Monday, 20 August 2018

The Archived - Book Review

The Archived (The Archived #1)
by Victoria Schwab

What is it about:
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.

What did I think of it:
I read The Archived back in 2013, and somehow never got hold of the sequel. So when The Dark Vault was announced (both books + a short story) I pre-ordered it. I will be reviewing each book separately. I first reread The Archived as I wanted to have the story clear in my mind before starting on The Unbound.

And The Archived is even more beautiful than I remembered.

The story is very intriguing. The idea of an archive where sleeping copies of the dead rest is compelling. I could easily picture both the Archive and the Narrows where those Histories that accidentally wake up wander, confused and scared.

I could easily relate to Mackenzie as well. Eager to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather, missing her brother, trying to cope with both her own loss and her parents'. I felt for her and rooted for her to uncover what secrets the old hotel where they just moved to holds, and to figure out what's happening in the archive.

As this was a reread I already knew some important things that happen in the story, but even knowing what would happen I still was totally invested and worried about Mackenzie. And I could pay more attention to the writing this time around. This book is in present tense, but Schwab's writing is excellent, so it didn't drag me out of the story. Especially the parts where Mackenzie remembers her grandfather are almost poetry.

All in all this is a beautiful and engaging read. You bet I'll be reading The Unbound next.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful and suspenseful Paranormal YA read.

Buy from bookdepository

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