Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Book Review: The Archived

The Archived (The Archived, #1)
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The world has three levels. There is the Outer, where people live; there is the Narrows, the place that buffers the Outer from the third level which is the Archive. All three levels are accessible by doors and each door can only be opened with a Key.

The Archive is a vast library full of history. But, instead of containing books like normal libraries, the shelves of the Archive contain Histories -- they are copies of people who have died. When people die, their History -- or a copy of themselves -- are filed into the shelves of the Archive. Each History contains all the memories that the person had before death. The Archive is manned by the Librarians who make sure that all the Histories are properly stored. However, there are times when a History wakes up, escapes, and must be returned to the Archive.

MacKenzie Bishop is a Keeper. A Keeper is a person who is entrusted with the responsibility of sending Histories back to the Archive. When a History awakens, it is not actually alive. Although it can feel pain, it does not bleed -- because it is merely a copy of the person who died. Most Histories who wake become disoriented and confused, making them irrational, emotional, or even violent. The first thing they do is try to find a way home through the corridors of the Narrows.

MacKenzie was chosen by her Da to take his place when he dies and take his place, she did. After her younger brother Ben died, Mac and her parents decided to move to a different home for a "fresh start," as Mac's mother would call it. They moved to the Corondo, originally a hotel that was converted to apartments. But the move is hard on Mac.

She finds herself missing her younger brother so much that she goes to the Archive just to be able to be near Ben's History. She would try her best to convince the Librarians to let her visit her brother even though it is against the rules. Among the Librarians, Roland is the one who is most helpful to Mac and is also a friend of sorts.

During the Bishop's move to The Corondo, Mac discovers that, because the building is so old, there are three doors leading to the Narrows within the building. Among the people she meets within the building is a guy named Wesley Ayers, who is, to her surprise, another Keeper.

After their move, Mac finds that she gets more and more Histories to return to the Archive. When before she used to wait excitedly for the day she gets a name on her list, she now gets 3 to 5 names almost every day. To make things much more difficult, she learns that the apartment where they are now staying, has a bloody history -- a girl has been killed there. To learn more about the dead girl, Mac needs Roland's help. Together they find that there is more to the Corondo than meets the eye.

The Archived is a wonderful story. The story is also refreshingly new -- imagine a world where the dead are actually resting on shelves of a gigantic library, or at least copies of the dead. The character of MacKenzie is also wonderful; she is strong, loving, sad, and brave. She hunts Histories and knows when to use a softer approach to return them or when (and how) to fight the more violent Histories.

I enjoyed reading the book and I would probably read it again.

View all my reviews

Posted by: Bames Pabla
Bames Live, Updated at: 12:00 AM

No comments:

Post a Comment