Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

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Genre: Young-Adult, Fantasy (Urban), Horror
Pages: 321
Series: The Archived #1 (Trilogy)
Release Date: January 22, 2013

4 Stars

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The Archived is a realm, or sorts, in which the lives of each person are saved. They’re saved in bodies which are stacked on shelves, like books. Each person-memory-stick is called a History. And sometimes, Histories wake up and cross into the space between the Archive and the Outer, the Narrows. To stop them from escaping into our world, there are Keepers.

The protagonist, Mac (Mackenzie), is a Keeper. She was trained by her Grandfather and he was the only one in her family who knew about the Archive. After Mac’s brother dies, her family moves to a new place. There, it seemed, more and more Histories have started to wake, as if someone is deliberately waking them. And Mac has to figure out how to stop it.

And that has to be my shoddiest attempt at writing a description in at least a month. You’re better off reading the GR one Here. It’s actually good.

But even with my poor attempt at explaining it, the premise is still so freaking interesting. So different; which is something I’ve come to expect from V.E./Victoria Schwab after having read her Shades of Magic trilogy and Vicious. She creates such brilliant worlds (reminds me of Brandon Sanderson) and I love her. Just like I love this book.

My favourite things about it is the eerie way that it’s told. The Narrows is a creepy place straight out a horror movie dream sequence. The hotel/apartment block where Mac and her family have moved to is old and has a secret history. The Archive is a library full of corpses. Add in the ghost/zombie Histories who can get murderous very soon, and you have the perfectly creepy setting. And the author uses it marvellously.

The pace of the novel is really gripping and the plot keeps you on your toes. I really liked the characters as well (Roland!), even if I did misread some of them. And by that, I mean that I suspected the totally wrong person (bummer) but I was right about a different person, so yay!

Overall, even though this review seems to lack any structure whatsoever, I’m hoping it was enough to convey that this is a great novel and that I highly recommend reading it.

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