Saturday, 25 January 2014

Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Published: 22nd January 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult: Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: Purchased 

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.

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I absolutely loved the sneak peek (100 pages) I read late 2012. The book was unique, different and enjoyable. I couldn't wait to read the whole book. I pre-ordered this as I was so excited for it. 

This isn't a fast paced book. In fact I stalled a little in the middle and found myself not really in a hurry to pick it back up. Once I worked through it the second half was much better. 

This is a fascinating book. The world is intriguing, I mean - the dead are filed on shelves, like books! Come on! That's awesome!

I must say that the time of events moves around in this book a bit. You have frequent glimpses into the past with Da, Mac's Grandfather, and then back to the present time. It can throw you out of the story a little and may be off putting to some. The excerpt below is a "glimpse" of the past with Mac's Grandfather. 

My biggest problem was with Mac getting side tracked. At one point she had histories to return, but just didn't and in the beginning you learn you just can't do that. On top of that, there was no explanation of what happened to them. The longer they are out the harder they are to return. Histories are confused enough when they "wake" not knowing they are dead, and can then get violent when confronted to be returned. Why wait? There were even a few histories that were on her list and we never knew what happened to them because they weren't mentioned again, and Mac wasn't doing any returning. 

There are two romantic interests, but it's not a love triangle so don't let that put you off. It's not a driving force through the novel either. More subtle and a little cute. I liked Wes as a character and enjoyed their encounters.  

The twist was kind of predictable for me. I wasn't 100% sure, but I had enough distrust of the character to believe they were behind it. This made the last 25% a definite a page turner. 

While this held my attention in waves, it was still an enjoyable book. I think I would have preferred it to be a stand alone though so I'm not sure if I'm interested enough to pick up it's sequel, The Unbound, which is due for release on the 28th January. 

Really Liked It


page 212

1 comment:

  1. I had mixed feelings about this book as well. I loved the ideas it involved and the world building was amazing - but I had a lot of questions too. Thanks for sharing!

    You can see my review of The Archived here.


    Keely @ Realms of an Open Mind


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