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The Unbound

(The Archived #2)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  14,368 ratings  ·  2,289 reviews

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures 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

Hardcover, 360 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Hyperion (first published January 14th 2014)
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Meredith It's not exactly a cliffhanger, but as there is a third book planned, it's not the conclusion. It's similar to the end of the Archived I believe - the…moreIt's not exactly a cliffhanger, but as there is a third book planned, it's not the conclusion. It's similar to the end of the Archived I believe - there's just more story to tell, but it's not like characters are in danger.(less)

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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  14,368 ratings  ·  2,289 reviews

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Victoria Schwab
Jun 16, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Writing this book gave me hives. Finishing it gave me an ulcer. Revising it made me hypertensive.

I am pretty sure it nearly killed me.

Here's hoping it doesn't hurt you to read. At least not in the same ways it hurt me to write.

(And yes, there is a metric ton of Wesley Ayers.)
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am SO SOFT over this book!!! I loved this duology way more than I originally thought I would and I’m just so happy I picked it up 😭🖤 thank you Schwab for always delivering such amazing Slytherin girls and such soft boys!!
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I liked this even more than The Archived! It expands the world a lot, and I simply adored the new characters we’re introduced to. Also, Wesley is definitely new book boyfriend material.

I know this series was meant to have a third instalment, and I truly hope we get one someday. But I was very happy with how this book ended.
Kai Spellmeier
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
“Smiling is the worst thing you can do if you want the world to think you're okay when you're not.”

So this could've been the perfect book but there was one big thing - or better, a character - which annoyed me to the point where I wanted to stop reading: Owen Chris Clarke. I thought this chapter was over and I hoped I would not have to see him again in the sequel, but I did. Much to my disappointment he had a huge impact on the plot. Apart from him, this book was awesome and flawless and Victori
✨ Helena ✨
I need book three NOW. Seriously, Victoria Schwab ... where is it?!?!
♛ may

Buddy read #2 with the Knightess

The best feeling ever is when a book and its characters and its plot and its setting captivates you to a point where you’d rather live forever between its pages than return to real life.

And this book has done that for me.


The second book in the Archived series, Unbound continues a few weeks after we left book one. Mackenzie is about to begin school at the prestigious Hyde School and despite her very normal teen worries, her constant daunting nightmares a
prag ♻
To all the people: who like me, thought A Gathering of Shadows was the best Victoria Schwab, or anybody for that matter could do?

I love everything about this book. Everything.
→ I love Roland.
→ I love Wesley Ayers.
→ I love Dallas.
→ I even like Cash, poor guy.
But above them all, I love Mackenzie Bishop.
You know why? Because as Roland would say, she makes things infinitely more interesting.

(Which reminds me, this was BR #2 with Joshua Templeman's biggest fan, who made things infinitely more in
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
1.) The Archived ★★★★.5
2.) The Unbound ★★★★
*.) Leave the Window Open ★★★★

"I am not afraid of nightmares, because mine came true and I lived through them."

representation: symptoms of PTSD (undiagnosed), mention of side characters being neurodiverse.

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


Such a great sequel! While I'm upset that the third book never got picked up, I'm glad we got closure with this story and that is d
Starry-Eyed Jen

Wowsers! I mean, seriously, I didn't think it could get more awesome than The Archived, but holy wow, it SO DID! Lovedlovedloved it! And now I must devour every known work by Victoria Schwab. Every. Known. Work.


I re-read The Archived prior to picking up my prized galley of The Unbound because, well...because of the Wesley Ayers. Among other things.  But, gawd, if I wasn't stoked  for the sequel before (and I was, I really was), then to say t
Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)
“The funny thing about armor is that it doesn't just keep other people out. It keeps us in. We build it up around us, not realizing that we're trapping ourselves.”

Oh guys, I loved this book much more than the first one, so I'm very happy to have continued with the series, although I feel that it wasn't very smart of me, since now I want more and I've realized that there are no more books after this one for the moment and I'm just like WHY!?


