Unity by Elly Bangs

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.

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