Author: Victoria Schwab
Published: January 22nd 2013
Pages: 328 (Hardcover)
Series: The Archived #1
Synopsis 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.
Up until now, I had never read anything by Victoria Schwab, but for ages, I have heard such wonderful things about her books, so I think it was just about time I joined the rest of the world. And I’m so glad that I did, because The Archived was just as good as it set out to be.
I found the whole idea of the Archive absolutely gorgeous and unique. That your memories and history is kept somewhere after your death, never quite forgotten….I just loved it. There’s something so peaceful and comforting about the thought, you know. Honestly, though, without getting in to too much detail, I have to say that I loved almost every single aspect of this world. I loved the keys, the doors, the Narrows and the idea of our existence kind of etching itself onto the things we love. Believe me, this a story you don’t want to miss.
The writing was really beautiful as well, and I particularly enjoyed the flashbacks. They fit so well with the rest of the story, gave more depth to Mackenzie and the relationship between her and her grandad, and were nice and short. I often think flashbacks kind of distract you from the main story, but in this case, not at all.
When it comes to the characters, surprise surprise, I really liked them. Funny thing, though, I think I enjoyed the supporting characters more than Mackenzie. Don’t get me wrong, I liked her well enough, but I found the others just a little bit more interesting. Roland was really cool, and Wesley was so different and funny. I got kind of a guyliner-version of Adrian Ivashkov-feeling off of him. You know, witty, charming, lazy and pretty vain about his own looks, and I must say, the interactions between him and Mac were really entertaining. I’m conflicted about da, though. Seeing him from Mackenzies perspective, I loved him, but as a person from the outside, I hated him, and that, I think, is kind of brilliant of Victoria.
I liked the first half of the book better than the second, though. I don’t know why exactly, but I just plowed through the first chapters and kind of had to push myself through the last. From what I have heard, this is an unusual opinion, so it might just be me. :)
Overall, The Archived was a really entertaining read, with a mysterious, creepy and eerie tone, and a couple of funny moments. Some parts really managed to surprise me, and that’s kind of hard to do nowadays. I think some things were a bit unrealistic, and Mackenzie made some pretty risky moves that I thought she would be smart enough not to do, but this wasn’t a biggie to me.
But honestly, beautiful cover and super intriguing premise…it’s a wonder I waited this long to pick this book up. Don’t make the same mistake.
I’m really excited for the next book in the series. :)
“This is all new to me. And I’m not going anywhere. It takes at least three assassination attempts to scare me off. And even then, if there are baked goods involved, I might come back.”
“I step out of the stairwell, but when I turn to face Wes, he’s frowning at me. “Don’t look at me like that with those big brown eyes.” “They’re not just brown,” he says. “They’re hazel. Can’t you see the flecks of gold?””