Author: Victoria Schwab
Pages: 336 pages
Format acquired: Paperback (ARC)
Publication date: January 22nd 2013
Source: Gifted by Nancy (Tales of a Ravenous Reader) Thanks so much!
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
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.
(Summary and image are from Goodreads)
I have to be honest. The Archived did not have the strongest opening for me. I expected the book to have a more stronger approach than the usual since it is a paranormal and slightly under romance with the usual love triangle category undertones. The beginning was a little weak, but not too weak that it made me stop reading. As I continued to turn the pages, the more confused I got. I don't know if it was from confusion or from being tired from reading or maybe both, but as I kept on flipping the pages, I felt my excitement drain away. Just as I was about to give up, the plot thickens and starts to get interesting. And I kid you not, my mind made a little victory shout saying "Thank you, God!!" I knew there had to something good in a big buzz book. :)
I think what confused me the most would be the alternating POVs between Da and MacKenzie. I sometimes felt like Mac's narration would be cut off inappropriately just to give way to Da's POV. Something I'm not really a fan of. I'd rather they have separate chapters for every character that makes a POV. Even if it's just a short one. Multiple POV books are one of the hardest books to write. Or publish. You should try your best so both the author and the reader understand the way it's laid out. (Well, of course the author knows how it will be laid out. But still, right?)
What I really like about MacKenzie was her stubbornness and her one-track mind. Unfortunately, these were also her weaknesses. The good parts is that she knew what she wanted and she made ways to get it. She knew how to satisfy her curiosity. Her hunger. Her craving for adventure. She made sure she got what she needed and made ways to reach that goal. But as I've said, these same traits also leads to her demise. Her hunger acts up so much, she becomes reckless. She does things that seem selfish and sad at the same time. Like when she would visit her brother's file, even though she knows nothing will happen-and does this so often that it makes her ask for something unforgivable for a Keeper like her. She is her best enemy. But then again, are we all our best enemies? I haven't had a close relative die on me yet. Hopefully I won't be able to stick around when that happens. I don't think I'd be able to handle it. But the way Mac narrates her story is such a crisp image, that you are led to feel what she was feeling and the feelings of other people around her, too. I found her power to know a story immensely awesome but then I thought about that harder and asked myself "Would you really want to know EVERYONE that way?" I'd rather not. Some memories, words, voices are meant to be kept and hidden because no one will know what happen when all the truth starts to break loose. At first I was like, "Oh dear. Not another emotional teen" but after a while I was like, "I feel you, sister!!"
Owen, on the other hand is the one I'd hug and hug and cry with. I don't know why, but I have this HUUUUGE weakness for the bad guy. Unless the bad guys is an extreme asshole from page 1, then no thank you. But the villains with the emotional back story wins my point. (Ash, at first, Warner, Owen...) I felt really sad for Owen. His pain seemed to permeate through my bones. And even though at the end he was just using her to get away, it seemed sad that he was doing those things because he wanted to see his sister again. And I sympathized big-time for him. (Until the mid-ending. He became a total ass-bite)
My only advice for the reader to have a great patience at the beginning because trust me, it gets better. It builds up then slows down. It's like the book has a tight grip on you now and can't ever let it go.
P.S. Does anyone know why Disney likes to use so much paranormal romance but I guess that's how the roll.