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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.

304 pages, Paperback

First published April 13, 2021

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About the author

Elly Bangs

12 books46 followers
Elly Bangs is a queer trans woman who was raised in a new-age cult, had six wisdom teeth, and once rode her bicycle alone from Seattle to the Panama Canal. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine, Beneath Ceasless Skies, Escape Pod, Fireside Quarterly, and elsewhere -- and her debut apocalyptic cyberpunk novel, Unity, is coming in Spring 2021. She's a SFWA member and a 2017 graduate of Clarion West.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 108 reviews
Profile Image for Charlie Anders.
Author 151 books3,791 followers
April 30, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Bandit.
4,607 reviews468 followers
September 14, 2021
We live in divided times, in a divided world and these divisions only seem to increase. Which makes Unity a dream, a fiction, really. And if you throw some creative scientific aspects on the concept, you get science fiction, specifically a science fiction book titled Unity. A very well meaning, well intentioned dream/wish manifesto of a different approach to life.
Is that enough to make for a compelling read? Well, yes and no. But mostly yes. According to the afterword, this debut took ages to finish and it’s just as crammed with ideas as you might imagine something brewing and stewing for that long would be. At its base it’s a cyberpunk novel, a subgenre I haven’t had too much experience with and I’m not sure I’m all that much of a fan of. There’s something fundamentally messy about it in a way that disagrees with my orderly brain. Richard Paul Russo did it perfectly. This book…well, kinda sorta.
There’s plenty of world building, but the entire thing does get overwhelmed by its message, which is heavyhanded and never really lets up. But essentially your level of personal engagement with this story would probably be directly proportional to the amount of interest you have in the concept of shared consciousness. Or, an easier test, how much did you enjoy the tv show Sense8? Because I didn’t, not a lot, kinda made it through the first season and abandoned it, before the rest of the world did, including Netflix which is known for questionable quality control.
If you’re into dreamy dreamlike interrogations of multilevel consciousness (especially as it pertains to gender and sexuality) concept, this might be right up your alley.
It seems that gender and sexuality have been on the forefront of science fiction lately. TOR’s obsessed with it, now this. There’s a rising number of LGBTQ authors of various binaries entering the field. And all of that is good and great, but it’s kind of getting to be something of a monotone which is kind of ironic for increased diversity.
Don’t misunderstand or jump to wrong conclusions…Diversity and increased representation are good. Science fiction is definitely the field to feature it. But every so often can we talk about other things too? Or must all genderqueer authors only write genderqueer stories with genderqueer characters? Can it just be a casual feature of a future world? Because ideally everyone (except for really terrible people who might not even read) does strive for the world where all people are represented, respected and protected equally, irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation, creed, race, age, etc.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just the science fiction I‘ve been reading lately. I’m just wary of trends, however well meant, because they do affect overall quality and, oddly enough, diversity of the books out there. Just look at all these estrogen driven thrillers out there. Sure, they mean well, they are all about MeToo and girlpower, but they are so ubiquitous they’ve gotten repetitive. Same formulas and scenarios over and over with minor tweaks.
Anyway, off the soapboax I shamble.
This book, since that’s why we’re all here, was a fine read with some interesting ideas and some decent writing. It didn’t emotionally engage me all that much, but then again it didn’t read all that long either, so it was a perfectly serviceable diversion. The concept of Unity was a genuinely fascinating and interesting one. The rest of the book…somewhat too messily busy. Overall, though, a fairly promising debut. And yes, as diverse as they are written.

This and more at https://advancetheplot.weebly.com/
Profile Image for Bonnie McDaniel.
733 reviews33 followers
July 24, 2021
This is an incredibly ambitious book for a first novel. (In the Afterward the author says she's been working on it off and on for eighteen years.) Whether it's successful in that ambition is a different question. I think overall it's well-written with engaging characters and some rather depressing worldbuilding.

I suppose whether you like this book depends on whether you can cope with the elements of said worldbuilding. This book is set in a future a hundred and forty years from now, when climate change is in full swing. The seas have risen, the continents are scorched, and most of the human species has moved into undersea cities. Governments and countries are fractured and broken, the United States is a distant memory, and the undersea cities are, for the most part, ruled by criminal warlords. Our protagonist, Danae, is desperate to leave her undersea world, Bloom City. She has a time limit to meet up with what she calls the Unity, the nanotech-powered gestalt consciousness she severed herself from five years earlier. This book is the story of her quest to reunite with the rest of herself, the different factions that are after her, and the philosophical discussions as to whether a post-singularity unified consciousness is, or should be, the future of humanity.

