Review: The Unbound

January 17, 2014 book review 10

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Series: The Archived #2
Pages: 368
Format: ebook
Source: publisher

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

Warning: This is book #2 in a series. I will try to be a spoiler free as possible but I can’t guarantee that I won’t unintentionally spoil something. 

What can I say about THE UNBOUND, book 2 of The Archived series? It’s amazing, wonderful, exceeded my expectations, an automatic reread, and a fantastic addition to THE ARCHIVED. Basically you need to know this: READ IT!

After taking down a deadly History that was hellbent on making the Archive crumble, Mackenzie is left shaken to the core. It’s now a couple of months later but she is still reliving the horrors that took place on top of the Coronado’s roof. She’s starting at a new school and is having a hard time keeping her dreams separate from her awakened hours. Not only that, but random people she comes in contact with go missing shortly after. She knows that something is happening and that it isn’t random. Like her usual self, she is determined to find out the truth and stop whoever is doing this before one of her loved ones gets hurt.

I knew going into this that the events from the previous book were going to take a toll on Mackenzie; it would take a toll on anyone. But I wasn’t expecting this book to have such a heavy psychological focus. I loved it! You can gradually see how simple dreams of that History turn into more and more of a nightmare for her. She starts having daydreams, starts blacking out and not remembering what happened, starts physically doing things she never intends to do. Schwab tackles this part of the story fantastically and I absolutely loved–and hated!–seeing these effects of Mackenzie. I felt so sorry for her. Things were spiraling out of control and then she feels personally responsible for these people that go missing, even though she didn’t have a hand in it. THE UNBOUND becomes a book about Mackenzie trying to grasp to the fringes of what’s real and what is not. It was heartbreaking, to say the least.

Everybody’s favorite rebel boy, Wesley Ayers, is back and better than ever! Is it okay if I just sit her and swoon for a minute? You thought he was protective in the first book, he is 10x more so in this one. He can see the unraveling of Mackenzie and tries so incredibly hard to help her. He is such the sweetest guy, has the most wonderful sheepish grin, and is his usual charmingly hilarious self. One of my favorite things he said was: “Be honest. You just want to get inside my halls.” HA! If he was a real life person, I would do everything in my power to make sure he was mine.

With Mackenzie starting a new school, Schwab introduces a couple of new characters to the scene that are all just as well crafted as Mackenzie and Wesley. Cash is almost right behind Wesley in the ranking for best boy ever. He’s a senior and brings Mackenzie coffee every day. Um, where can I get one?! He is swoon worthy in his own right. He’s the guy that is nice to every one and never makes an enemy. He brings a great light to an otherwise very dark and hauntingly sad story.

Before I wrap this review up, I must talk plot. I live for a good plot and Schwab absolutely delivers. It was riveting, mysterious, and I finished the entire book in two sittings. I love these characters so much and just had to know what on earth was going on. Every time the aforementioned History made a scene, I cringed. He just became more and more frightening, even though he was just in Mackenzie’s dreams. The mystery behind the disappearings was bone chilling and I didn’t guess what was happening until it was right in front of my face.

THE UNBOUND was everything I was hoping for and then some. I could have never imagined a sequel to THE ARCHIVED better than this one. If you even just somewhat liked the first book, you must read this one. This book has landed the series on my all-time favorite list. I reread the last chapter three times because I did not want it to come to an end. I’m not sure if we’ll be getting another book, but I want more so badly!!

5 Thought Clouds!

I received an ebook copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Christine

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