The Archived

The Archived (The Archived, #1)The Archived by Victoria Schwab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5

4 stars for the whole book and half a star for that unconventional ending and because I’m just that generous.

I knew I would love this book right off the bat. Not just because of that lovely and fashionista-free cover, not because of the marvelous blurb, which does not mention any electric current-ridden connection, his mesmerizing eyes or even “she feels right only when she is with him”(and rightly so) but because of that screw-cemeteries epigraph:

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
—Mary Elizabeth Frye

Epigraph
From Wikipedia

In literature, an epigraph is a phrase, quotation, or poem that is set at the beginning of a document or component. The epigraph may serve as a preface, as a summary, as a counter-example, or to link the work to a wider literary canon, either to invite comparison or to enlist a conventional context.
________________________________________________________

So in view of the above connotation, this book had such a pragmatic look on death for a story dealing with para-normalcy and fantasy.

The Archived takes on the old reaper myth and gives it its own spin-off. Everyone, while they live and breathe and create, builds up a History. These Histories are remnants of our selves that sleep on and continue to exist even after we are dead, in a place called The Archive. Because like dear ol’ Einstein used to state: energy can neither be created nor destroyed. And our consciousness, our soul, is a form of energy. The Histories are like an echo of ourselves, a compilation of our past, of our knowledge. These Histories are preserved by the very-creatively named Librarians but sometimes things go bump, Histories wake up and go all psycho-cat-killer on the rest of the world unless they are hunted and contained by Hunters i.e. the MC.

It reminded of Amber House in several places and aspects. Our protagonist is reminiscent of Sarah Parsons to certain extent. Then lo behold, the love triangle is one that actually works because both the guys are perfectly eligible. However, here the triangle lasts for a short while, and consequently won’t continue on in the next book. The romance, to my utter surprise, was not your typical romance. It’s fake and the real one is is just starting to develop in this first installment. But I’m giving too much away. Mackenzie and Sarah’s abilities are alike and so is their affection for their little brothers. The hushed creepy, what’s-behind-your-back atmosphere is somehow matching, even though that one is a century olds manor, and this is a never-ending library-crypt.

The book is fast-paced and has lots of action but I never really felt like hyperventilating as I usually do, the reason being that she never really got into fights-to-death, or she did but I never felt like it because… umm, she’s fighting dead not-people?

I really enjoyed how in her memories of Da, Mackenzie, or rather the author, doesn’t paint a flawless picture of him. ‘Cause you know, all that human, imperfect stuff.

The ending has that could-be-a-sequel quality and NO CLIFFHANGERS. And here I was all but set to deem January 2013 the month of Killer-endings.

The real issue for me was the beginning. It gets very confusing and it is some ways into the book that its starts to clear up. The inner mechanisms of the Archive boggled me and I still am not clear on the whole ring thing.

However, most of it started to click for me in the later half of the book and I finished the latter portion in just one sitting. The writing is beguiling and smooth, the plot is well-paced and twisted, the characters are likable and the various non-earthly, familial issues are dealt with realistically and appropriately enough.

Overall, it was a wonderful read and I loved every second of it.

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