The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Each month you will make a post with three books from your TBR List (these books can be already on your kindle or shelf or books you might want to purchase) and add your link on the linky that will be provided on my post. Your followers and the people on the linky will help you choose which book you will read next. The following Saturday you will announce the book that won. Then read the book and on the last Saturday of the month post a review.
Narrator: Piper Goodeve
Series: The Archived #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on January 29, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Young Adult
Length: 9 hours 54 minutes
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Library, Purchased
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 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.
My top thoughts:
Whew! So I was racing to finish this in time to for my May #TBRL review and I barely made it. But it wasn’t hard to read it every chance I had because it was SO GOOD. Victoria Schwab (also VE Schwab) has a perfect record for me and I look forward to reading more!
What I liked/didn’t like:
As with her other books, The Archived has two major strengths: Engaging characters and a fascinating world.
MacKenzie is a 16 year old who’s been carrying more than most adults could, for four years. She has a very important, very secretive job as a Keeper. On top of that, she’s reeling from a huge loss – her little brother was killed not long ago. The pain that she and her family are trying to move on from was a real, tangible thing in this book. And her job has taught her to isolate herself — the worst possible thing to be feeling when trying to recover from that sort of loss. MacKenzie is the only character you get to know deeply, with this being first person. But what you get to know of the others is enough to make you care for them – her parents, her grandfather – Da (he’s also passed, but most chapters are punctuated with glimpses of memories with him), Wes (another Keeper), Roland, etc.
The world is… wow. How does she come up with these worlds? This is a world that answers the question of what happens when you die, in the most marvelous, unexpected and fascinating way. It’s a bit brutal because of MacKenzie’s job, but there’s a beauty to it as well. Thsere’s an undercurrent of sadness in the entire book, for me at least, because of the way death (and often of the very young) is a constant. But there’s also a great mystery, cool abilities, action, and a tinge of romance.
Because I was trying to hurry and finish, I ended up picking up the audiobook version from the library and when I couldn’t read I listened. The narrator, Piper Goodeve, was brand new to me but I enjoyed her narration quite a bit. I probably will continue with the series in audio, simply because I read so much faster that way and I am eager to continue.