At the end, the book seems to be saying that the answer to that question should be "yes":

You know who I am. I'm Danae, with all the 223 lives whose combined memory and experiences amounted to her consciousness--and I am Alexei, with all the lives he took. I'm more than the sum of those parts: I am all the things neither of them were capable of doing, or being, or realizing, as long as they were separate; connections they couldn't make, thoughts too complex to fit inside a single head, emotions too vast to pump through the chambers of one heart.

But I know things, too. When I turn the Whole's parting gift between my palms and focus, they all bloom so vividly in my mind: the innermost workings of cells and molecules and subatomic particles, the comprehensible language of all matter and energy and motion; the most basic foundational principle to the most chaotic emergent quality. I know how to cure the plagues and halt the famines. I know how to turn the sky blue again.

I think I know how to heal this dying world.

There's only one hope I carry with me now: that I could be the right person to do it. I've maimed and killed, feared and hated--but I have also loved, rescued, protected, created, and given birth. I contain everything that is human--and finally, after everyone I've been, none of it is beyond my understanding. Because I am understanding. I am unity.

The being referenced in this excerpt, the Whole, is at the end, Danae's primary antagonist. It is what remained of the initial Unity after she severed herself from it. After deliberately killing a person, Danae believed she could never, and should never, be accepted by the Unity again (and the only reason she is making the journey is to let her lover, Naoto, join the Unity instead). In the intervening five years, the Unity grew to a godlike being that was prepared to let swarms of unleashed nanotech destroy the world and create a better one from the grey goo that remained. Because it considered itself to be superior.

The Whole scoffed. "We are objectively better than separate people. We can say this without ego. Even you, apart from me, are vastly more capable and more intelligent than any un-unified individual who has ever lived."

At the last, Danae uses the only thing she has to defeat the Whole--her guilt and remorse over the murder she committed. Because you are me, she says, and I have killed. So you have no business murdering the human race, or letting them die, because you are no different than them.

In the book, this gambit works. But this is the part of the worldbuilding that turned me off, because the entire idea of the Unity, or the Whole, is the creepiest goddamn thing ever. In a way, it's set up as a sort of benign, wholesome--well, maybe not wholesome, but at least non-aggressive-- Borg from Star Trek. What could possibly go wrong?

So I think this is a marmite book. I kinda-sorta liked it, but it gave me the heebie-jeebies. However, there's no denying the author's talent, to come up with something like this. I hope her next book doesn't take eighteen years; but I also hope it goes in some other non-Unified direction.
Profile Image for Marco Landi.
313 reviews16 followers
December 13, 2022
Un altro dei migliori libri di sci fi pubblicati quest'anno...
Cosa vuol dire essere se stessi? Cosa ci rende una persona piuttosto che un altra? Cosa fa di noi ciò che siamo? E cosa potremmo mai essere uniti?
Idee geniali realizzate in modo superbo.. lo stile dell'autrice è vivido, doloroso, viscerale.. i personaggi sono tutti riuscitissimi, psicologicamente ben costruiti e davvero profondi.. ogni azione ben calibrata, coerente e motivata ai fini della trama complessa, che si dischiude pian piano e regala grandi emozioni..
Un libro da leggere tutti!!
Profile Image for Morgan.
558 reviews20 followers
February 11, 2022
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.
Profile Image for Midu Hadi.
Author 2 books177 followers
January 11, 2021

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!

Profile Image for Joanne Rixon.
Author 10 books4 followers
April 17, 2021
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.
Profile Image for X.
683 reviews
December 11, 2022
This book is what SF should be.

The propulsiveness of the plot alone - I mean, this book should be an action movie. I blinked and I was a quarter of the way through. I glanced up again after what felt like five minutes, realized I was halfway through the book, and I actually set it aside for something else for a while because I didn’t want it to be over too fast.

The Matrix/Sense8/Mad Max comparisons are true. I would also compare it to Planetfall and Parable of the Sower/Parable of the Talents. But this book isn’t a knock-off. It’s… a maybe perfect example of the form.
Profile Image for Reid.
920 reviews65 followers
April 28, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Xavi.
653 reviews77 followers
May 31, 2021
4 pero justitas...hay momentos muy interesantes, pero no me ha acabado de enganchar. Creo que no tengo la cabeza yo ahora mismo para leer en inglés.
Profile Image for Corvus.
612 reviews162 followers
October 25, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,189 reviews1,020 followers
April 14, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Jael.
27 reviews1 follower
March 22, 2021
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!
Profile Image for irene.
179 reviews11 followers
October 17, 2022
Sapete quando volete proprio leggere una STORIONA, una roba di drama, esplosioni, Fury Road, nanotecnologie senzienti e apocalissi? Ecco: questa. È lei.
Author 29 books14 followers
November 6, 2022
One of the best SF books I've read in a while. While the setting itself wasn't anything special, the characters were well made and above all the action and pace was done really well. Normally I'm not a huge fan of books with multiple main characters and interwoven stories, but this book managed that type of story very well, and it was easy to follow.

