Sneak Peek Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Sneak Peek eBook: 108 Pages

Series: The Archived #1

Publisher: Hyperion

Publication date: Jan. 22nd 2013

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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.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

With the exception of a couple of little issues I had with this, it was excellent! Oh, Schwab, why haven’t I read any of your books until now?

Upon reading, I experienced some brief moments of confusion, at the beginning, with the explanations of The Archives, The Narrows and , especially, Histories. Once you get the hang of the terminology, this is an engrossing read! The premise is interesting, complex and the execution doesn’t disappoint.

The writing’s polished and, for an uncorrected proof, I found few to none mistakes, which was a nice surprise. But, really, Schwab’s writing is beautiful, easy to follow, lyrical at times. There are a couple of well done very emotional, evocative paragraphs.

The author seamlessly blends present narrative – first person from Mac’s POV – with past events/background info (they do not read/feel/seem like info-dumps!), combining Mackenzie’s narrative voice with flashbacks of her time with Da, her grandfather. When done badly, this way of storytelling takes away from my enjoyment and makes the plot move at a sluggish pace. However, Schwab does it right and it’s perfect. It gives all the necessary information and it really made me like Mac that much more.

At this point, the world-building could use a little more work, but it’s okay as it is, too. The way The Archives and The Narrows are described is both gorgeous, in the first case, and creepy/eerie. I could tell you specifics, but you’ll have to take my word for it. Plus, the blurb reveals enough.

The characters are fleshed out and really well done. Mac reads real. She’s hurting, but determined to do her job as best as she can. She’s inquisitive, smart and likeable. Wesley, the romantic interest to be (please, let it not be insta-love) is an easy-going, funny guy. Also, I did NOT expect the reveal about him, it came as a pleasant surprise, of course, at the end of this sneak peek.

So did the first intrigue that sets the plot and, dammit, if I didn’t want to read more!

This is definitely going on my TBR list and, in case I don’t get an ARC, I can’t wait for the publication date.

*I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged.

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3 thoughts on “Sneak Peek Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

  1. Pingback: The Archived (Sneak Peek) by Victoria Schwab | Bookish Feelings Recorded

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