Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Review: The Archived

Title: The Archived (The Archived #1)
Author:  Victoria Schwab
Genre: Young Adult // Romance // Ghosts // Paranormal
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Format: eBook
Source:  Purchased (Amazon)

 The dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead, called 'Histories', rest in 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 tool for staying alive.
Being a Keeper is dangerous and a constant reminder of those she lost, Da and her little brother. Mac wonders about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. Yet someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall (goodreads).

The Archived is a fascinating tale that highlights Victoria Schwab's creativity. 

Plot: Mackenzie knows loss. She has lost her grandfather and younger brother within years of each other. From her grandfather, she has learned about a world much different from her own, a world of Libraries in which Keepers are responsible for tracking down Histories and bringing them back to the Archive. In one word, I would describe The Archived as unique. Besides capturing runaway spirits, Mackenzie is tasked with solving a murder that has spanned over decades. 

The mystery started off very strong but I was a bit let down with the great reveal. It was one of the instances where the end did not justify the means; the reasoning behind the actions didn't make much sense to me. 

While Mackenzie is struggling with tracking down Histories, she is also dealing with loss of her own which makes MacKenzie feel both real and vulnerable. 

Characters: Like I said, Mackenzie felt real. She was selfish, confused, and not a really good judge of character, but I couldn't fault her in any of this given her family and the loss that they had suffered. There is a bit of a lover story and a love triangle, but it tidies itself up by the end of the of the novel so there is no need to take out your #Team____________ shirts. 

World Building: It's the details that give a world life. It is Schwab's attention to details that has made me such a fan of her writing. The Archived and Libraries are explained through flashbacks and personal stories so there is never a moment of info dump. I felt like I was apart of the world and I can't wait to see how it grows in the follow installment. 

Short N Sweet: The Archived is a solid paranormal book with well fleshed out characters. My only complaint was that the ending was tidied up a bit too perfectly. 


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