Friday, January 31, 2014

Blog Tour Review: The Unbound by Victoria Schwab


~A big thank-you to Victoria Schwab and Hyperion for allowing me to be part of the blog tour~


The Unbound by Victoria Schwab 
Series: The Archived #2
Published: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Hyperion
368 pages (eARC)
Genre: Young adult supernatural thriller
Acquired this book: From the author via NetGalley as part of the blog tour, in exchange for an honest review
Warning: Will contain spoilers if you haven’t read The Archived 
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Book Depository || Chapters/Indigo}

 
{Read my review of The Archived}


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.
 

The Archived was one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. The idea of the Archive is absolutely fascinating (and kind of horrific), and I was completely enthralled by Mackenzie and Wesley’s story. The Unbound is just as captivating, but in a completely different way. The story is less emotionally driven, and we learn more about the characters and the Archive itself.

Mac is haunted by the things that happened to her this past summer. It’s a struggle just to function on a daily basis because she’s exhausted and terrified. The only thing keeping her grounded is Wesley, but even that comfort has its limits since Wesley is prone to keeping secrets and Mac has trouble really letting people in. 

The Unbound has a much more contemporary feel than The Archived. Mac has started high school, so a lot of the story is day-to-day life, and since I’m a lover of contemporary YA, I liked that aspect of the book. It never slips into pure contemporary, because the Archive or Mac’s Archive-related problems are always on her mind, but it keeps things fresh and interesting, especially since there's a big element of mystery woven throughout. My only issue with the more contemporary feel is that the pacing seemed a bit off at times, and Mac’s thoughts tend to get a bit repetitive.

In The Unbound I grew to love Mac even more than I did in The Archived. I could feel her fear and her worries, and feel her cracking under the pressure. She tries so hard to keep it together and be strong, but I loved those little moments where her armour cracks and she shows she’s human - when she starts to doubt things/herself, and when she lets Wesley in, even for a moment. And Wesley - for all the people (myself included, naturally) who fell in love with Guyliner in The Archived, you'll be happy to know we get even more of him in this book. We see a whole new side to him, and while he remains a mystery in many ways, we get little peeks into his life and who he is beyond a Keeper.

There are plenty of twists and turns in The Unbound. I was never quite sure who to trust, and I enjoyed not knowing and not being able to guess. I liked all the new characters and that they each played a role in the story and weren’t just there for the sake of being there. I don’t want to stray into spoiler territory, but there’s one character in particular I really liked but wasn’t sure if I should like; I never quite knew whether to trust him or not, but that made the story even more fun because I was constantly guessing. Also, we get to see quite a bit of Roland, which made me really happy. He’s like the calm in the storm for Mac, and I love their relationship (plus I just can't help picturing him as Ten/David Tennant from Doctor Who, so of course I adore him).

Full of mystery, romance, and action The Unbound is a wonderful sequel to The Archived. If you haven’t read The Archived yet, I highly recommend getting it right now. Victoria Schwab has a knack for drawing the reader in, squeezing their hearts, twisting their minds, and leaving an unforgettable impression.
 


Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say "tom-ah-toes," "like," and "y'all."

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

Also by Victoria Schwab:
{Read my review of The Near Witch}
 
 
Have you read The Archived or The Unbound? What did you think? Who's your favourite character? What do you think of the concept of the Archive? If you haven't read these books, are they on your TBR?
                                                    

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~Marie

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