Thursday, May 16, 2013

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

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

My Pre-Reading
Paul's Review
Paul's Pre-Reading

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.

Review: Ohmygosh, you guys, this book. When I heard so many people gushing about this book, saying how extraordinary it was, I had no idea that they were so right. This book has everything that makes a book wonderful - the writing is phenomenal, The world-building is awesome, and the characters are fantastic. I was hooked as soon as I started reading.

I love the idea that there are three worlds that are all connected, and that most people only know about the Outers. The Narrows are so creepy, I'm glad that they aren't real. I'd be really terrified if I was walking around one day and all of a sudden someone who is supposed to be dead escaped into my world and started running around killing people. And if I were like Mackenzie, I would not enjoy walking around in hallways that often have trapped Histories. And then there are the Archives. I love how much it resembles a library (because who doesn't love libraries), and I love that the people who work there are Librarians. And that everyone becomes a History when they die - it's really interesting to think that no one is ever completely lost. 

The whole time I was reading this book, I felt like the three separate worlds could totally exist, and I think a lot of that has to do with Schwab's writing. I mean, of course the world-building and the creativity behind it was great, but everything just flows so nicely together. There are details, but not too many. And I liked that Schwab doesn't take too much time to describe the Outers, since we already know what our world is like. Instead, she focus on the worlds we DON'T know. 

I really loved the relationships between Mackenzie and her family, her friends, and her love interest(s). The familial relationship is so real. Broken and strained, but real considering the circumstances. I really love Mac's dad too, he seems like he would be a lot of fun in different circumstances. And then there's Wes, who is absolutely wonderful. I love their friendship, and how they can talk to each other about things they can't mention to anyone else.

I would totally recommend this book to pretty much everyone who enjoys contemporary, paranormal stories. Especially ones with mystery, twists, and adventure. I can't wait for the sequel to come out to learn more about the Archives, and the people who work for them. A 5/5 from me on this one!! 


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