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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Archived (The Archived #1)
Author: Victoria Schwab
Published: January 22nd, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery
My Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

My Review:

The Archived is one of those books that you know you'll love just by looking at it's cover. It's a well-developed, original and captivating story that can't help but draw you in instantly. It's different than any book I've read before. The paranormal characters in most books are either vampires, witches, werewolves... but not this time. Victoria Schwab was able to hold my attention by introducing Histories, dead people that lie on the Archive's (a huge library where the dead people are kept to rest) shelves. They would sometimes wake up and try to escape to the Outer (our world), and it's the Keeper's jobs to capture them and return them.

The story is told through Mackenzie Bishop's (a Keeper) eyes. After her brother's death, she and her parents moved to the Coronado (a hotel turned apartment building), which had a very dark setting that added to the stories suspense and foreshadowing.

The character's weren't perfect. They had flaws, which made them more relatable and enjoyable. They very much felt real and well-thought out. I admired Mackenzie because of her strength and self-assurance. Her neighbors at the Coronado spiced things up a bit and added to the suspense. The only character I didn't really care for was Mackenzie's mother. I understood that she was still mourning her son's death, but I found her quite whiny at times. My personal favorite is Wesley Ayers (Guyliner). He was funny and had this "not every other guy" feel to him. Romance was a big part of the story, but at same time kept to a minimum.

Even though, I haven't heard a lot of people talking about The Archived (WHY?!?!)I had very high expectations for it and was not let down. Not even a little. Victoria Schwab has gained herself a new fan. I know for a fact that I'll be reading her other novels like: Vicious and The Near Witch.

Is this a book I would read again? Yes, definitely.
Who do I recommend it to? Anyone who likes a different and creative twist to novels. It's not just for young adults but adults would also enjoy it.