Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Unbound: A Review

Description (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?

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.

My Review:

Wow. Well, let's just say I thought there wasn't going to be a third book and then I read the very last page and now I am not so sure, but that's all right. I like this series and am excited for a potential third instillation.

So... Where to begin? (This might contain spoilers, they won't be bad or very revealing, but beware)

I loved the air of mystery throughout this one. The suspense and fear for Mac's well being and the confusion behind her nightmares and black outs about Owen Chris Clarke really throw you off trail. Throughout a third of the novel I was constantly trying to identify who the bad guy was and who was the reason for Mac's paranoia.

And then I found out and went. WOAH. That's NOT what I was expecting. Why? Well, read the first book. I really don't want to spoil anything.

Next I would like to take time to appreciate the characters. Characters are what make a story. If you don't care for them, well, then why keep reading?

Mackenzie Bishop is a kick-butt, don't mess with me kind of girl. I realize that her life is built around lies, but there is a reason for that. And what makes me connect with her? She hates it. She hates the lying. Yet she does it to keep the system of keeping the dead separated from the living, aka The Archive, a secret--as it should be.

There were times when I doubted her in this book. When I thought, no, her mind couldn't have been changed that easily. And thankfully, I turned out to be right! She stayed true and held out for the good side, swooping in and saving the day. Okay, it wasn't that nice and easy, but the fight was real. It even had my heart pumping! I could see the action, hear the explosions and the surrounding chaos. It was fantastic. And Mac stayed strong until the end.

I also loved Wesley Ayres. I love how he is an anchor for Mac. Even though they had been through tough times together, a lot of it masked by lies, he understands. He is a Keeper also, but he still finds it in him to trust Mac. To believe in her. I think that is another reason why Mac remained so strong in her biggest trial yet. She had people who trusted her, who had faith that she could and would do the right thing.

Which brings me to Roland, the Librarian. I think he is my all time favorite. He has been there for Mac since her first day introduced to The Archive. He is one of the more real Librarians who knows what's going on in the real world, and how Mac needs a way to work around the rules in order to keep everyone safe. I love his faith in her, the way he never doubts or regrets his decision to name her a Keeper. He is Mac's mentor. He can never replace Mac's Da, but he does a heck of a job helping keep her head screwed on tight. When he came to Mac in her delirium from lack of sleep, brought her to The Archive, and gave her a place to sleep without nightmares, my appreciation and love for him solidified. We all need people like Roland in our life, and Schwab did an amazing job of creating a character who was so realistic, it's almost as if he were real.

I'm still not sure what I think of the ending of this book... It sort of bothers me in a way. I want to know exactly what Mackenzie is thinking, what she is inferring to. Now that I think about it, I'm sure there will be a third book. After all, we still don't know Wesley's first name ;)

I give this a 4.5 out of 5!

Source: I borrowed this from a family member. Which in no way affects my review. All thoughts are my own opinion.


  1. This really does sound really good!

    1. Thanks! I have found that I enjoyed this series a lot more than I thought I would :)

  2. Quit borrowing books, because then you read them before I get a chance and then I end up buying them anyway :). Kidding :) Great review :)

    1. Well, if you buy them, that means I can read them again! :) Besides, I prefer owning books that I love so that one day, when I'm old and feeble I can reread everything from my young days.

  3. I am kicking myself for still not having read this series. I read The Near Witch by this author and loved the writing. So happy you loved this one, and now I am curious if there will be a third book! Have a wonderful weekend, Natalie :)

    1. I didn't realize that she had a different book out, I'll have to look it up! Schwab definitely has a way with words. I hope you have a great weekend too, thanks Heidi!

  4. This is a series that I haven't read yet, but will be because I have heard such great things about it. I'm glad you liked it.

    1. It has been great so far! I liked the second book better than the first. SO good :)