ARC Review: The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

The Unbound (The Archived, #2)

Rating: 4/5
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery, Dystopia
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Hyperion
Check out on GOODREADS

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?


He wants ruin.

Late last year, when I was given The Archived as a Christmas gift, I read it as soon as I was able to. It did not disappoint! Soon after, when Faye let me read her ARC copy of The Unbound, I couldn’t say no. This one was just as beautifully and eerily written as its predecessor.

Other than that, both novels focus on a different side of Mackenzie Bishop. In The Archived, we know her as a totally kick-butt heroine who can take care of herself. In this one, we get to know her as a regular (okay, still not regular, but you get the point) student. Nevertheless, she was still charming, witty and hilarious. But I thought that Mac was kind of slacking off on her job. Even before the thing (I will not spoil), she kind of just thought that the Histories wouldn’t go anywhere and just let them be for a while.

Another thing that bothered me was that there wasn’t as much History-hunting as there was in the first book. This goes with my point in the previous paragraph. Despite this one being about Mac in school doesn’t mean that we don’t want any action. When she did hunt histories, they were just mentioned and not really described.

Every uprising begins with a spark.

Those bad points aside, this one felt much like it did in the first book–it began a little slowly, building up the suspense, and then the fun would begin around halfway through the book. Mac tries to discover the person behind the disappearances of certain people, while trying to keep up with her life in school–mostly meeting new friends, who were interesting additions to the cast, although some (*cough* Cash *cough) were a bit irritating. And once Mac discovered who this mysterious kidnapper (kind of) was, the betrayal began and all hell broke loose.

Then there’s a gorgeous, wonderfully done ending. Again, I won’t spoil, but you’re going to want to read this one. This book had a ton of action, mischief and mystery. I couldn’t drag my eyes off the page, especially as I neared the end!

Right, of course. I can’t forget our lovely Wesley Ayers. I may have mentioned him in a school homework for being awesome, sweet and just plain lovely. For fans of Mr. Ayers, do not fear. There’s quite a lot of him in this one for us to swoon over. Trust me, he’s totally swoon-worthy in The Unbound.

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Aimee is a sixteen year old bookworm from the Phillipines! She reads any book that catches her attention, but she mostly reads YA. She's into graphic design, writing and sleeping. You can find her at Deadly Darlings, The Book Geek, Goodreads and on Twitter.

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    • Aimee says

      I’ve read all of Schwab’s books except for Vicious, which I hope to get to really soon. Her writing is really beautiful, and I hope you enjoy her work once you give her books a try. :)

  1. says

    Oh my, I’m so excited for this one now! And I want swooooooooooon! Some more swoon please? With a wonderfully done ending on the side. I’m glad there isn’t some cooked up cliffhanger- or do you mean to say it’s a wonderfully done cliffy? I sure hope not!
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