January 28, 2013
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Series: The Archived #1
Review Source: Finished copy for review from Hachette Book Group Canada (@HBGCanada)
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.
“Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.” Could there be a crazier or cooler tagline? The concept of this book is what drew me in, and I can honestly say that Victoria Schwab did an amazing job of world building. The construction of the whole concept was amazing and mysterious. The Archive of histories (copies of people’s bodies!!) was such an intriguing labyrinth. Then there were the creepy Narrows, which are basically dark alleys that Keepers use to access the Archive, and where they also track down rogue histories. I also loved how (and where!) the doors to the Narrows could be found.
Mackenzie, or Mac, is our main character, and I definitely empathized with her and liked her. She was dealing with the death of her brother as well as having to keep huge secrets from her family. While this led her to make some less than stellar decisions, I always understood where she was coming from. Wesley is an amazing character as well. He was such a perfect mixture of mockingly self-deprecating and egotistical. I loved that he was such a good guy, and his role in the story was a very interesting one.
At the heart of this book is a mystery plot line, and that’s what I enjoyed the most. I loved seeing Mac discover clues and trying to figure things out. I loved how there was another secret about the Archive at every turn, and that even as we learn so much about it there is still so much to find out. I also loved how there were two cute boys in the book and yet there was no love triangle. In fact there was little to no actual romance (despite Wesley’s noted adorableness), but I didn’t miss it at all.
Overall I was deeply fascinated with the world that Victoria Schwab has created in ‘The Archived’, and was equally as impressed with the characters. I also enjoyed thinking about the idea behind the Archive -- preserving all the history of the world in the form of individual stories. It’s a really beautiful concept in a lot of ways, and it was interesting to see it played out in this way. 'The Archived' was a great read, and I look forward to checking out the sequel once it is released.
Love!! Such a perfect representation of the book.
Find The Archived by Victoria Schwab on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.