Day 22: The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Summary 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.
I won an ARC of The Archived a while ago and have been dying to read it since, but I wanted to save it until release day and read/review it then, and here we are! It is only appropriate to give a major congrats to Victoria Schwab on her release! Now onto the review. ^.^
First off I just want to say that this premise was freaking awesome and when I found out that I won an ARC of The Archived I ran around the house happy dancing like a crazy person, so needless to say I was quite excited to read it. The world that Schwab created is nothing short of amazing. The intricacies of the system that the Archive uses to keep the Histories from being disturbed are brought to life in a powerful way and make you empathize for the people who would have to deal with that kind of existence. Separating the life in the Other from the duties of being a Keeper would be incredibly difficult and keeping those emotions in check is something that Schwab really forces the reader to realize, especially with the main character Mackenzie.
Mackenzie is riddled with sadness after dealing with the death of her mentor and grandfather, Da, as well as her little brother Ben. She fights those feelings throughout the book and we are given insights into her life before their passing as the story jumps from the present to the past repeatedly. However, she has some pluck about her and plenty of resolve and determination, and that in addition to her sense of humor make her a likable character. The secondary characters are done very well, especially the partner/possible love interest/comic relief Wes who is just excellent. He keeps The Archived from being too serious and gives you someone else to root for besides Mackenzie, which despite being the MC and being likable enough isn’t necessarily someone you instantly want to get behind, you do with Wes.
I did feel that the pacing was a little slow. I didn’t stop reading or want to skim, but there were times that I felt it could have been a bit more refined and that there was unnecessary repetition. I will reiterate that I was reading an ARC version, so it might have been changed up so that this was a non-entity, but I have to comment on the copy I read. The writing style was good, but there were no really noticeable quirks or idiosyncrasies to make me think “Oh so this is Schwab’s style”, that isn’t inherently bad or good, just something I noticed.
Overall I thought the high point was definitely the world created as well as Wes for characters, and while there were some minor issues the good most certainly outweighed the few negatives. I definitely recommend you go and buy a copy of it if you haven’t already and see what you think for yourself. As always thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 23!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #22/365