer and Lilith’s Brood conceived a baby while listening to My Chemical Romance and then that baby was adopted by Ghost in the Shell and Blue Submarine no. 6." Does that sound super creative and unique, or what?! I know it also sounds like there's a lot going on, but Bangs ties it all together so masterfully, it reads at a smooth, fast, thrilling pace. There's amazing world building that never made me feel overwhelmed or lost. I saw everything so vividly! It was like a movie in my mind as I was reading, and I love when a book gives me that feeling. The driving forces here were the plot and the characters. I think both aspects equally kept me turning those pages—and staying up way too late to finish the book, because I couldn't put it down! The characters were intriguing and mysterious. What was making them tick? What's their backstory? Who are they, really? I enjoyed discovering the answers to my questions as I got to know each of them. Unity completely lived up to its descriptions, and my expectations, and it ended up being one spectacular, wild ride. Not only is this novel exciting, but it's also profoundly thoughtful, especially thinking about the intersection of technology and humanity, and the possible implications in our not-so-distant future. Very cool read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jimbo

    Elly Bangs's debut novel is a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk thriller (at least by what she calls it) AND in more ways than one she is right on the money. The book starts out in an underwater city/nation. Most people live in these nations, while the planet recovers slowly from the destruction of the apocalypse. The land is inhabitable in certain places and there are scavengers and survivors living there. Nanotechnology has been developed, but only Danae has very advanced nanotech in her body. Develope Elly Bangs's debut novel is a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk thriller (at least by what she calls it) AND in more ways than one she is right on the money. The book starts out in an underwater city/nation. Most people live in these nations, while the planet recovers slowly from the destruction of the apocalypse. The land is inhabitable in certain places and there are scavengers and survivors living there. Nanotechnology has been developed, but only Danae has very advanced nanotech in her body. Developed by generations of people who are part of the Unity. She has lived many lives, in many bodies, and it is time for her to head home to united with the others to share information and knowledge. She hires a body guard, a mercenary--Alexi, to take her across the wastelands and guard her against the powers of the cults and scavengers on land to to run from the mob ruled underwater city. She and her lover Naoto find themselves running when a bomber blows up a part of the underwater city. Their escape doesn't go unnoticed. With the help of a wired in friend of Alexi, the fight their way to the Unity place in Arizona only to find that things have changed drastically from what Danae remembers and the world is warring yet again and could through nanites destroy the planet for good. Only Danae and Unity can save the planet. A really good book for everyone and it is worth reading from beginning to end.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cole Greenberg

    Wow....Wow Wow Wow. I JUST finished this book, and all I can say is Wow. I can't put into words the impact this book has just had on me. The philosophical inquiry into consciousness and the human condition that this book entails are mind changing to say the least. I think it's fitting that I can't actually put into words what I'm feeling given the whole plot of this book. I feel like a part of me became Enlightened after reading this. What's funny to me too is that the first part of this book, T Wow....Wow Wow Wow. I JUST finished this book, and all I can say is Wow. I can't put into words the impact this book has just had on me. The philosophical inquiry into consciousness and the human condition that this book entails are mind changing to say the least. I think it's fitting that I can't actually put into words what I'm feeling given the whole plot of this book. I feel like a part of me became Enlightened after reading this. What's funny to me too is that the first part of this book, The Underworld, was kind of lackluster to me. I almost just stopped reading it. But boy am I glad I didn't. The only thing I can say to sci-fi fans who are interested in reading dystopian futures (although 'future' may not be the right word since we're kind of living in it) mixed with the topic of consicousness is to read this book!!! The amount of deep, thoughtful, and detailed work put into this book is incredible. I actually gave a standing ovation in my room upon finishing this book. Thank you, Elly Bangs, for creating this masterpiece.

