Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

archivedTitle: The Archived (The Archived #1)
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publication Date: 7th January 2014 (Hyperion)
Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Paperback

Thank you to Fionnuala from Books for Birds for doing a book swap with me!

Links to buy: |Amazon UK|  |Book Depository|

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. [Goodreads]

The dead are stored in a library where you can look back into their history? Um, yeah!

First off, I felt like this book was a little too slow at the beginning and it was only about two thirds of the way did I really start to enjoy myself (and resulting in giving this book a higher rating!!)

I felt the beginning was very heavy on context, going over past history and getting to grips with the new surroundings that Mackenzie moved to. There was some scenes of action, however I was too caught up in confusion of the past that I didn’t absorb it the way I should have. The interesting narration that we got when Mackenzie was retelling parts of the past with her and Da. I thought the use of ‘you’ was really effective, as if Mac was speaking to the reader directly, as well as the memories of Da.

BUT having collected my bearing around about two thirds of the way in, maybe a bit less than that, I was SO ready for everything! Everything suddenly felt like it had picked up speed and I was gripped. Blown away! The climax, the realization, the mystery revealed boggled my mind! I feel like I should of known, which is why it makes everything that much more impressive because I let it slip! Torn and twisted until the very end where seeing the acknowledge page through the final end page was too much for me to bear!

I found there were some cases of inconsistency in some of the narration. I think there were some cases where the Mac’s excuse for her disappearances didn’t follow through completely. There were times where I thought that she was disappearing so much that it would be slightly odd to not bring it up in any conversation with her parents. Are they not worried? Do they not notice her silence or tiredness or anything about her other than her love life? (But I admit, I do love their obsession over the love thing). I LOVED Mac’s parents. I loved the way Shwab did the interaction between Mac and her parents. They were embarrassing but funny and nothing tops that!!

What I am hoping from this series when I read on though, is more  from the different characters that live inside the Corondo. We got a gist of the old folk who live there, but I want more about them. Mac in an essence ‘used’ them and I would like to see them feature as more rounded characters. There were a lot of characters to boggle around in this book, I commend Schwab’s effort, but I want more in the next book. More about the more minor characters! They are as intriguing as the main characters!

My Rating:

I really liked it

4 cup

 

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