Title: The Unbound
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived, #2
Release Date: January 28th 2014
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.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
Despite sending Owen into a void, a place of nothingness where it is impossible to return from, Mackenzie can’t put what happened behind her. She has terrible nightmares about what happened on the roof of the Coronado; nightmares where Owen haunts her, hurts her, makes her question herself as a Keeper. On top of not getting more than three hours sleep a night Mackenzie finds herself struggling to keep a low profile around Agatha, afraid her increasing nightmares and lack of sleep could lead to her being tried as unfit.
After everything she learnt at the end of the first book, the truth behind the Librarians and what the Archive really is, Mackenzie is being closely watched by Agatha who seems to be searching for any sign of weakness. But it’s not just Agatha Mackenzie should be wary around. With people going missing in the city Mackenzie quickly makes and starling connection between all the victims, and after an altercation in the home of the first victim Mackenzie’s parents crack down, tired of her lies and the mess she had gotten into.
Mackenzie needs to keep a low profile to keep her parents off her back, but with Agatha breathing down her neck, the Histories slowly building up in her territory, and the Crew watching her every move she needs help. However as the nightmares of Owen become more and more real, more difficult to distinguish from real life, is there anyone she can trust enough to help her?
The Unbound is a book that deals largely in the consequences of the actions that were taken in the first book; not just in terms of Agatha assessing Mackenzie, judging whether she is fit to remain a Keeper, but in terms of everything Mackenzie faced when she went against Owen and in terms of the lies she has told her parents over the years. It seems like everything is falling down around Mackenzie and no matter how hard she tries she can’t hold everything together.
Mackenzie learnt a lot in the first book she never should have been privilege to, and that knowledge weighs on her in this book. She struggles with the truth behind the Archive and the more she struggles the more her mind seems to fall on Owen.
The dreams she has are horrific, scenes of what could have happened if things with Owen had turned sour before she could send him away, and she struggles in silence. Mackenzie is determined to present a mask of wellness, she refuses to let anyone in close enough to see that she’s falling apart, determined to protect the people she cares about after Owen nearly tore them apart.
While Mackenzie’s family was shattered in the first book, still grieving Ben to be much of a proper family, in this book her parents seem to realise they still have one child left who needs their help. After losing Ben they don’t want to lose Mackenzie as well, and when Mackenzie finds herself in trouble they come down on her hard; finally calling her out for the lies she’s told and the fact that she’s turning into Da.
In this book we learn more about Wesley. As Mackenzie started school we see another side to Wesley; his schoolmates may not know about his career as a Keeper but they are still open with him in a way people aren’t with Mackenzie. Wesley manages to deflect questions about himself really well, people open up to him and never seem to realise he doesn’t open up much in return.
Despite the two of them being partners, hoping to be Crew one day, Mackenzie still keeps a wall between her and Wesley. She seems determined to believe she’ll hurt him one day like she did when Owen stabbed him after she gave him the key to escape. She pushes him away and when she needs help the most she still refuses to allow Wesley in. Mackenzie is not in a good place in this book and while she doesn’t reveal everything Wesley can see some of what is happened to her. He can’t make her open up to him but he is there to support her no matter where her decisions lead her.
The Unbound seems like a much more dangerous book than The Archived was. The situations Mackenzie and Wesley find themselves facing are more deadly and it’s not just the outside they have to worry about but inside the Archive as well. The Unbound was an incredibly fast-paced read and I’m hoping, eventually, we get a third book in the series. It’s in the works but who know when it’ll be released.
What did you think of The Unbound? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.