  15. 5 out of 5

    John Rennie

    I really wanted to like this book but I didn't. I read Neuromancer back in 1984 when it was originally published and it instantly converted me to the genre. Since then I have read every cyberpunk book I could get my hands on, so Unity should have been an ideal read for me. And it does have lots of great ideas, but the problem is that it's littered with lengthy info dumps that slow the pace to a crawl and destroy any feeling of immersion in the story. The plot is a bit naive, but that's OK as I'm g I really wanted to like this book but I didn't. I read Neuromancer back in 1984 when it was originally published and it instantly converted me to the genre. Since then I have read every cyberpunk book I could get my hands on, so Unity should have been an ideal read for me. And it does have lots of great ideas, but the problem is that it's littered with lengthy info dumps that slow the pace to a crawl and destroy any feeling of immersion in the story. The plot is a bit naive, but that's OK as I'm good at suspending disbelief even in the face of overwhelming odds. However the info dumps defeated me and in the end I resorted to skimming them. I did finish the book but it was a slog towards the end. Lots of people have given this five star ratings so obviously not everyone feels as I do. However if you are thinking about reading this I suggest you consider how info dump tolerant you are. Many of my SF reading friends would have abandoned this halfway through.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robert Sullivan

    Unity is an interesting and enjoyable science fiction novel, set in future ravaged by climate change, war, and political and social collapse. But science has continued to develop nano-technology, produce horrific weapons, and launch communications satellites. And super-hackers are still around to stroll through firewalls and advance the plot. The main characters are flawed but engaging people - it's easy to get invested in their struggles.. The plot revolves around the intersection of nano-tech a Unity is an interesting and enjoyable science fiction novel, set in future ravaged by climate change, war, and political and social collapse. But science has continued to develop nano-technology, produce horrific weapons, and launch communications satellites. And super-hackers are still around to stroll through firewalls and advance the plot. The main characters are flawed but engaging people - it's easy to get invested in their struggles.. The plot revolves around the intersection of nano-tech and human consciousness to create the means to merge individuals into a shared mental collective - a Unity. Elly Bangs' writing is a fine descriptive writer, equally effective at choreographing action sequences and conveying the thoughts and feelings of multiple first-person narrators. The result is an ambitious, thoughtful story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Unity starts with Danae and her lover, Naoto hiring a mercenary called Alexei to help them escape from the underwater city where they live. Alexei guides them out of the city, but that is just the beginning. The three fugitives have to get across the post apocalyptic Southwest. To add to the danger, they are being chased by the Duke and The Borrower. They want what is inside Danae. Danae is not just one person. She is concealing part of a collective mind inside her body. She must get to the rest Unity starts with Danae and her lover, Naoto hiring a mercenary called Alexei to help them escape from the underwater city where they live. Alexei guides them out of the city, but that is just the beginning. The three fugitives have to get across the post apocalyptic Southwest. To add to the danger, they are being chased by the Duke and The Borrower. They want what is inside Danae. Danae is not just one person. She is concealing part of a collective mind inside her body. She must get to the rest of the collective so they can become whole once again. Unity has so much going on, yet it all fits together neatly. Elly Bangs did an amazing job on world building. I can't put Unity into one box. It's post apocalyptic, cyberpunk, riddled with nanotech. All rolled together and played out in a very believable future world.

  18. 4 out of 5

    James

    Unity is an action packed thrill ride. Danae, the main protagonist and one of three narrators creates a gestalt consciousness by "unifying" with another person. Each subsequent unity adds to her gestalt, increasing her intellectual capabilities exponentially. It is set in a horrific slow-rolling apocalypse where vast areas of the country as well as the world are deadly. No world-building exposition just gut-wrenching observations, which is excellent work - the author shows us rather than tells u Unity is an action packed thrill ride. Danae, the main protagonist and one of three narrators creates a gestalt consciousness by "unifying" with another person. Each subsequent unity adds to her gestalt, increasing her intellectual capabilities exponentially. It is set in a horrific slow-rolling apocalypse where vast areas of the country as well as the world are deadly. No world-building exposition just gut-wrenching observations, which is excellent work - the author shows us rather than tells us. Superior character development for all characters - the back story for each character is worth another novel - shout out to Kat Mandu. This is Ms. Bangs' debut novel and puts her in the big leagues. Ms. Bangs - welcome to the show.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Scott

    https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... This is the author’s debut. I really enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what the author comes up with next. I wasn’t sure I was going to like Unity at first; it’s so far outside my comfort zone, even for science fiction. It took a few chapters for me to really settle into the story and get to know the characters. I found the shared consciousness premise at first a little far out there and it took a while to get used to. However, I ended up really liking https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres... This is the author’s debut. I really enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what the author comes up with next. I wasn’t sure I was going to like Unity at first; it’s so far outside my comfort zone, even for science fiction. It took a few chapters for me to really settle into the story and get to know the characters. I found the shared consciousness premise at first a little far out there and it took a while to get used to. However, I ended up really liking the book and characters. The best way to describe it is to think of Danae’s consciousness as a soul which moves between different bodies and lifelines across time and space making her ancient. Unity is original and hugely enjoyable.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ivan Goldman

