I was lucky enough to get a `sneak peek' eGalley of The Archived. I knew nothing of Schwabs writing before, and didn't know what to expect. I guessed it may be aimed at a younger age group than me, but i figured I'd give it a go.
I was really impressed, I was right, its probably aimed at 12-16's rather than the typical YA genre, but I don't think that stops the older reader picking it up and becoming engrossed. The story is simple, its written from the perspective of Mackenzie (a girl Mackenzie) who's a keeper. A keeper of histories. Histories are us when we die - a download of our memories (its explained much better in the book) and occasionally these Histories escape, and its the Keeper job to take them back. The reader (and Mackenzie) don't know what happens when they go back, but I'm presuming its something we learn later in the book - where do they go? How do they escape? Why do they escape? I'm sure there's a lot more than we see in the sneak peek.
The best part of the book is the way that Schwab writes about loss and death, she doesn't sugar coat it, she doesn't pretend its all flowers and fairies, she writes about it in a way that we can all relate to. Mackenzie talks (in narrative form) to her lost Da and some of the memories are heartbreaking, and tender. The reader can feel the relationship between the two, you can feel her loss, but its a different loss to that of her younger brother. HE was lost recently, and he's the one HIstory she can't see, her mum isn't dealing with it, her dads a shadow of his former self so its down to Mackenzie to sort it out for herself.
A fantastic, original take on ghosts, death and what lies beyond that bright light, a book to be proud of and one to be recommended to all (no matter what their age).
Thanks to NetGalley for supplying a 'sneak peek' egalley in exchange for an honest review.