by Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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.
The Archived by Victoria Schwab is the first in her fantasy series. Archived offered up interesting characters and the fantastic secret world of the archives. From the very first pages I found myself captivated by the author’s creative and unique tale. Mini review: magical, mysterious and engaging.
• Schwab had me from page one with her prologue and flashbacks. I connected and wanted to know more about this secret world and the Histories.
• Schwab’s world-building was impressive and I loved the realm of the Archives, and the Narrows. The secret society that cares for it all was intriguing. The world is clearly drawn from the lowest level associate to the highest and I found it all refreshingly original and breathtaking.
• Mackenzie Bishop was brought into this world by her Da. She is the youngest “Keeper” in existence and it is her job to stop the Histories from waking up and crossing the boundaries between the living and the dead. I like Mac “Mackenzie” and Schwab did a great job using flashbacks and memories to introducing us to Mac and her secret other half. I found Mac easy to relate to and loved her take no prisoners attitude. She was tough, kick-ass and yet had elements of a typical teen.
• Wesley “Wes” intrigued me. I first thought he was this player but the more Schwab revealed the more I liked him. I loved his presence from the way he dressed to his interaction with Mac. I could see them as a possible couple or team.
• The mystery aspect, battles in the Narrows and the increase in awakening Histories was beautiful drawn together keeping in me suspense. I loved how tenacious Mac was in her search for clues.
• Schwab made me feel for the histories and the burden the Keepers, Crew and Librarian’s had.
• Archived would make the coolest movie. The special effects would be fantastic!
• Mac references her grandfather as “Da” and this confused the heck out of me because her Dad is alive. At first I wondered if only she could see him..LOL
• The beginning may be slow for some, as the world is fleshed out and at times the flashbacks weren’t seamless. Having said that, I cannot tell you how much I appreciated how fleshed out this complicated yet simplistic world was.
• As charming and unique as Wes was we didn’t get much of a back history and I am hoping we see that in the next book.
• I loved Mac least when she acted like a teenager and there were some cliché moments and some odd kissing. I will give Schwab credit for making me understand why Mac acted this way.
• Lucian, Nix, Patrick, Lisa, Agatha, Roland and other secondary characters all intrigued me, and added to the tale but I wanted more details about them.
• The flow of Archived was not consistent and at times it was dreadfully slow or too fast.
Fans of unique fantasy, paranormal elements, secret societies and kick-ass characters will enjoy Archived and the world Schwab has created. I am excited to start, Unbound the second book which is currently available. The final book has not yet been titled.
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