4.5/5 Stars

You can find this one and more of
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed The Archived so much I had to move on quickly to its sequel. There's always a danger that the second book in a series does not match up to the first but this one does. It actually reminded me a lot of Twilight since our heroine starts a new school and immediately gets herself into a bit of a love triangle. However the action outside the school quickly picks up and the last part of the book races to a dramatic and very satisfying climax. I am now in that awful position of waiting for th ...more
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-favourites


2nd book and it's sitting right next to the first one on my 2017 favourite shelf!

Ms Schwab has done it again. I loved the first book, it was so different to anything I've ever read before. The fact that Histories are people that have died and they are stored like books in a library was one of the reasons this series caught my attention. The first book delved into the mysteries right away and the way the story played out had me anticipating the moves and getting them entirely wrong... A
Zitong Ren
Out of the three books that I have read by V.E Schwab, I have yet to be disappointed. So far, this, The Archive and A Darker Shade of Magic have all been solid 4 star reads and I’m sure as I read more of her work, I’m positive that I’ll find some that are 5 stars as well. But yeah, so far, I’m a fan. The concepts of these books are great, I really like the worlds that she has created, the writing style and her prose are very pleasing to read, and she writes dope characters as well.

At the star
Jananie (thisstoryaintover)
I thought this was a duology up until about five minutes ago when I finished the second book in tears and discovered online that the third book has yet to be released. Honestly, all I want to do right now it curl up in a ball in the corner of the room and cry about how amazing this series and Victoria Schwab's writing is. It takes serious skill to keep a reader interested through the magical AND the mundane and she does it all FLAWLESSLY.
2.5 stars - Spoilers

Not as good as the first book, it was mostly disappointing. The latter half of The Unbound was quite good, unfortunately the first half was a struggle to get through as nothing really happened except the main character whining non-stop about her life.

-What's what: Mackenzie is a Keeper, she finds Histories (escaped ghosts of sorts) and returns them to the Archive where they're kept.
In this one Mackenzie starts her new school. And then people go missing, she thinks it has to
Steph Sinclair
Thank goodness this didn’t fall victim to Second Book Syndrome. While I do think I enjoyed The Archived a tiny bit better than The Unbound, this was still up there as a tightly-plotted and well-written book. The best thing about both books is that the mystery is really solid. My mind was constantly trying to figure out who the bad guy was or how things would turn out in the end, but it surprised me. Also, more Wesley FTW! The thing that bugged me was Mac’s inability to trust Wesley. I understand ...more
Can Victoria Schwab be any better of a writer? This book was everything I hoped it would be and more. I just want to live in the world of the Archived.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own
Rating: ALL THE STARS!!!!

This series is so unique, action-pack, humorous, and it keeps you on your toes. I wish more people would give this series a chance because this book it underrated/heavily slept on. Although, because not many have experienced this amazing book, I feel special for being a part of the small few :). But for real...
READ!!! IT!!!

P.S. Wes is a very pretty excuse. Hehe
No sequel trauma here! What a knockout!!

Back with our independent heroine Mac, we start off with a new beginning, a new territory: school. Mackenzie is trying to cope with the trauma she experienced in the previous book with Owen, while attempting to take control of her life. Easier said than done in her case.

She finds it of course difficult since she suffers from morbid night terrors involving Owen that start to bleed into her waking life making her wonder if she's slowly going insane. What's e
I love this series. So much. This was a great sequel to a great book.

Short list of things to love:

- The world building was fantastic! (I mean, it's Schwab, so of course.)

- The characters not only are really likeable, but also had some GREAT development in this book! They felt way more unique in this one.

- The plot was murderous and exciting!

- The new side characters were fantastic too!


- Literally everything.
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
buddy read with Laura

Schwab’s writing is magic, there’s no other explanation because I’m always swooped and captivated by her stories. I would blink, and see that I'm already halfway done with a book.

