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Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab (Review)

The Archived #2
Young Adult, Paranormal, Ghosts, Mystery
Publication.Date:January 28, 2014
Pages:368 (hardcover)
Published By:  Hyperion
Website:Victoria Schwab 

The Unbound on Goodreads
My review copy:
Obtained from the local library

Where to get:

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?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin. (Goodreads)

I wait a second to see if he'll reappear, but he doesn't, and I'm left with only a sinking feeling in my stomach and the nagging question: why is the Archive having me followed?
Eric almost smiles. "When you sneak off, it makes one thing you're up to no good."

"When you follow people without telling them why, it makes one think the same."
We reach the top of the stairs, and I take his chin in my hand, rock music singing through my fingers. "If it makes you feel better," I say teasingly, "you're a very pretty excuse."

His brow crinkles. "I would have preferred dashing, but I'll take it."

Mackenzie is having a bit of trouble readjusting to life after Owen. On top of being unable to sleep because Owen haunts her nightmares, people around Mackenzie are disappearing. She is convinced it has something to do with the Archive - somebody who thinks Agatha's ruling at the end of The Archive wasn't exactly fair.

Victoria widens our cast of characters in The Unbound when Mackenzie goes to school. She is quickly inducted to The Court, and although we only see these individuals while she is at school, I grew rather fond of them. They give Mackenzie that sense of normal that part of her longs for, a friendship that she experienced with Lyndsy, where she isn't worried about Histories and the rules of the Archive.

Of course, there are also my two favorite characters - Wesley and Roland. I smile when Mackenzie interacts with both of them and I love the relationship she has with each of them. Wesley was already beyond swoon-worthy but he surpasses even that during The Unbound. Roland still continues to fight for and care for Mackenzie like the perfect elder brother/father figure that she desperately needs. (I'm not saying her father is not there, because he is and he loves her deeply, but he cannot be there for her in the way she needs when it comes to the Archive.)

Mackenzie becomes her own person throughout the course of The Unbound. She still reflects on the things Da told her, but she also starts thinking for herself. She worries she is faltering in the eyes of the Archive (aka Agatha) and that they'll wipe her memory and leave her with nothing but holes. Despite the terrifying dreams and disappearing people around her, she is determined to find out what is happening to her and why. I do wish she would confide in Wesley more, but at the same time she wants to protect him - especially after the events at the end of The Archive. However, he quickly informs her that "I care about you, Mackenzie, and because of that, it's never not going to be my fight."

This book makes me sad. Not because it was bad or because the content itself is sad, but because this amazing story followed it's amazing predecessor and now . . . it's in limbo. This series needs a finale. It needs a third book. The ending of this one? Powerful. And power like this cannot be stopped! Plus, I need me just a bit more Wesley in my life.

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