Author: Victoria Schwab

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The Unbound by Victoria Schwab (The Archived #2) – Review (Blog Tour)

January 29, 2014 Blog Tour, Review 2 ★★★★★

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab (The Archived #2) – Review (Blog Tour)

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab (The Archived #2) – Review (Blog Tour)Release Date: January 28, 2014
Title: The Unbound
Series: The Archived #2
Author: Victoria Schwab
Pages: 368
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: NetGalley
Available: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: 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.
5 Stars

I waited for this book for ages. And then when I heard the blog tour was coming up… I practically begged to be on it!

You may not remember, but I gush over everything written by Victoria (see The Archived and Vicious).

The Unbound is absolutely another gush-worthy book. You couldn’t ask for a better sequel than this. I think one of the best things about this series is that it doesn’t follow the traditional formula that we see in YA where a series or trilogy is one long story arc broken into chunks. Each individual book is its own, though it falls in a particular sequence.

Mackenzie remains one of my favorite characters ever. She has such poise and grace when dealing with the chaos that is her life. She tries so hard to keep those she loves out of harm’s way and to handle everything all by herself. Her strength alone astounds me. It’s not easy being a Keeper in the first place, but try being one at sixteen while going through PTSD and attending a new high school.

And in this book, she goes through some pretty gnarly stuff – all a direct aftermath of Owen and the events of The Archived.

But our girl can handle herself, even when those around her (including her parents!) doubt her.

I never doubted her, but I did wonder how she was going to get to the end of the story. I had no idea what she had up her sleeve – she’s a tricksy one, that Mackenzie.

And of course… Wesley Ayers is back. I adore him so, so much. But this story was so much more Mackenzie’s story than his that I don’t have a lot to say about him. Other than I love him. A lot.

In this book, Victoria has continued to write a world that is so real, so tangible, that sometimes I can feel the weight of my own key around my neck. Then I tear my eyes away from the page and remember where I am. If there is a Library here, I don’t have access to it.

I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for us next.

But honestly… Victoria could write the next phone book (apparently they do still make those) and I would read it.

Need More Information?

  • The Housework Can WaitThe Unbound is everything I wanted in a sequel to The Archived. More mystery. More suspense. A greater sense of purpose and consequence and world.
  • My Friends Are FictionWith 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.
  • Teen Librarian ToolboxIt is hugely enjoyable, a completely satisfying addition to the Mackenzie cannon. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who has read The Archived.

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The Archived by Victoria Schwab (The Archived #1) – Review

October 21, 2013 Review 2 ★★★★★

inanutshell2Victoria Schwab can do no wrong. First I read about villains and now I’m reading about a library of the dead. Can I go live inside her imagination? I’m pretty sure it’s much better there than it is here in the real world.
 

The Archived by Victoria Schwab (The Archived #1) – ReviewRelease Date: January 22, 2013
Title: The Archived
Series: The Archived #1
Author: Victoria Schwab
Pages: 328
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Owned
Available: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: 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.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.
5 Stars

Mackenzie Bishop is one of my new favorite characters.

Her life is so complicated but she handles it pretty well. She doesn’t always make the best of decisions (I am still incredibly tired of people keeping secrets because they believe they can handle the world by themselves) but she does her best with what she’s been given.

The story is expertly woven so that we see how Mackenzie’s life ended up the way it is now. Her training with Da, her grief from losing her brother, the part of her life she must keep hidden from her parents… I can’t imagine how she manages such things.

And I am completely fascinated by the world that Victoria created. There are libraries of the dead. The dead are archived in vessels that look like the bodies they inhabited when they were alive. These vessels are called Histories – because they contain the history of the person who was once alive. And occasionally a History is disturbed and wakes up. When that happens, a Keeper must find them and return them to the Archive.

Mackenzie is a Keeper. She has been one since she was 12 years old.

When her family moves to an old building (we’re talking old), she realizes that she’s returning far more Histories than she’s accustomed to. And then… she meets Wes.

Things change after she meets Wes, but I can’t tell you what or why – you need to read that for yourself.

But overall, it isn’t just the story that makes this book so compelling to me. Victoria’s writing will always make me catch my breath. When I read her words, I can feel them through the page. Mackenzie’s story is one of pain, grief, and death. Her life is one that is destined to be surrounded by death. Yet, when Victoria writes it – there is still a youthful hope and exuberance surrounding Mackenzie that I hope stays with her through the next installment. Victoria understands how to use words to create an experience rather than simply tell a story.

What Others Are Saying:

  • CuddlebuggeryIt’s the perfect murder mystery to keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s the kind of book that had me thinking about the events long after I finished and now I’ll be desperately waiting for book 2.
  • The Book SmugglersThe Archived is a beautifully written book, a morose, slow-simmering modern gothic novel, with a truly intriguing premise.
  • The Hopeful HeroineI found myself turning page after page because I had to finish it–only to realize it’s part of a trilogy and now I have to whine and cry and mope around in waiting until next year for The Unbound.

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Vicious by V.E. Schwab – Review

October 16, 2013 Review 1 ★★★★★

inanutshell2Vicious was a book I couldn’t put down. It was well worth the 8 hour round trip drive my mom and I took to not only buy the book, but to see Victoria Schwab to have her sign the book and hear her do a reading. Trust me on this – you’ll want to read it. Particularly if you have a twisted sense of humor like I do (and apparently like she does).

Vicious by V.E. Schwab – ReviewRelease Date: September 24, 2013
Title: Vicious
Author: V.E. Schwab, Victoria Schwab
Pages: 368
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Owned
Available: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.
5 Stars

V.E. Schwab (otherwise known as Victoria Schwab) is an evil genius.

When I saw the cover of Vicious, I knew I had to read it. I didn’t even know what it was about yet. The beautiful colors and comic-esque style of the rendered art combined with the one word title just called to me.

When I found out it was about villains – I was completely sold.

Then I went to see her do a reading of the book and discovered that I was grossly oversimplifying the subject matter. It’s not just about villains. It’s about ethics and morality and the choices that we make. It gets deep y’all.

Eli calls himself a hero, therefore Victor must necessarily be the anti-hero (i.e. the villain) because his purpose is to stop Eli.

See how that works? It’s fascinating. What do words mean when you take their meaning away? At the reading, Victoria said this was an idea she wanted to explore while she was writing the book but I didn’t fully understand it until I read the book.

She writes sociopaths frighteningly well.

And in the end, I think she accomplished exactly what she set out to do. She wrote a book about people with super powers, rather than superheroes. She created a completely new universe out there with rules that defy physics (as most super powers do) and made me believe that it was all entirely possible.

If you’re a fan of Marvel, of DC, of Dark Horse, or any of the comic book universes out there then this is absolutely a book you should read. If comics aren’t your thing, but you’re interested in reading a story about best friends who become mortal enemies then this one will fit the bill. Because the point of this story isn’t the super powers – no, the point of this story is what Eli and Victor do with their powers. It’s how they live and the choices that they make.

And it’s vicious.

What Others Are Saying:

  • The Housework Can WaitVicious is an intricately woven tale of intrigue and deception, betrayal and revenge.
  • Book, Bones, & BuffyVicious is so good, that I wish I could read it again for the first time. I envy all you readers out there who have yet to crack open the cover and experience Schwab’s unique brand of magic.

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