Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

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 bet
ween past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable lost and hard-won redemption.

My take: 3.5 looks
In my F2F book club, members tell each week what they are reading in addition to the assigned book. We are all fast readers, so the selection each week that comes to the conversation is excellent. I read this one based on a fellow reader's recommendation, and was not disappointed!

I was afraid the book would get too complicated for me to enjoy. After all, the plot is dense with terms, periphery characters and lots of "dos" and don'ts". However, this was not the case. The author did a good job of moving the story along while sticking to a relatively narrow field of main players, consistent action and few plot twists. I found the story to be very engaging, and I liked the characters very much. The present narrative was supplemented with past memories to give a full picture of how the main character, Mackenzie, arrived at her role. This was a very effective tool and gave the story and characters depth.

I was pleasantly surprised that this is the first in a series, and plan to read the next one, "The Unbound".

Highly recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment