Review: Archived by Victoria Schwab


The Archived by Victoria Schwab

or:  Ah damn… another series I’m devoted to

Goodreads   ||  The Book Depository

Synopsis: Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures 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 that 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 may crumble and fall.

I really didn’t need another series to follow. The list that of series that I am currently reading is rapidly growing at an ever expanding rate and I promised myself I wouldn’t jump into another series before I finished a few off.

But I was weak. I’M WEAK.

After looking at this book and uhming and ahing for ages, I bought it in late 2015 and read most of it on a train journey too and from Sydney.

This book is EXCELLENT

I read Schwab’s Vicious (written under her adult fiction pen name V.E Schwab but the same lady) in 2015 also but struggled to connect with the story/characters (See Review). This book seemed to solve the issues I found with Schwab. She seemed comfortable, the characters were fascinating and vibrant and her plot and pace felt like the perfect tempo.

The very complex and engaging world sucks the reader in very quickly and never once did I spot any holes in her world or feel like it was too contrived. I LOVED the Archive, the characters who filled it out and the sinister backdrop that it created. The whole premise is so interesting and I’ve never encountered anything similar to this.

This book feels refreshing- like a storm clearing away a humid day.

The mystery had me fooled to the very end. Usually I can pick up the hidden villain and potential plot outcomes very quickly, but I didn’t this time. I love when books prove me wrong and manage to get the drop on me. Schwab is extremely masterful in this book, weaving the mystery so subtly and doesn’t drop any tells. When her villain shows their true colours, it’s perfect and I cant help but admire her skill at creating such twisted characters.

Mac is a spitfire and I loved how Schwab portrayed her dealing with grief. It was real. I cried more than once, and it gave Mackenzie an inner spark that made her leap off the page. She didn’t annoy me; she held her own but also wasn’t too perfect. She grudgingly admitted her faults and actively strives to fix herself, even though she admitted multiple times how hard it was.

This shows how carefully and how skillfully Schwab creates her characters, the same level of thought put into each and everyone. Schwab breaks her characters, and then lets them go to see how they will cope; do they rise above? do they sink? or do they ignore it? This may be Schwab’s greatest strength; her characters.

I’m thoroughly hooked here, I’m desperate to know what happens next, despite the rather neat ending Schwab managed to tie together. The second book definitely has a spot in my cart during my next book buying hall. I’m glad I decided to pick up this book despite initial doubts. I was right in my Vicious review; this book is definitely more my style.

Read: International Paperback Edition

This Book was read in 2015 and was apart of my 2015 Reading Challenge.


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