Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “Victoria Schwab

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab: Frodo’s Review

TotallyRandomTuesday

The Unbound

Summary From GoodreadsThe Unbound by Victoria Schwab

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?

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

Normally I wouldn’t do b2b mini-reviews, but since yesterday’s wasn’t really all that short I’m making an exception, because with The Unbound my emotions can be summed up pretty quickly.

I loved it, so much so that I fought through an allergy & benadryl fog in order to read it today. I’ve had this book on pre-order since it was first available on Amazon, and NOTHING was going to stop me from devouring it. The Unbound is fantastic, filled with characters that I love, from Mackenzie the broken but resilient MC, to Wesley the always caring and sweet love interest, and even to Owen who haunts Mackenzie’s dreams and even sometimes her waking moments. They are all excellent, fleshed out, and the chemistry between Mackenzie and Wesley is especially beautiful to witness.

What amazes me about Schwab’s writing ability the most is how she can make the “real world” seem just as incredibly vivid as the Archive. Each is stunning, from the descriptions of the courtyard and buildings of the private school, to the labyrinth-like halls of the Archive. It’s impossible not to get lost in such a detailed, and truly beautiful world, one that blends realistic setting and the fantastic seamlessly.

What makes The Unbound a sequel that not only doesn’t succumb to second-book syndrome, but excel and even surpass The Archived, is the way that Mackenzie’s mind is breaking and altering her reality so that each twist and turn the book has is as shocking for the reader as the characters within. She has such a hard time determining what is in her dreams, what is in the Archive, and even what is real in her regular everyday life. The constant struggle to hold onto her sanity in the ever-changing world around her is something that many of us can relate to, and Schwab does it more justice than I thought was possible.

There is romance here, beautiful and touching, and heart wrenching at times too. Battles with the law, crime scenes, escapes, psychosis, and questioning of oneself, The Unbound has all of these things and so much more. If you haven’t read The Archived, I urge you to do so, because not only is that book great in its own right, but then you can read what I would argue is one of the best sequels out there. Thank you as always for reading.

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #32/365

Five Smiling Frodos w Background


Waiting on Wednesday #12

Waiting On Wednesday hosted by Breaking The Spine

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by the fantastic people over at Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that we are excited about.

For this week my pre-publication selection that I can’t wait for is:

The Unbound (The Archived #2) by Victoria Schwab

Set For Release On: January 28th, 2014

Summary From 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.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

I’ve mentioned The Unbound quite a bit lately including yesterday’s Top Ten Tuesday as one of my most anticipated winter reads. I really enjoyed The Archived and I’m so excited to read The Unbound when it comes out on the 28th of January! I plan to review it the day of so if you want a fresh opinion on it feel free to stop by that day. ^.^ Victoria Schwab is amazing, both as an author and, of course, as a person, and I love how much recognition she got for Vicious. I urge people to check out The Archived if you haven’t already and you’ll have plenty of time before The Unbound comes out to get as excited as I am!

Does The Unbound appeal to you? Are you as excited as I am for it? What book are you “Waiting On”? Let me know in the comments and/or leave a link to your own WoW post and I will make sure to stop by! Thanks for checking out my Waiting On Wednesday! ^.^


Top Ten Books on My Winter TBR

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about the books you can’t wait to read this winter! I’m not going to be doing much reading with finals going on in the next couple weeks for college, so this is my top ten for January. ^.^

1. Unhinged by A.G. Howard – This was my latest Waiting on Wednesday and with Splintered being in my top 5 favorite reads of 2013, my anticipation for Unhinged is unmeasurable. I’ll be doing a review on the release day so look for that!

2. The Unbound by Victoria Schwab – I really enjoyed The Archived earlier this year, and I’m sure The Unbound will have me raving as well. Another book I have on pre-order and plan to review on the release day. Huzzah for planning ahead! ^.^ 

3. Bang by Lisa McMann – Crash was an enjoyable read for me, and I like McMann’s style of writing quite a bit. Bang is pretty short so I should breeze through this one and it is quite literally staring at me on my stacks of books, waiting, watching.

4. Horde by Ann Aguirre – The only reason I haven’t read this already (besides a lack of time) is because I’m saving it for the 365 books in 365 days challenge that I will be doing next year. I loved Enclave and Outpost, and I’m sure Horde will meet and even surpass my lofty expectations. The day I get to read this will be a fun one.

5. Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger – Etiquette and Espionage is another book in my top 5 for 2013, so to say I am looking forward to reading Curtsies & Conspiracies would be a massive understatement. These books have fabulous characters, a creative spin on werewolves and vampires, and THE MOST AMAZING WRITING EVER. I’m fine…really I swear. >.>

6. Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn – I know, I know, this was released this summer, but I haven’t read it yet! All I have heard about this book is that it’s one of the best “mind fucks” out there right now, which has me really eager to dive in. Can’t wait!

7. In the After by Demitria Lunetta – Another book released this summer that I didn’t devour along with seemingly everyone else. I hesitate to read this in January with In the End not coming out until June of next year, but the wonderful people at Epic Reads keep saying how the first 100 pages are the best they’ve probably read this year. I can’t resist!

8. Pivot Point by Kasie West – I swear I’m reading this in January no matter what! It came out all the way back in February of this year and it’s been sitting on my shelves for roughly that same amount of time along with all of the other neglected books I plan to read next year during the challenge. I know it is going to be good, it will be a stress free reading day because of it, and I’m psyched! Emerald Green

9. 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil – 3:59 came out in mid September this year and I mostly want to get into this one because of how much I like and respect McNeil as a person. I follow her on Twitter, read any content by/about her (which came out a bit more stalkery then I had intended), and just think she’s awesome. If 3:59 is half as amazing as she is I’ll be in for a great time.

10. Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier – Book three in the Ruby Red Trilogy, Emerald Green will complete a series that still has me flummoxed. I LOVE certain elements like the characters Lucy and Paul (whom I hope have bigger roles in Emerald Green), Madame Rossini and her fabulous dresses and accessories, and TIME TRAVEL because who doesn’t love time travel? However, the MC, Gwen, is not my favorite and the romance going on isn’t either, but I’m still really excited to finish the trilogy. Where will Gier take us next?

So those are the top ten books I can’t wait to read this winter (specifically in January)! What is your top ten list for this week? Are yours spread out over the course of the winter months? Are they all new books or do you have a few that you’ve put off until now? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Day 22: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Day 22

Summary From 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.

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.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

I won an ARC of The Archived a while ago and have been dying to read it since, but I wanted to save it until release day and read/review it then, and here we are! It is only appropriate to give a major congrats to Victoria Schwab on her release! Now onto the review. ^.^

First off I just want to say that this premise was freaking awesome and when I found out that I won an ARC of The Archived I ran around the house happy dancing like a crazy person, so needless to say I was quite excited to read it. The world that Schwab created is nothing short of amazing. The intricacies of the system that the Archive uses to keep the Histories from being disturbed are brought to life in a powerful way and make you empathize for the people who would have to deal with that kind of existence. Separating the life in the Other from the duties of being a Keeper would be incredibly difficult and keeping those emotions in check is something that Schwab really forces the reader to realize, especially with the main character Mackenzie.

Mackenzie is riddled with sadness after dealing with the death of her mentor and grandfather, Da, as well as her little brother Ben. She fights those feelings throughout the book and we are given insights into her life before their passing as the story jumps from the present to the past repeatedly. However, she has some pluck about her and plenty of resolve and determination, and that in addition to her sense of humor make her a likable character. The secondary characters are done very well, especially the partner/possible love interest/comic relief Wes who is just excellent. He keeps The Archived from being too serious and gives you someone else to root for besides Mackenzie, which despite being the MC and being likable enough isn’t necessarily someone you instantly want to get behind, you do with Wes.

I did feel that the pacing was a little slow. I didn’t stop reading or want to skim, but there were times that I felt it could have been a bit more refined and that there was unnecessary repetition. I will reiterate that I was reading an ARC version, so it might have been changed up so that this was a non-entity, but I have to comment on the copy I read. The writing style was good, but there were no really noticeable quirks or idiosyncrasies to make me think “Oh so this is Schwab’s style”, that isn’t inherently bad or good, just something I noticed.

Overall I thought the high point was definitely the world created as well as Wes for characters, and while there were some minor issues the good most certainly outweighed the few negatives. I definitely recommend you go and buy a copy of it if you haven’t already and see what you think for yourself. As always thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 23!

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #22/365

Four Smiling Frodos w Background