May 30, 2015

Wicked Review: The Archived by Victoria E. Schwab

Published: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Series: The Archived #1
Acquired: Borrowed Paperback

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures 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 may 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.

This book creeped me out. I mean, it talks about the dead. You see, the Histories get to interact with the Keepers. Some of them are really young kids. When they see Mac, they ask her to show them home. Death is an inevitable thing really and no one really knows where we would go after we die. It was sad and depressing and creepy.

But nonetheless, it kept me at the edge of my seat. Mac grows restless from clearing her list now that she's moved to a different branch. The Histories are coming back to the Narrows where they don't belong. What scares her the most are the Keeper-Killers, the older Histories. They are more restless and more dangerous and harder to kill. The Librarians say there's something wrong with The Archives.

Mac meets Owen, a History lost in the Narrows. It was sort of hard to wrap my head around the fact that Owen can touch Mac even if he's a History and that his name hasn't come up her list yet. Truths are revealed and suddenly Mac is torn between protecting Owen because she feels something for him or that she should tell the Librarians about him. Wes, on the other hand, is another Keeper. Together, they try to put the Coronado, where they are currently stationed. He helps her clear out names off of her list.

Mac thought that the Archive is a safe place. But it isn't what she thought it was and now she must choose who to trust so that she can protect those she loves.

Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say "tom-ah-toes," "like," and "y'all."

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

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