    I found this book because the NY Times book section recommended it for summer reading, which, if you think about it, is a not-altogether weighty endorsement. It tells us that this title is all right when you're on a beach blanket and looking to pass the time. Bangs earns 3 stars for trying to tackle good questions, but she gets bogged down in her post-catastrophe world with folks leaping into different bodies (sometimes called vessels) and joining (unifying) withe one another and all the rules t I found this book because the NY Times book section recommended it for summer reading, which, if you think about it, is a not-altogether weighty endorsement. It tells us that this title is all right when you're on a beach blanket and looking to pass the time. Bangs earns 3 stars for trying to tackle good questions, but she gets bogged down in her post-catastrophe world with folks leaping into different bodies (sometimes called vessels) and joining (unifying) withe one another and all the rules that entails. In fact, sometimes it reads like a rule book with an attempt to weave a story around it. Lots of nasty characters and a fair amount of sadism are included. The ending wasn't a letdown only because long before then I'd learned not to expect much in the way of intriguing answers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Read an ARC of Unity and really enjoyed it. Plays with themes of humanity and personhood and grief and redemption. Doesn't hold your hand figuring out the worldbuilding. The POVs were slightly confusing at the beginning, but the process of becoming oriented to them felt like it was a key part of understanding what "unity" meant to Danae. If you've read Wildseed by Ocvtavia Butler, I got a real Doro and Anyanwu vibe from two characters in the book (or if you haven't read Earthseed, sorta like a P Read an ARC of Unity and really enjoyed it. Plays with themes of humanity and personhood and grief and redemption. Doesn't hold your hand figuring out the worldbuilding. The POVs were slightly confusing at the beginning, but the process of becoming oriented to them felt like it was a key part of understanding what "unity" meant to Danae. If you've read Wildseed by Ocvtavia Butler, I got a real Doro and Anyanwu vibe from two characters in the book (or if you haven't read Earthseed, sorta like a Professor X/Magneto difference of opinion). It shows up around the midpoint and that's when you start the big drop on the rollercoaster. Recommended.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul Goat

    The debut novel from Bangs is so much more than a grand-scale post-apocalyptic novel about the consequences of humankind’s various self-destructive tendencies (fear, hatred, willing ignorance, etc.), it’s a visionary glimpse into the existential darkness that lights the way towards a glorious future for humankind. “The singularity wouldn’t be computerized or artificial. It would be human.” Post-apocalyptic masterworks have defined entire generations—Shute’s On the Beach; Miller, Jr.’s A Canticle The debut novel from Bangs is so much more than a grand-scale post-apocalyptic novel about the consequences of humankind’s various self-destructive tendencies (fear, hatred, willing ignorance, etc.), it’s a visionary glimpse into the existential darkness that lights the way towards a glorious future for humankind. “The singularity wouldn’t be computerized or artificial. It would be human.” Post-apocalyptic masterworks have defined entire generations—Shute’s On the Beach; Miller, Jr.’s A Canticle for Leibowitz; McCarthy’s The Road… Elly Bangs’ Unity is that next landmark release. A novel that will change the way you look at the world, and yourself.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    A good read overall, it is always enjoyable spending the first few chapters trying to wrap your head around a new sci-fi landscape, and this image of the near(ish) future was both plausibly familiar yet imaginative at the same time. As the story progresses and we learn more about the characters themselves, some I was left wanting to learn more about, and some I wanted to unlearn what I had read. Which I suppose is what makes a good antagonist. I felt that the ending was predictably in the cards A good read overall, it is always enjoyable spending the first few chapters trying to wrap your head around a new sci-fi landscape, and this image of the near(ish) future was both plausibly familiar yet imaginative at the same time. As the story progresses and we learn more about the characters themselves, some I was left wanting to learn more about, and some I wanted to unlearn what I had read. Which I suppose is what makes a good antagonist. I felt that the ending was predictably in the cards for a while, but the home stretch introduced a few twists and turns that left me with some fun bouts of self-doubt as I turned each page.

