The Archived (The Archived, #1)by Published 22 Jan 2013
|The Archived (The Archived, #1).pdf|
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.
Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures 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 that 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 may 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.
"The Archived (The Archived, #1)" Reviews
Victoria Schwab crafts another beautiful and unique story.
HEAR ME OUT.
I really loved the intricate world that Victoria Schwab created, and her writing was great as usual. However. The plot fell so flat for me, and I couldn't bring myself to care about anything that was happening. One redeeming factor aside from the world building was WESLEY. I really loved him as a character and it made me sad that he wasn't a bigger part of the story.
I don't think I'll be continuing on with this series (trilogy? duology? who knows.), but I will definitely be checking out more of Victoria's books in the future (because she is a goddess).
I have already read Vicious (and loved it), so I might just enjoy her adult books more, but I'll have to read more to be able to say for sure.
I have to admit, it wasn't until the second half of the book that The Archived really started clicking together for me. I've heard that some people who read the extended preview online were unsure if they wanted to continue, and I can see why--but something about the writing was really appealing to me and I ended up having a great experience with it.
Here's what I liked about the book:
* Dead people who are kept on shelves like books? Sign me on! Awesome premise.
* I loved the eerie, something's-not-quite-right atmosphere. All this drama happening in the hushed hallways of a library setting somehow felt pretty creepy.
* The narrative voice felt comfortable and real.
* This isn't written in a fast-paced sci-fi thriller kind of way, and I liked the slower pace and somewhat contemplative tone.
* The part of the story involving mysterious murders in an old hotel-turned-apartment-building was intriguing, and the way the clues gradually reveal themselves is enjoyable.
* I really liked some of the characters, especially the stern Roland, an older Librarian who mentors Mackenzie.
Things that were just fine:
* The romantic interests. Yes, there is an "s" at the end of that, but there isn't really a love triangle here, and things are just interesting enough without overtaking the entire plot.
* The villain. Maybe a bit too easy to guess, but not until closer to the end.
Things I felt could use improvement:
* I found the beginning very confusing, in part because I thought "Da" referred to Mackenzie's father, not her grandfather. The timeline also moved back and forth too much for my taste, and the switches in tense itched at me. Also, does her brother's death have some further significance at some point? Between that, her grandfather's death, moving to a new home, etc., there was a lot to take in the opening chapters.
* I was also never entirely sure how I understood how the mechanics of everything works in the Library or the Keepers' exact roles. There were also definitely parts where I thought, "No way!" or "I don't get why this just didn't happen."
But there came a point when the story started coming together and taking off that I just let go of my doubts and just enjoyed the ride. In fact, I think zoomed through the last half in one sitting, it was such a page-turner! The book is well-plotted, well-written, and touched with some darkness, as well as humor. This isn't a typical sci-fi story, and it's all the better for that. I'm tired of wham-bam adventure stories that do little more than connect the dots between one action scene to the next.
This is the first book I've read by this author, but given the many positive reviews I've seen for her debut, I think I need to seek out The Near Witch very soon. And of course, I'll be waiting for the new batch of Archives in the coming year.
This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.
You can also win an ARC of The Archived on the blog!
Two years in my brain and more than a year putting it on the page properly. I can't wait to be able to share it.
It might seem like my whole life revolves around victoria schwab but yes it does