Review: The Unbound, by Victoria Schwab
The Unbound (The Archived #2), by Victoria Schwab • Published by Hyperion • ★★★★½ • GoodreadsThis book has made me a fan of Schwab's storytelling. It feels like a friend (or a wise old grandfather/grandmother) telling you the story while sipping hot tea in between (or whatever feels most comfortable to you, that's just my version)! It's comfortable and makes me entranced by the story for as long as it goes on. I breezed through The Unbound and I loved it.
Firstly, let me just state that I WILL NEVER HAVE ENOUGH OF WESLEY AYERS. There's just something about him (must be the ~air of mystery~) that makes you love him regardless of whatever he does. Wesley makes the world a brighter place, despite having his own darkness to deal with. I really love his relationship with Mac. He protects her but not the point of being crazy overprotective. He treats her as her equal. He respects her decision but still watches from afar, just in case. IT IS A LOVELY RELATIONSHIP and I want to punch a wall because it's so cute and painful at the same time. GOD DAMN IT, SCHWAB.
The characters in The Unbound make the novel more, in addition to the world of Archives. From Mac's family still coping with the death of Ben (all those cracks in this family, my poor heart), to the seemingly unfeeling Librarians, to the Crew who depends on their partners so much, to the classmates of Mac that you just can't help but like. Schwab doesn't let you forget anyone she writes into her story. There are no "tool" characters. She lets you know they are all a part of Mac's life and the way you remember them is probably similar to how Mac remembers them.
I think it's been established that I enjoy bitter characters too much for my own good and Mac is one of the few female characters I absolutely love. She's been messed up since the events of The Archived and she's unsure of herself, but rather than confiding, she's trying to cope on her own and when shit hits the fan, she's STILL trying to protect the people she loves. I guess martyrs are my type too, just not the batshit crazy kind like Owen.
The wee beef I have with The Unbound is the (semi-) lack of closure. The After chapter is so short that I'm shocked. I have about a bajillion things I still want answers to! Where's Wesley? Where's Roland? How's Mac's life after that? I mean, I don't need the whole picture, but a hint would be nice. Though I guess with the rumour of a third book, I can probably live with it for a while (that being an unknown period of time). I was going to ask about Wesley's name but since Schwab wrote a novella of sorts for it, we're good.
Overall, The Unbound is a beautiful conclusion to a duology that is nothing short of brilliance. Schwab's comfortable storytelling and whole characters are enough for me to chase after more of her works.