  24. 4 out of 5

    James

    Slow start, but great middle and ending. The book overall has this odd mid-to-late nineties feel, somewhere between Waterworld and The Matrix, but honestly, that doesn't make for bad reading. The story and writing live up to the premise. I wouldn't classify this an LGBTQ read, in case anyone is looking for that, as I often I am, although it's definitely not hostile to the community. The main characters Danae and Alexei are fleshed out very well. All others, much less so. Overall, I would read more Slow start, but great middle and ending. The book overall has this odd mid-to-late nineties feel, somewhere between Waterworld and The Matrix, but honestly, that doesn't make for bad reading. The story and writing live up to the premise. I wouldn't classify this an LGBTQ read, in case anyone is looking for that, as I often I am, although it's definitely not hostile to the community. The main characters Danae and Alexei are fleshed out very well. All others, much less so. Overall, I would read more from this author. The book should appeal to most readers of post-apocalyptic fiction.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rin Apologist

    Really really good. I completely lost myself in it very quickly. The dystopian future was so well laid out, but with just enough hope so that it felt like I was reading to see how it ended up kind of alright, instead of slogging through to see how the world is finally put out of it’s misery. The balance between a world where the worst parts of humanity have ruined the planet, and showcasing the truly great things about people was so well done. And overall, it just really effected me. Excellent b Really really good. I completely lost myself in it very quickly. The dystopian future was so well laid out, but with just enough hope so that it felt like I was reading to see how it ended up kind of alright, instead of slogging through to see how the world is finally put out of it’s misery. The balance between a world where the worst parts of humanity have ruined the planet, and showcasing the truly great things about people was so well done. And overall, it just really effected me. Excellent book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    William

    An absolutely, elementally perfect book. I cannot recommend or advocate for it enough. Beautifully written, beautifully creative, beautifully told. It feels like damning with faint praise to call it "cyberpunk", but if that gets eyeballs on it, all the better. Like Elly Bang's (phenomenal) short Dandelion, it reminds me of the best of Ted Chiang, where an arresting idea is fully excavated by a mind keen to the realities of humanity as much as science. An absolutely, elementally perfect book. I cannot recommend or advocate for it enough. Beautifully written, beautifully creative, beautifully told. It feels like damning with faint praise to call it "cyberpunk", but if that gets eyeballs on it, all the better. Like Elly Bang's (phenomenal) short Dandelion, it reminds me of the best of Ted Chiang, where an arresting idea is fully excavated by a mind keen to the realities of humanity as much as science.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Ignore the list comparing this to everything under the sun, and just go in with a bit of an open mind. After a slightly slow start - a bit necessary as we find our own feet in this newly constructed world, which is far better than having everything spelled out at once - the pace picks up both in terms of action and intrigue. Lots of mysteries explored, from the hinted at traumas in both main characters' pasts, to the big question: what exactly is Unity? Thought this was well done, and definitely Ignore the list comparing this to everything under the sun, and just go in with a bit of an open mind. After a slightly slow start - a bit necessary as we find our own feet in this newly constructed world, which is far better than having everything spelled out at once - the pace picks up both in terms of action and intrigue. Lots of mysteries explored, from the hinted at traumas in both main characters' pasts, to the big question: what exactly is Unity? Thought this was well done, and definitely leaves me excited about what the author might do in the future. Full review is up on my blog.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Isaiah

    To see a full review check it out here I wanted to love this book, but I was lost more than I was following. It was beautifully written, but I was not the target audience it seems. It would have made for a video game that I would have loved though. To see a full review check it out here I wanted to love this book, but I was lost more than I was following. It was beautifully written, but I was not the target audience it seems. It would have made for a video game that I would have loved though.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Aneta

    I absolutely loved parts of this book - even made me tear up a few times - but there were others where the execution was not to my liking. Overall, an imaginative and evocative read I fully recommend.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andre Boone

    "Unity" is one of the most thought-provoking books I've read in a while. Its message is delivered by a cast of complex and well-written characters. And there's action, tons and tons of action. "Unity" is one of the most thought-provoking books I've read in a while. Its message is delivered by a cast of complex and well-written characters. And there's action, tons and tons of action.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...