Title: The Archived [The Archived 1]
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Rating: 4 Star
Series Review: 1, 2, 2.5, 3
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.
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
I really really liked this book but it did have a downfall for me that prevent the complete five star review. It took me a very long time to get into it. It was nearly half the book. I don’t really know why, the writing style was beautiful once I got into it and the story was really engaging once I got into it. Perhaps I wasn’t over the books I read before hand? Or perhaps it just took me that long to get into the style. It just felt like such a slow and long start into such a big finish.
In this story we are introduced to a world where when someone dies their life memories and history get recreated into bodies that looked like them called Histories. The Histories are kept in a place called the Archived, thousands of them kept in stacks like books and they are watched over by people called Librarians who are the only people who have the keys able to read those stories. But sometimes a History wakes up and woken History can become very dangerous. As a safeguard there are Keepers like our main character who go into the Narrows, the world between the Outer, the everyday world, and the Archived, the histories home and send them to ‘returns’ so the Librarians can put them back in the stacks.
Can we please take a moment to appreciate just how awesome the idea of human histories being stacked like books is? The Archived sounds amazing. I imagine I would really enjoy being a Librarian in this universe.
Just like the general story it took my awhile to like our main character too. Actually, I started liking everything about this story at the same, anything before was just meh. Anyway, I found the introduction to her and her family, though sad, just not that interesting. It was not till passed that strange first part of the book that I finally saw what a strong character Mackenzie really was. Despite the fact that she made some really dumb choices.
One part of the writing that really made me like Mac was the snippets of Mac kind of reminiscing to her dead Da about how he brought and taught her how to be in this world of Keepers and Histories. I found this back and forth between her and the memory of her grandfather, even though I thought we were talking about her father for a very long time, gave me great insight into why all of this means so much to her.
I also really enjoyed the other character we were given. Roland would probably be my favourite out of the bunch and I really look forward to seeing where his part of the story is going. I found the parents to be a little bit hollow, but I will chalk that up to trauma.
I think that is enough babbling on about this story. If I talk much more I will probably ruin the fun of the second half of the book for you, so I will just leave it here. I recommend this book to anyone who like fantasy. If you can just push through the first part of the story I think you will really enjoy this read. Even though there are more books to the series, this book could easily be a stand alone with its satisfying conclusion.
Till Next Time…