Monday 25 March 2013

Quickie Review -- The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived

Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived (1)
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: 22 January 2013
Date Read: March 2013
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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.

There was a ridiculous amount of buzz and praise surrounding this book's release. You can't blame me for having a ridiculous high expectation for it. Did it live up to the expectations?

I... didn't think so.

Don't get me wrong though, Schawb can write her pants off. She can string words and breathe life and love to them. The premise is unique and awesome and so different from anything we've seen in YA. The world building is great- Keepers and Histories and Librarians. Who knew libraries could get any cooler?

But that's it. I couldn't connect with any of her characters. There was hardly any character development. I wasn't convinced with the novel's romance- Mac and Wesley's, or Mac and Owen's. For a little while, there was an uncomfortable love triangle and I dreaded reading about it. I would have liked to have seen more progress between the characters' relationships because I thought teetered dangerously close to an insta-love.

Schwab may have been so focused on her world building and improving her outlandish plot and premise, and I've always been a character-person anyway. They could've easily prolonged the novel and added extra scenes to develop character- mains' and minors'- relationships between Mackenzie and Wesley, and Mackenzie and her parents. I was surprised when I got The Archived and saw how short it was. It wouldn't have been a problem making it longer, I think.

I'm just sad that I didn't enjoy this as much as other readers did. But I'd definitely continue the series.

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