Michelle 's Reviews > The Archived

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
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Apr 03, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: dft, read-2013, young-adult, paranormal, fiction
Read in January, 2013

Posted on Dark Faerie Tales.

I fell in love with Victoria Schwab’s writing in her debut, The Near Witch. Schwab has this beautiful and poetic way when writing hauntingly eerie stories. For her next novel, The Archived, that talent is present, loud and clear. The premise of The Archived is a fantastic one – people were histories, stored in an archived library, maintained and cared for by the select few. The Archived is riveting and kept me on the edge of my seat, making it a perfect read for this winter.

In The Archived, the dead are called Histories, kept and cataloged in The Archives, who are managed by Librarians. Occasionally they are lost in vast spaces called The Narrows, and Keepers search for them and bring them back. For Mackenzie “Mac” Bishop, she was introduced to this life by her grandfather, Da, and at the young age of twelve. Mac’s mom has relocated them to an apartment building named the Coronado. Mac is now trying to balance her new life with her parents and with the growing list of Histories that she must find.

In an otherwise organized and efficient system, The Archives have been problems of late, or technical difficulties as one of the Librarians had said. Mac has encountered more problems within the Narrows since she relocated to the Coronado. What secrets lie deep in the Narrows and the Archives? Will it bring her danger, or even bring her to her death? And how will these problems create more problems for Mac’s normal life?

Mac is a strong person. She is young, and given everything that Schwab has thrown her way, I am surprised at how well she was structured on paper. Mac has depth, much more than a lot of protagonists that I’ve read lately. It was refreshing to see Mac in a realistic manner, despite her responsibilities, she still acted out as she should for her age. It was a little slow to warm up to her, but Mac is also closed off. You’ll understand when you start reading. Schwab was awesome with Mac.

The supporting characters within The Archived added to the reasons why I loved this book. The Librarians add a sense of solid balance, creating a backbone to the whole thing. They provided a structure that countered Mac’s personality, and it made for a fascinating arc. Mac also meets many Histories, some more memorable than others, and in the midst of all the danger, I felt for one in particular.

I want to say that The Narrows, The Archives, and even the Coronado were all characters in their own right. Schwab’s world was alive and had a lot of personality. Without these three backdrops, the story would have muddled right along. But each one had their own strengths and weaknesses, perfect for each scene.

I am a fan of Schwab’s writing. From The Near Witch to her blog posts, and now to The Archived, Schwab has a way of telling a story that will grab you. With hints of dark and eerie themes, The Archived tells a story of those forgotten and those you want to forget. Love, sorrow, and even hate play a role throughout the story, and Schwab weaves these messages really well.

I highly urge you to pick up The Archived. It’s amazing and a perfect start to a new series.
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