Review: The Archived
Title: The Archived (#1)
Author: Victoria Schwab
Pub Deets: January 2013, Hyperion
Source: ARC from a lovely blogger
Challenge: TBR Challenge
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In a sentence or so: As a Keeper, Mac protects the living from the dead and lately her life is getting a bit too crazy what with the dead not following the rules and a smexy ghost who has her attention and a goth coworker who might be the first person she can be totally honest with ever. She will need to rely on everything she’s been taught, on top of a healthy dose of instinct, to help her survive against forces much greater than she’s ever known.
Dead people are like books on a shelf. So much so that they are stored in libraries which are guarded by Librarians. Sometimes, these dead awaken. Then it’s the Keeper’s job to guide them back to the door that leads them to their proper resting shelf. That’s what Mac’s Da did and what he passed along to his resourceful granddaughter at a very young age.
Mac is able to experience the memories of others by placing her hand on a surface that contains a vivid event. This is how she holds on to her dead brother. This is how she gains insight as to how active a building like the new one she and her family moved in to might be. That is also how she starts to help Owen, a history (dead dude) that doesn’t seem to be fading away at all, piece together his past to bring him rest. That is what he wants, isn’t it? Or is it something more? He does seem to want to spend a lot of time with Mac (if you get my meaning, and I think you do)...
The Archived was one of those reads that has a slow build to it that is well worth the wait. Yes, it’s rich with the supernatural elements immediately, but it also feels a little ho-hum, which I think may have been what Victoria Schwab was going for to lull you into a false sense of security. Before you know it, things are happening more and more quickly and you’re trying to keep your head on straight - just like Mac!
The Archived is a great introduction to a new series. Victoria’s writing is captivating and the ideas she presents are refreshingly creative. Bonuses: Mac lives in an old hotel and there’s this wonderful boy named Wes who is cocky and delightful and knows all about Mac’s world because he’s a Keeper too. Yay for Wes!
While I wasn’t caught off guard by the twists in this one, I’m still excited to see where Victoria takes us from here!
Fix er up: It took me awhile to get swept away by Schwab’s writing. If you’re new to her style, it may take you awhile too. Be patient. It was worth it.
Pairs well with: Baked goods. Mac’s mom makes a welcome muffin for each resident and they bake cookies later and believe me, you’ll want to get in on the sweet goodness somehow!
Opening Line: "There is nothing fresh about this start."