Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab - Ashley's Pre-Reading

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Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Year Published: 2013

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.

Why?: Books about the dead are always intriguing to me. I loved Anna Dressed in Blood, and this sounds like it has a similar feel to it. Maybe more thriller than horror, but there's still violent Histories (instead of ghosts) that could escape to the real world and hurt people. Plus, there's the mystery about why someone is deliberately altering Histories, and what they have to gain. I've been waiting for this book for a long time, and I'm so excited to finally be able to read it!

Expectations: I expect this to be a very dark novel, and I expect it to be very exciting. Lots of mystery, adventure, and danger, and I also feel like the Archives crumbling will have some parallel with Mac's life crumbling - she's lost her grandfather and her brother, she lies to her remaining loved ones, and her job is now starting to become quite a mess. Oh, and definitely a lot of world-building. Even if there are similar elements to our world, there still has to be something about the Narrows and the Archives, right?  I've heard so many good things about this book, I've got pretty high expectations for it!

Judging a book by its cover: The cover reminds me of something that would be on the cover of a Disney DVD. Which isn't entirely surprising considering the publisher... but I'm not sure if I would pick it up if I saw it somewhere. It looks intriguing, but it doesn't really pop or anything, so there's that. I do like it though, and I wonder what significance the key will have.


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