Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Obsession With The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

This book is (amazingly enough) even better than the first, The Archived! I should have given The Archived 4.5 stars to save room for the amazing improvement in plot, themes, and romance that is so clear in The Unbound.


Series: The Archived, Book 2

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Mystery

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 5+ stars!


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.


This book is (amazingly enough) even better than the first, The Archived! I should have given The Archived 4.5 stars to save room for the amazing improvement in plot, themes, and romance that is so clear in The Unbound.

What I loved most about this book is that with summer over, Mackenzie finally goes to school, giving her life outside of the Narrows a little more to revolve around. Another love triangle also makes an appearance, although as in the first book, the final boyfriend is a bit obvious (and meant to be). Many characters from the previous book also star in this one, but fantastic new ones are also introduced, along with a new problem (although not a new source) disrupting the Archive’s order.

Something that was a little strange but might also just have to do with my own reading style was how a name or event would be mentioned in a way as if it was not the first time it was said, but I would have no recollection of ever hearing it before. This is something I also noticed when reading The Archived, but again, it might just be how I read.

Overall, I am obsessed with The Unbound. I was completely glued to the pages and could not put the book down! I absolutely need a sequel — there is so much more that could happen with this amazing cast of characters and original world and plot idea. Unfortunately, currently Victoria Schwab has no publisher to get a next book released, although she has expressed her want to write a sequel.

This book is a prime example of an author improving on the second book rather than falling for the “second book syndrome.” I will read this book over and over again — it really has won a place on my favorites shelf, a very unique honor for a sequel. I highly, highly recommend this series, especially The Unbound.


2 comments on “Gwen’s Obsession With The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

  1. stephaniesbookreviews
    December 30, 2014

    I was one of the few that didn’t care for the first book in this series. I had no intentions of reading this book, but since it’s better than the first, maybe I will!

    • gwenkate
      December 30, 2014

      Of course I clearly recommend this book, but I’m not too sure you’ll love it if you didn’t also love the first one. I liked the more normality in the second book, so if that is something you’d enjoy, go ahead! ~Gwen

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This entry was posted on December 30, 2014 by in Author: Gwen, Favorites, Review, Young Adult and tagged , , .
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