Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
So, this really isn't a review, review of The Archived mostly because I was kind of blah on this book. However, that is only me. There is a lot to like about this book that is going to have teens engaged in Victoria Schwab's world.

Synopsis: 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. (Goodreads.com)

Why you should buy this book for your library or hand it to a teen reader in your life:

1. Victoria Schwab is one of my favorite writers. Her prose is absolutely lovely. All the things I liked about it in The Near Witch are magnified in this book. Her descriptions of the Archive, of having to rescue the Histories are just amazing and draw you into the story.

2. There's a creepy old building that while not scary as heck definitely builds the atmosphere of this story.

3. Adventure! Mac goes on many different adventures as she tracks down the Histories. It's really cool watching her open doors and find the Histories. And yeah, it's creepy to see her being attacked too because it was just so darn vivid.

4. The relationship between Mac and her Da (grandfather) was intense and sweet. I think teens are going to relate to Mac's close relationship with him by relating it to someone in their own life they are close to. It was a great mentor relationship.

5. Mac really has to be her own person. Because of the secret she keeps, she has a lot of responsibility in her life that does not revolve around her family (to some extent). She has parents but for the most part, Mac calls the shots in her life (for better or for worse!). Teens love seeing people their own age take charge of their lives and call the shots.

While The Archived didn't work for me entirely (I found it slow at points and guessed many of the "surprises" early on in the story) I think this series is the start of something fun for teen readers. Yet again, Victoria Schwab is an author to keep your eye on!

Also, does the girl on the cover remind you of anyone? I think she reminds me of Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) on The Hunger Games posters but that doesn't feel totally correct.

The Archived is available today from Hyperion.

Other reviews:
Katie's Book Blog reviews The Archived
Dark Faerie Tales reviews The Archived
YA Book Central reviews The Archived

ARC provided by publisher for review.

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