by Victoria Schwab
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (January 22, 2013)
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Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.At a Glance:
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 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 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 hardwon redemption.
The Archived was one of the most unique and fascinating books I've read this year. The eery world that Victoria Schwab created had me completely engrossed from the minute I opened the book, until the moment I finished.
The world-building in The Archived was so well done. I could really picture The Narrows (creepy!!), and The Archives, as well as the old hotel-turned-apartments that Mac and her family lived in. What an awesome setting for this story. I found the hotel to be equal parts fascinating and spooky. Especially when Mac would touch the walls or floor and "read" the memories of the place. And how cool is it that she could just open a door and enter the world of the dead? I mean, I know it's kind of horrifying, but in a way it's like she was a ninja-bounty-hunter of the escaped dead. Ok, maybe I'm demented, but I think that sounds kind of amazing.
Mac was an awesome heroine. I loved reading about the closeness between her and her Da. The love and loss that she felt for him,as well as for her brother that died in an accident, was palpable. But the fierce determination to make her Da proud and to hang on to the closeness and memories of him and her brother, practically moved me to tears. She wasn't all sadness, though, she was also witty and thoughtful, and even though she made some poor decisions, it was always out of love. Oh yeah, and she could also kick some History (ghost) butt!
I can't go any farther without talking about Wes. I am not a fan of guyliner....but I might have to change my mind after this. I. Loved. Wes. Even though I was never quite sure if I could trust him. He was just so charming! I loved the banter between Wes and Mac. He was funny, thoughtful, witty, mysterious and just a little eccentric.
Ok, there was a bit of a love triangle here, but it was seriously SO different! The difference is that you never know what is trustworthy and what (or who) isn't. At any moment, you're waiting to find out if someone is working against Mac. I think this adds another dimension to the romance. And the romance is not front and center to this story either. It's just a small piece of the bigger picture and I really appreciated that. Add to that the fact that both of the potential "love interests" are completely mysterious, yeah....I liked it!
Overall, I just can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book, especially the ending, which was one fast, exciting, plot-twisty, and completely creepy whirlwind. I love that this book wrapped up without a cliffhanger, while leaving me excited to see where the story is going to go in the future.
Cover: Awesome!! I love it! It's so haunting and perfect, and the key!! Yes.
Book Doppelgangers: Graveminder by Melissa Marr, Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
Will I buy it: YES! I already did!
- Profanity: Mild
- Sexual Content: Minor
- Violence: Moderate
- Other Notables: Ghosts/Afterlife