Tuesday, February 5, 2013

THE ARCHIVED

The Archived (The Archived, #1)Book Review:  The Archived

Author:  Victoria Schwab
Published:  2013
Series:  The Archived #1

Goodreads recommended this to me.  It was just been published and had really good reviews so far.  So I picked it up from the library.  I really went into this one blind; I read no reviews and had no expectations.  Sometimes blind faith works out nicely...

The Setting
Mac has been primed most of her life by her grandfather for her current occupation, or rather hobby, as a Keeper.  Her sole job is to return awakened Histories to the Archive.  A History is a copy of a person after they have died.  Histories should be stored neatly in a drawer in the Archive but sometimes they wake up and escape to the Narrows.  The Narrows is a dark maze of doors only accessed by Keepers and it is here that Mac must track the Histories down and point them to the correct Archive door so they can "rest in peace".  After the untimely death of her brother Ben, Mac and her parents have moved into the Coronado, an old creepy apartment building where her mom hopes to re-open the coffee shop downstairs.  Mac hopes to find solace in her new home but quickly realizes something is terribly off about the Coronado. 
A string of murders dating back to 1953 have been covered up not by the police but by someone in the Archive.  And then there's Wes (or my favorite title as "guyliner"), the dark and mysterious boy who always seems to be wherever she is.  As if this isn't enough, someone is altering the Histories surrounding the murders, deleting hours or months from the person's life.  If Mac can't figure out the culprit in time then every History in the Archive may face a fate worse than death, including her brother and her grandfather.  So who can Mac trust?  Once she knows the truth does she even want to save the Archive?

What I LIKED about this book
Schwab has created an enjoyable gothic read.  I loved the authenticity of this book, which many YA books fail to offer.  The world-building Schwab created was spooky and rich, I could vividly picture the Narrows and the Archive.  While the setting was entertaining, the plot was just as exciting.  There were twists I never saw coming and I'll admit I had the wrong person pegged for the murders. 

What I DISLIKED about this book
The first 50 pages were slow.  But just hang in there...It was so worth the wait! 
I should mention that there is a slight love triangle here, if you can even call it that.  But it didn't deter me in any way from finishing the book.  All I'm going to say is it works out...that's all you're going to get out of me!

Parting Thoughts
Overall I'm going to give The Archived 4.5 out of 5 stars.  Schwab's writting was beautiful and she successfully created a haunting mystery.  I don't know if it is just me but this book had the feeling of one of Neil Gaiman's books.  I'd recommend this book to fans of Unspoken or who enjoy gothic YA reads.  I was a little surprised to find out there is a sequel planned.  I'm not sure how that will play out but I'd love to join Mac again!     

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