The Unbound – Victoria Schwab

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The Unbound continues the story of Mackenzie, a keeper who works for the Archive. The Archive is the place where the dead are stored like books on a shelf but if they wake up and wonder the Narrows, a keeper must help send them back. The Narrows is the corridors linking the Archive and the living world and it falls on Mackenzie’s shoulders to make sure a history never passed the door into the outside world. Whilst battling with this unusual aspect of her life, Mackenzie must keep up appearances as a normal teenager with the people around her, even her parents.

In the Unbound, Mackenzie is battling nightmares after her last ordeal in the first book. She is trying to get her life back on track, start a new school and come to terms with settling into her new life in the Coronado.

In this exciting sequel, Mackenzie notices people around her are going missing, and not just random people but people she has encountered. She is the common factor in these people’s disappearances but she doesn’t understand why. She wonders if there is a connection to the Archive but with the people there already worried about her and her abilities as a keeper she has no choice but to find the answers herself.

This book was fast paced, exciting and the perfect follow on from The Archived. There is a clear character development as Mackenzie begins to grow more as a Keeper after her last encounter with a history. She also begins to develop more in the real world through school and socialising with friends. Not only does Mackenzie expand in character but her relationships improve and strengthen.

Throughout the first book I found Mackenzie to be a withdrawn character, hiding from the people around her and wearing nothing but a permanent lie. In the second book, Mackenzie still wears her mask, however she begins to build rapport with the people around her and her parents. Despite Mackenzie’s exhaustion at the start of this book, it’s nice to see her in a normal setting like school and with people her age as in The Archived, the setting was predominantly the Coronado during what would be summer holidays.

I found the school setting quite comical as Mackenzie is sent to a private school at the start of the school year and is shown around a formal, picturesque building where many of her fellow students are from a wealthy background, with fencing as an option in gym class, nothing compared to the rounders or netball I had in school. However I found it interesting that some of the characters embodied the stereotypical, wealthy teenagers whilst others appeared more grounded.

As mentioned before, with the more secluded setting in the first book, the broader setting in the second left more room for new characters to be introduced into the plot. This encouraged the suspense throughout the plot as many more people were suspected as being untrustworthy.

The writing style in this book was fluid, easy to follow and matched the plot perfectly. After reading two books of Victoria Schwab’s I would be encouraged to buy more of her novels and I have mentioned on here before how I would like to read Vicious, if anyone has anymore recommendations please comment below.

I am giving The Unbound a 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking for something unique, capturing and suspenseful. However for anyone that hasn’t read The Archived I would recommend starting with it first.

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