I like that we got to see more of Mac’s mental state after the whole thing from the first book. Also, it’s great that the world expanded from the Coronado to some other places in the city. And that the cast has also grown, adding some great new characters. One of the things I liked about th
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this series and I can't believe I don't hear talk of it more often!! Such a unique world! Perfectly dark and mysterious...and that's why Victoria Schwab is the QUEEN!!! Great ending...I felt like I wasn't left with a major cliffhanger but I definitely want more!! ...more
☆ Mira ✷
6 stars. The good sis Victoria Schwab has somehow gone and done it again. I love how every sequel she writes is like its predecessor but more thrilling, sexier, and a whole new level of hell. Basically, book 1 on crack.

So, for the approximately 3 people who don't know, Victoria Schwab is the best fantasy author in the modern world. The Archived is a duology she wrote before making it big. I don't know why this one wasn't as successful as her later books, as it's amazing! The protagonist, Macken
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“The funny thing about armor is that it doesn't just keep other people out. It keeps us in. We build it up around us, not realizing that we're trapping ourselves.”

Another beautiful installment to this series, this book is the second book in the Archived series or duo-logy. (I hope it becomes a trilogy, please make it a trilogy!) This was just so good, I am so happy I read this book on Christmas because it made my day. After writing my last review, for the first book, the Archived, I get c
Julie Zantopoulos
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some of the plot points in this novel wrapped up a little too nicely (which is strange to say considering how bloody it was)...but it's Schwab so I feel like you know what I mean. Still, I enjoyed the heck out of this duology. ...more
h o l l i s
THE UNBOUND picks up a few weeks after the end of book one and things are both better, for having survived and having come out ontop of the villain from the previous book, and also worse because surviving, and winning, doesn't mean you come out unscathed. Family dynamics take an even messier turn over the course of this installment because of near misses and secrets and oh boy. I get the difficulties but these particular parentals were something. Additionally, Mackenzie is haunted both literally ...more
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Prep school Wesley was a thing that I never knew of but holy hell, am I glad it exists.


You'll never get a real review from me. I put this book off for exactly a year. I just needed to know Wesley's real name. But instead I was hit by a truck of emotions. Apparently I was so caught up the first time that I didn't even rate The Archived. Why was past!Jess so lazy? Half the load of words that I've read in my lifetime aren't even recorded because I a) think too highly of myself and hence belie
- ̗̀ bibliophile ̖́-
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Unbound takes off where the first book ended. Although the novel started off very slow, as the story took off, it elaborated through the impressive plot and writing. This novel is far more darker than the first installment, very much sinister in certain aspects. Mackenzie battles with post-traumatic stress disorder. After the scandal and aftermath of Owen she starts to drown in her own fear and is unable to distingish between what is real and what is not. The world building was so complex an ...more
Lucy Tonks
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book so much better than the first one. don't know why, but the first book simply didn't click with me. This one, on the other hand, was so good, I loved it!

God, I really want the third book and I am so sad that we know absolutely nothing about it, except the title.
Lea (drumsofautumn)
I am completely broken. It's not a secret what these books mean to me but I think I hadn't quite realized the impact myself before this reread. I wish I had words to describe it but I just don't think these words exist.

“You sound like thunderstorms and heavy rain, did you know that?” He lets out a soft, low laugh. “I never liked bad weather. Not until I met you.”

I can't believe there are people out there who find Mac's struggles "annoying". This is Order of the Phoenix all over again
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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.

Other books in the series

The Archived (3 books)
  • The Archived (The Archived, #1)
  • The Returned (The Archived, #3)

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At age 33, Victoria “V.E.” Schwab has published more than 20 novels (she’s writing now what will be her 22nd), including the 2020 hit and...
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“The funny thing about armor is that it doesn't just keep other people out. It keeps us in. We build it up around us, not realizing that we're trapping ourselves.” 159 likes
“It’s okay to not be okay,” she says. “When you’ve been through things—whatever those things are—and you don’t allow yourself to not be okay, then you only make it worse. Our problems will tear us apart if we try to ignore them. They demand attention because they need it.” 83 likes
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