Archived, The Paperback – 7 May 2015
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About the Author
Victoria Schwab (www.VictoriaSchwab.com) is the author of several novels, including, "The Near Witch"-which "Kirkus" praised for its "shivery horror tang" and "extraordinary sense of place"-and "The Archived," of which "The Horn Book" said "[Schwab] writes of death, sorrow, and family love with a light, intelligent touch and inventive vigor, and provides romance with a pleasing edge of unpredictability." When she is not wandering through foreign countries, Victoria can usually be found tucked in the corner of a coffee shop in Nashville, sipping tea and dreaming of monsters.
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I can't believe that I read a V. E. Schwab book that I didn't love :( It was still really good, and it had such an interesting premise, but this one was just a bit slow for me and I never got fully invested in the story.
In terms of the characters, I liked Mackenzie for the strong character she was, but I felt like she needed to be developed further - I can only really think of her as being this badass, but she doesn't really have anything else to her personality. I quite liked Wes because he was pretty relaxed and cool and was quite different from Mackenzie, so I think that made them a good team. I didn't like Owen very much and I thought that some of the things that happened with him were a bit odd and not something I really believed.
I really love the storyline! The plot was so interesting and the world was very unique. I did find the first 50 pages to be a bit slow, but that happens in most books, so I can't really fault that. However, after those initial 50 pages, the story really picked up.
I think another thing that let me down with this book was the writing. In all Schwab's other books I have LOVED the writing, it's one of the reasons I love her books so much. But this one was told in first person, which is different from her other books (or at least the ones I've read) and I didn't enjoy it as much. Don't get me wrong, it's better than anything I could write, but it just wasn't for me!
I still really enjoyed this book, don't get me wrong, but I was just expecting to love it, so I was a bit disappointed. I'll still read the sequel because I own it and I want to see how the rest of the story pans out.
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.
The main draw of the book for me was the interesting world that Schwab has created here. I loved the idea of the Outer, the Narrows, the Archive, and everything else that came with it. It was dark, intriguing, and intense. I can't wait to learn more about it in the sequel, because there are so many secrets and lies and things. I'm sure the world is going to expand even more!
I really liked Mac, the main character, and her struggles. She was still trying to deal with losing her younger brother, and I loved that this was a main theme throughout the book. I hope it comes into play in the sequel as well. I think a lo of YA tends to skip over the theme of family, and how important it is to teenagers, so when I found out that the loss of a loved one was a big deal in this, I was thrilled.
Wesley is the love interest, and he's all right. There was some build up there before they became more romantically involved, which was nice, but I can't say that I adored them together. I think I like them more as friends, since they had a more platonic chemistry in my opinion.
I adored Roland, who is one of the Librarians. He has the potential to become a kind of stand-in for Mac's grandfather, and I hope the relationship between he and Mac continues to grow throughout the series. Mac could really use someone like Roland to help her, especially as she can't tell her parents about her role as a Keeper.
The twist at the end was interesting, and I definitely didn't see it coming! The hints were really well placed, and I loved that the reader - and Mac - was sent on a bit of a treasure hunt. You'll understand when you read it.
Overall The Archived was a really interesting book, but I wouldn't say it's anything outstanding. I am very excited for the sequel, though!
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