Title: The Archived (The Archived #1)
By: Victoria Schwab
Published: January 22nd 2013
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.
“What if I mess up?”
“Oh, you will. You’ll mess up, you’ll make mistakes, you’ll break things. Some you’ll be able to piece together, and others you’ll lose. That’s all a given. But there’s only one thing you have to do for me.”
“Stay alive long enough to mess up again.”
I’ve enjoyed it guys !, it’s a book written in a wonderful, dark and enthralling way
Start to explaining what the book is about is super complicated, this will be a mess but I’ll try anyway lol. The story follows Mackenzie Bishop, she’s a Keeper of this place called The Archive, which is like a giant library, but instead of have books, is where people go to rest when they die or copies of them, they are called Histories and the work of Mac is to send the Histories, if they awaken, to the place where they belong. She was initiated into this world by her grandfather who was also a Keeper and before he died he taught her everything she knows today, about that place and what it means. But very strange things begin to happen inside the Archive and at the Hotel Coronado, where she lives with her family, and Mackenzie is under an unknown danger and many secrets will be revealed
Well, that is a rather vague explanation, because the world that Victoria Schwab has created is so complex and in such detail that you can only understand it once you find yourself surrounded by it. But it’s really fantastic and so original, love that. I’ve never read anything alike and I think that the writer’s capacity to create something so well stable, a little dark and mysterious it’s great. For real, the Archive world, with its Keepers, Crews, Librarians, places like Narrows and the Outer, everything is so well told, OMG , I’ve loved the world building, I really did.
This was a great reading, I enjoyed it although I feel it’s a slow-paced book as it contains many explanations so that you can enter properly in this world and get to know the new terms, I guess all this makes it a bit slower, even so, it’s a necessary thing and after that, when you know more about, it’s easier to go throught it.
In the end I really liked the character of Mackenzie, she’s a bit rebellious at first and I thought “Oh my God, she’s so problematic”, but once I could understand everything she has gone through and I could see what her daily life is like , and everything she must faced both within the Archive and outside of it, I feel that I could put myself in her shoes and understand her better, I also feel that she has a great growth during the book, learns from her mistakes and one of the things that I highlight is how brave she is, that was great. Her union with her grandfather was very interesting to read for me, we found those flashbacks of her childhood along with him, and I really felt super committed to their relationship and how everything has changed for Mac from those moments until now, everything that she learned from him is incredible, also I feel that many of the councils of Da have been very useful in the present and the way in which they’re told in the book are perfect, manages to put you in that moment and manages to open your eyes to different situations.
“Lying is easy. But it’s lonely.”
“What do you mean?”
“When you lie to everyone about everything, what’s left? What’s true?”
“Nothing,” I say.
The family dynamics is super hard, the Bishop family just lost his younger son Ben and everyone has different ways to react to this tragedy. Mac was super close to her brother and she loves him so much that it was very emotional for me to see how she has acted and the decisions that she has taken due to this were from her heart. I recognize that it seemed to me that she did not always takes the best decisions but even so, we can see how this lost takes the most sensitive side of Mac and since she shows up as a tough girl most of the book, it was great to be able to see that side of her too.
The secondary characters are so well created that I’ve come to feel very attached to them too, characters like Ben, Da, Roland, also Wes!. Oh Wes is an angel, I love his character, he’s so fun and relaxed, gives the whole book that touch of light that a good plot needs.
I want to talk about the romance aspect, it was weird, I don’t feel that there is a strong romance here nor that this is touched as a main theme, in fact it’s left quite aside, I consider that it touches more a subject of personal discovery, friendship and loyalty .
I feel that for Mackenzie it was much more important to feel safe and comfortable with someone, to have someone to support her and to listen to her, someone with whom she could stop lying for a few seconds and I don’t think she was looking for a kind of romantic relationship, but this aspect in reality is great!, because the relationship becomes much more deeper and meaningful and maybe in the future ends up being something more, for now is slowly building and for me has been ideal.
“I’ve been thinking.”
“A dangerous pursuit.”
As I’ve liked many aspects of the book, I’m not very satisfied with the end and I understand that it’s because it’s a saga but I still feel it was left in a very simple and open way, I’ve so many questions yet !. Even so, I can accept an open ending very well, what I can’t accept, is that the main problem has been “solved” so easily, it was too convenient, I really don’t like that aspect.
I also feel that there are too many dialogues in the action scenes at the end and Yes, there are revelations that surprised me , like alot and I loved that !, but there are others that were very simple and quite obvious, so it’s a 50/50 in the revelations aspect of the book
I think the most solid part of the book is in the middle of it, when things really start happening, and when we are already well informed about how the Archive works. There are many revelations in that part of the book too, which have left me very hooked waiting for more, which is why I think the end seemed pretty flat, even so I want to continue reading because there is much I want to investigate yet
Book Highlights: Writing Style / the Characters / the Plot /the Fantasy Constructions and Mystery Management.
Weak Points:The End / Predictable Revelations / Slow-Paced
In conclusion, I’ve enjoyed it a lot, but I expected a little more of it, even so I’m excited to continue with the second book as the story it’s so unique and well told. I recommend it if you are looking for a mysterious reading with a unique and poetic world building 🙂
I was thinking alot about how many stars I would give it, but as a book recommended for me is from 3 stars up, I feel that I’m pleased with my decision, since 4 stars seemed too much, being honest.