“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
Evoking the gritty cyberpunk of Mad Max and the fluid idealism of Sense8, Unity is a spectacular new re-envisioning of humanity. Breakout author Elly Bangs has created an expressive, philosophical, science-fiction thriller that expands upon consciousness itself.
Danae is not only herself. She is concealing a connection to a grieving collective inside of her body. But while she labors as a tech servant in the dangerous underwater enclave of Bloom City, her fractured self cannot mend.
In a desperate escape, Danae and her lover Naoto hire the enigmatic ex-mercenary Alexei to guide them out of the imploding city.
But for Danae to reunify, the three new fugitives will have to flee across the otherworldly beauty of the postapocalyptic Southwest. Meanwhile, Danae's warlord enemy, the Duke, and a strange new foe, the Borrower, already seek them at any price.
A Note From the Publisher
The Times: An April 2021 Science Fiction Pick
“Unity manages to be simultaneously exciting and philosophical, a brilliant gut-punch of a novel. I cannot wait to see what Elly Bangs does next.”
—Kij Jonhson, author of At the Mouth of the River of Bees
“Unity is a wild firefight of a novel. But amidst the vivid dystopian worldbuilding—the undersea metropolises and scorched badlands—and all the breakneck action is something deeper, a philosophically and emotionally resonant exploration of what it means to carry multiplicities of ourselves, our myriad shades of being. Elly Bangs is a writer of both kaleidoscopic imagination and deep literary empathy, a cyberpunk star in the making.”
—Omar El Akkad, author of American War
“Chock-full of both big ideas and high-energy action, Bangs’s thrilling debut centers on a mad chase across a dystopian Earth in search of a collective consciousness that could save humanity from itself. Danae works as an often overlooked tech servant to a criminal syndicate that controls an underwater metropolis, but she is secretly a severed piece of a group mind that encompasses hundreds of people. Determined to get back to her larger self, she hires Alexei, a mercenary with a death-wish, to help her escape her employers. With Danae’s lover, Naoto, tagging along, the trio flees the city and heads to what was once Arizona—but they are doggedly pursued by bounty hunters and a shadowy figure from Danae’s past. . . . This gritty, thought-provoking cyberpunk adventure does the genre justice.”
“Elly Bangs has created a vivid, fascinating, and utterly believable future world, and she immerses the reader into it skillfully and seamlessly . . . Echoes of Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon or the Netflix series Sense8, but this is an entirely original and ambitious creation.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Breakneck pacing, non-stop action, and delightfully-damaged characters combine with some of the most intricate and clever worldbuilding I've seen in ages to make this an incredibly memorable debut.”
—Sam J. Miller, author of The Art of Starving
“Epic science fiction, and intimately personal at the same time, thanks to the clever and revolutionary trick of disassembling the individual subject. Take THAT, the very form of the novel!”
—Nick Mamatas, author of The People's Republic of Everything
“Unity is a killer debut by a thrilling new writer. Trust me, you're all going to be hearing a lot about Elly Bangs and this gleaming and gritty world she’s created. And cyberpunk fans? Put down the game controller and read this now. This is the real stuff.”
—Daryl Gregory, author of Spoonbenders
“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 is a woman of many secrets, chiefly that she isn’t a woman at all: She is many people in one body. It takes a while to get to the specifics of what exactly that means, mainly because Danae begins the novel escaping a rapidly collapsing futuristic underwater city with her partner, Naoto, and a hired gun named Alexei. Danae hires Alexei to escort her and Naoto back to dry land and across the climate change–ravaged former United States . . . The secondary villain, called only Borrower, is so deeply fascinating it seems a shame we needed to bother with warlords and mobsters at all. The action and adventure at the beginning are fine, but stick around for the good stuff at the end.”
“Delivers on the huge, mind-bending promise made in its first few pages.”
“An intense and enthralling ride that kept me thinking long after I finished the last page.”
—Reviews in a Minute
"Elly Bangs’ Unity is a fascinating little novel, filled with unexpected turns and twists.”
—A Green Man Review
“Unity is a bold and impressive debut novel from author Elly Bangs . . . I did feel a sense of awe over Elly Bangs’ achievement. It’s a fantastic story and very capably told.”
“Highly recommended for all science fiction/cyberpunk fans! . . . The world building was superb, the two main characters were likeable despite their flaws, and the villains were unhinged and legitimately terrifying.”
“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.”
“Unity is a blistering post-apocalyptic interrogation of personhood and society. Elly Bangs brings grief, revelation, and humanity to bear in this incredible debut novel.”
—dave ring, editor of Glitter + Ashes: Queer Tales of a World That Wouldn't Die
*Review copy mailings to leading newspaper, magazine, and fiction reviewers, and specialty science fiction- and fantasy-oriented outlets including SciFi.com, io9, and Locus
*Digital ARCs available via NetGalley, Edelweiss, and Goodreads; additional print available upon request
*Online promotional rollout to include blog tour, interviews, radio, and podcasts
*Social media campaign by the author and publisher via Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Goodreads
*Author appearances at bookstores, trade shows, genre-themed conventions, and virtual events TBD
Average rating from 14 members
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.
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.