Title: The Unbound
Author: Victoria Schwab
Release Date: January 28, 2014
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?
The Unbound is dark and dangerous, even more so than its predecessor. All the consequences and changes that came out of the first book are here, inescapable and unavoidable. Mac has so much more to deal with, and if she's not careful, it'll overwhelm her.
This time around, everything about and around Mac is amplified. The fears, the post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from her previous encounter with Owen, the nightmares she tries to hide. The lies she tries to tell. The monsters that come after her. They're harder to keep control of now, harder to hide, and it isn't long until they're slipping through her fingers, creeping out into the world for everyone to see. Like her parents. But she still deflects, pushing everything off the table, out of sight, so she can deal with it on her own later. Because she doesn't need help. Because she can do it on her own. Because it's, in her eyes, her fault, and only she can fix it. If she doesn't crumble under the weight of the world first.
Death, after death, life after death. What happens to us after we die? Where do we go? Are we still there, hovering, watching? Do we start our lives over because of the mistakes we made? Are we reborn? Or is it nothing at all? Are we just filed away in a box, in memories, until we're forgotten? Is this why we fear death? In life, we can guess at what will happen next, be right a good amount of the time. But in death, no one knows what happens next. And not knowing what might happen next? Terrifying.
The Archive isn't what Mac thought it was anymore. Not after Owen. Not after Agatha. Her world has flipped on itself, but then what comes next? Rebellion or rolling with the punches? Mac has a very strong sense of right and wrong, the strongest I've come across. She won't back down from doing what she thinks is right, from searching for the answers she's looking for. It does make her a little reckless, though.
This book is a rollercoaster of mystery and pain, of survival and fear and nightmares. Of tension and trust and truths. I'm satisfied with the ending, but if there ever is a third book I'll be sure to read it.
(I purchased a copy of this book.)