Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Date of Publication: January 22, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal
Source: ARC from Publisher
Barnes & Noble
About the Book:
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 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 hard-won redemption.
I’ve been transported deep into a world beyond what I see, and it beckons me to stay.
Though I’ve only read a snippet of Victoria Schwab’s The Archive through a Sneak Peak provided by the publisher, I could safely say that this book is one of a kind and truly engrossing.
Within the first few chapters of the book, I was hooked and was determined to read the rest without stopping. Sad to say that since I only got a Sneak Peak, I wasn’t able to read the rest of the story. Aw, man.
Anyway, I’m still determined to write a detailed review, so I better get on with this.
The book is very well-written. There is a perfect balance of teen angst, suspense, action and drama under a very compelling narration from Mackenzie’s point-of-view from when she was at different ages. There’s also the introduction of the complex world involving the Archive, the Narrows and the Outer. I won’t explain much about that because I’m scared of spoiling anything.
Plot-wise, the idea of having a huge library comprised of memories of people who are already dead, also known as Histories, is unique. Just imagining a library like that is already enough to make me salivate! I’d have to say that I really love the world that was created within the pages of this story.
Imagine a room-full of stories of different people from different times. It’s definitely enough to make me want to work in there as a Librarian. I’d be living a hundred lives through the stories of the people I read about. And I won’t even age a day! Well, at the price of freedom, but I can always retire when I want to.
The main character, Mackenzie Bishop, has the markings of a great heroine. She’s tough and thorough with her job as a Keeper. Although she’s still mourning the loss of her little brother, this doesn’t deter her from doing her job while leading a double life – her life as a Keeper and her life as a teenage daughter of two very normal parents.
As the mysteries regarding the Histories begin, we see a determined Mackenzie who’s willing to investigate all on her own and rely on her strengths to find the answers to her questions. Not only is she tough, she’s also brave and smart. If these aren’t the markings of a great heroine, I seriously don’t know what are.
Overall, I find this story very compelling and unforgettable. I highly recommend this story to young adults who would like an engrossing read that’s mysterious and exciting but not too heavy.
Side Note: I have to admit that the cover is really enchanting!