Book Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

16095936 Book Review: The Archived by Victoria SchwabTitle and Author: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publication Date: January 22, 2013

Pages: 336 pages

Source: Purchased at iBookstore

Kid-rating: Clean. No qualms about suggesting to my 13 year old family members. I’m going to encourage the boys to try to read, for something different.

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis

(from GoodReads)
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.

My review

I have read 19 books in January, and this is the first that is going on my Favorites shelf. And I have really enjoyed a lot of the books I’ve read this month.

This was SO good. A great strong main character, who is not without flaws. Interesting and unique premise that I thought was explained well, in just enough bits to keep me reading, but not in infodumps that were boring.

The secondary characters were also quite fascinating, and even though there is some love interest (and 2 boys), this was not a love triangle (thankfully). I was totally on board with how Mac was feeling about all of her relationships, and definitely have a new book crush in Wesley.

The mystery was well done and I did NOT see the solution coming at all. In retrospect, there was one moment when I wondered…but I shook it off. Silly me.

I’m trying to think if I have any quibbles to share, and I can’t think of any. At all.

I’d also like to say thank you to the author for making this a complete story without a big honking cliffhanger at the end. Is the door open for further stories? Absolutely. There was a lot left unresolved in terms of relationships, and maybe even the aftermath of what resulted from the mystery itself, but I am not left hanging — I’m getting tired of that. It does appear that this is first in a series, and I will definitely read whatever comes next.

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