Monday, January 14, 2013

ARC Review: "The Archived" by Victoria Schwab

Release Date: January 22nd, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 336

From Goodreads: "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."

My first parting thought about this book? I. Love. Wesley. He is basically everything that my high school emo-heart beated for (don't judge, I was 16). He was just so cute and fun and brought a much needed light-heartedness to the novel. My second parting thought? Whoa. Every now and again a book comes along where all you can do is gape at it, specifically about how the author came up with it- with its concept, world building, characters and whatnot. I mean, Library + dead people + keys + hallways + pyschopaths + piece of paper not unlike the Marauders Map = WHA? And while it may seem like a strange combination I can assure you that it works.

However, I must admit that while I did LOVE Wesley I am more than a little on the fence when it comes to Mac. On the one hand I thought that she was super strong physically but on the other I am a bit annoyed by how easily manipulable she was. I have noticed a recent trend in YA where a female is quickly swept off of her feet by a male who is obviously NOT right for her when the RIGHT boy is standing right in front of her (either because she doesn't realize that he is right for her or because she is being rebellious, refusing the accept the fact- a la "House of Night" and "The Demon Trappers Daughter"). She allows the wrong boy to essentially dictate her life, putting everyone that she loves about at risk and so on, when it was easily avoidable (WHY? Why does it always have to be the female character to trek down this path? Why isn't it ever the male character? Why did Mac have to be one of those girls?).

All in all, (despite liking Wesley and the twisted ending, just when I was convinced that I had everything figured out Victoria made everything topsy turvy, in the best possible way) after finishing this book I just can't really say that I feel anything for it. That being said, despite my complaints this book did pique my curiosity enough to continue on with the series- I feel like this is one of those series where each book will get progressively better and better.

Rating: 3/5

I  received this book from the publisher to read and honestly review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.


  1. I really like the sneak peek of this. I was hoping it would be epic. Sorry it wasn't for you. Thanks for sharing your thought. :)

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  2. I want to read this one soooooo muuuuuuuch. It's interesting you were so on the fence about it when I've only seen gushing reviews so far, but the points you make are ones I agree with as well (esp. the MC being easy to manipulate-oh girls, please have some dignity and sense). I will deffo give this one a go, but will wait for the paperback release

    Cait x

  3. I definitely loved the world building in this one... the whole concept was so fascinating and had a lot of cool details.

    I didn't find quite as much fault with Mac... I mean, I agree with you to an extent, but I think she was just trying to deal with her loss and all her secrets by throwing herself into something -- or someone in this case. Obviously not the smartest decision, but I don't ever think it was about liking Owen over Wesley in any way.


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