This book raised some very important themes about humanity, and while it got a little preachy at the end, I think in this case spelling things out is better than leaving too many things open-ended and vague.

It's a bit hard to describe, but I just felt like I really was on the same page with how they story progressed. I wasn't able to predict it, but at the same thing when things happen they felt logical and well planned instead of random plot turns. So I guess I feel this book was great on a holistic level, such that it was a well-planned and executed whole.

I can easily see this being made into a wonderful SF action movie with amazing effects and impact. Let's hope it happens some day!
Profile Image for Wendy.
138 reviews1 follower
May 5, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Aliki Ekaterini  Chapple.
91 reviews6 followers
May 29, 2021
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.
Profile Image for S.T.I.G..
49 reviews1 follower
July 7, 2021
Solid. Some cool world building and tech. The pacing fizzled a bit in the back half+. Great use of perspective switching. Message good n' wise n' stuff, but it erred on the heavy-handed side throughout most of it. Writing was generally a bit explainy and expository as well (for my tastes, ofc), but not never went too far.
Profile Image for Gregoire.
1,000 reviews42 followers
April 17, 2022
Pas si facile à lire en VO
Le concept de multiple consciences et de notre Terre arrosée de sauces Matrix et Fin du Monde est cependant intéressant et l'auteur nous tient bien en haleine pour découvrir peu à peu l'origine et le destin de Danae
J'ai apprécié, dans l'écriture, le point de vue alternatif des principaux personnages (Danae, Alexei) sans pour autant accrocher véritablement à leur sort
La scène finale (Épilogue) aurait du me faire monter la tension mais non, elle m'a paru un peu bâclée et peu crédible
Mon humble avis, comme d'habitude... mais j'ai lu jusqu'au bout d'où le 3 étoiles (qui, chez moi, vieux lecteur difficile à satisfaire, est une bonne note !)
Profile Image for Becky.
1,320 reviews54 followers
December 13, 2022
This book was a bit of a struggle to get into, but then it turns that corner as all that has been building starts to come together. I loved this story, these characters and relationships and the concepts and questions Bangs is wrestling with. Really excellent sci-fi.
Profile Image for katie.
262 reviews7 followers
August 24, 2021
This was pretty good, but definitely felt like a first novel to me. I'd still pick up what she puts out next though, especially if it's cyberpunk again!
3 reviews1 follower
December 5, 2021
Really fascinating ideas around consciousness, humanity, and individuality, but doesn't really explore them thoroughly. Lots of themes and big questions are raised and then almost immediately ignored in favor of the next one. Also, WAY too many coincidences and deus ex machinas for my taste
Profile Image for Isaiah.
Author 1 book79 followers
December 13, 2021
To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews.

I got an ARC of this book.

I didn’t finish this book. I got about half way through and realized I had no clue what was going on. Most of the conversations were so far above my head that I was finding myself skimming more than reading.

The sci-fi concepts were not explained or they weren’t explained well enough that I had any clue what was happening. I kept feeling like it was a survival horror video game that makes you explore to have all the details. Something like Silent Hill or Bioshock. All the real flavor of the plot is hidden around. You can get a basic story without finding any of those details, but it isn’t the story that made people fall in love with the series. That is how this book reads. I am getting a basic plot, but I am missing all of the flavor. How am I supposed to love a story when it feels like I am missing so much of it?

I didn’t know what a unity was or how it worked, yet the characters did. So I felt like I was being dragged along, but not wanted. I had no clue about the civil war or the grey. Every time there was conflict things never felt real, because some unexplained sci-fi element came in to save the day or make things worse. It felt like all the reasons I hate magic in books, but with nanobots instead.

The writing was lovely and the idea was one I really wanted to love, it just didn’t work for me. I either missed the parts that would have saved this book for me or they just weren’t there. It might work better for you, but it was a bit too sci-fi for me.
440 reviews1 follower
December 12, 2021
Set in a dystopian future. Sure there is a lot of detail but this is the world building so I’m not surprised by the details. Not the strongest characters but I did kind of like the story. I did see some sparks of good ideas that kind of come and go. It was different.

Profile Image for Marie Labrousse.
134 reviews
March 24, 2023
J’avais un peu peur en entamant ce roman. L’univers est particulièrement âpre et combine de nombreux éléments dystopiques et post-apocalyptiques, deux sous-genres de la science-fiction dont j’ai tendance à saturer ces temps-ci. Et le début est plutôt laborieux, puisqu’on nous balance directement dans cet univers sans trop s’embarrasser d’explications sur son fonctionnement.

On y suit Danaë, jeune femme dotée de douze mille ans de souvenirs, qui vit dans une cité sous-marine à la solde d’une mafia. Elle doit absolument rejoindre un point de rendez-vous sur la terre ferme trois jours plus tard. Pour sortir de la cité et échapper à ses employeurs, elle engage un mercenaire, Alexeï. Celui-ci, traumatisé par une précédente mission en Antarctique, ne demande pas mieux que de s’embarquer dans une mission suicide comme celle-là.

Les personnages sont touchants et la narration alternée à la première personne leur rend bien justice. J’ai souvent des difficultés avec la narration au « je » mais elle se révèle ici très judicieuse et parfaitement cohérente avec les sujets traités (l’identité et la conscience collective). Une fois passées les premières pages un peu ardues, les révélations se succèdent dans un rythme très bien maîtrisé qui éclaire peu à peu les zones d’ombre planant sur l’univers et sur les personnages.

Le thème de la conscience collective, archi-classique en science-fiction, est traité ici d’une manière fine et originale que la narration sert particulièrement bien. Et j’ai aimé le rôle accordé à la technologie, dont on montre les à la fois les utilisations les plus sinistres et les espoirs qu’elle génère. Cela confère à ce roman un aspect à la fois très sombre et très lumineux – et dans les deux cas très émouvant.

Un gros coup de cœur que je n’attendais pas !
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248 reviews7 followers
January 31, 2023
Coucou mes Mystigris 😉

J'ai lu Unity de @ellybangs encore un grand merci à Albin Michel imaginaire pour cet envoi.

🅲🅷🆁🅾🅽🅸🆀🆄🅴 2159 Bloom Citya une cité sous-marine. Nous sommes à la veille d'une énième guerre mondiale. Danaë, prisonnière du clan Méduse depuis cinq ans cherche un moyen de leur échapper. Danaë est spéciale et unique. En effet, elle a réussi à multiplier d'autres existences en elle, douze mille ans d'expérience humaines en une seule personne. Mais c'est son secret et il ne doit absolument pas tomber entre de mauvaises mains. Elle n'a que trois jours pour se rendre à un rendez-vous dont dépend le futur de l'humanité. Alexeï un mercenaire, pourrait peut-être l'aider mais est-il digne de confiance ?

🄼🄾🄽 🄰🅅🄸🅂 Un roman parfois complexe mais l'originalité de l'univers et des personnages m'ont conquis. Ce livre m'a fait penser par moments à Altered Carbon. C'est un univers riche scientifiquement parlant, on aborde l'écologie, la technologie et ce que les humains ont fait de la Terre, leur égoïsme aussi. On parle de savoir, de soif de connaissances mais à quel prix ? Jusqu'au point d'en faire une arme ! J'ai aimé cette belle histoire entre les différents personnages qui habitent Danaë et aussi l'histoire d'Alexeï.

🄲🄾🄽🄲🄻🅄🅂🄸🄾🄽 C'est un coup de coeur pour ce roman de science-fiction débordant de générosité et d'humanité.
79 reviews1 follower
January 23, 2022
There are quite a few interesting seeds to this story, which makes the flaws all the more frustrating. It's an intriguing setting, that you only catch in glimpses through clichés of post-apocalyptic tropes, rendering them dull. The main characters are both generic and "special" enough to cause me to lose any interest in them. The plot would be engaging if it wasn't doled out through interior monologue, cryptic utterances, and weird exposition dumps that don't work.

The novel chooses to be firmly rooted in the perspectives of just two characters, the protagonists, but since the drama needs the reader to know other details and happenings they can't possibly be privy to, you get crazy omniscient passages where our two mains just "know" what is happening somewhere else, to someone else, and the novel treats this as a concrete fact, not just an assumption or deduction the protagonists are making.

I wanted to like this book, but it feels like a workshop draft with potential, not a ready-for-primetime novel.
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111 reviews
February 22, 2021
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.
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