Book Review | The Archived

Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publication: January 22nd, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Source: Bought it

Rating: 4 out 5 stars

Synopsis: 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 she 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 stars 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.

Review: Ms. Schwab knows how to write a beautiful book, friends. She brings beauty to books that I have never encountered before. I will read anything she writes.

Needless to say, this is a beautifully written book. The writing is STUNNING. I couldn't get enough of the writing. The way the story is crafted brings such beauty to the whole story, characters, and everything in it. I could rave about the writing until my keyboard wears out. All you need to know is that this is a beautifully written book.

All that being said, I had to say the writing really influenced the way I felt about the book. The characters seemed so beautiful to me - maybe because I was seeing them through the writing, maybe because I was seeing them as they were meant to be seen. They were young, mature, and the relationship between Mac and Mr. Guyliner(!!!)(a lovely guy) was one of my favorite parts of the book.

There were parts of the book however that I was confused about. I couldn't figure out who Da was exactly. And I had some confusion trying to work out how the world worked - the job that Mac had as well as the jobs that the people she's interacting with had. There was also some jumping around between past and present that jumbled me up a bit. These minor discrepancies are the reason I only gave this book four stars.

This book is dark, but in a beautiful way. It's unlike anything I have ever read. The world is unique, the characters are wonderful, the story is dark and intriguing and everything (I can't tell you enough) is so beautifully written that you won't want the story to end. 

Have you read this one and if so, what did you think of it? What did you think about the writing, about Mac and Mr. Guyliner, and the world? Have you read The Unbound yet? What's a beautifully written book that you've read lately?