Author: Victoria Schwab
Publish date: January 2013
Source: Classroom library
"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." (Goodreads)
I will start out by saying that I have read The Near Witch and I was not its biggest fan. Basically, I liked the premise of the story, but felt like it was slow and didn't go anywhere. That said, I went into The Archived with a completely open mind, like a do over with Victoria Schwab. Unfortunately, I think her books and I are just not meant to be.
The Archived starts out pretty slowly and for me, it never really picked up enough speed to carry me through and make me want to pick it back up again. The story was interesting, but just moved too slowly for my liking. I actually considered DNFing about halfway through, but after reading Goodreads reviews, I decided to keep going. I don't regret finishing it, but I do feel like I'm the only person out there who feels meh about it.
The thing that stood out to me from The Near Witch was Schwab's writing style, which holds up in The Archived. It is rather flowy and lovely, although without wanting to sound like some kind of crazy person...I thought it got to be repetitive. There were a lot of purposeful run-on sentences, which I can appreciate, but when that's your main style, it gets old. I know that is super nitpicky and teachery of me, but it's what I notice!
The Archived is just one of those "it's not you, it's me" kind of books. I think most people will like it, but if you need action packed and fast moving plots, this might not be the read for you.