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The Archived

The Archived - Victoria Schwab Originally posted at Gypsy ReviewsWhen Mackenzie Bishop was 12 years old, her grandfather brought her to the Archive where the dead rest on shelves like books and petitioned for her to become a Keeper and take his place – to stop Histories, the dead, from escaping to the Outer, our world, and putting them back in the Archive. Now 4 years later, Mackenzie has lost her little brother Ben and her grandfather is dead, and her parents have moved to the Coronado, a hotel turned apartment. Things start to go awry when Mackenzie faces more Histories than she ever expected and discovering that someone has been altering Histories. With a mystery in the Coronado’s past and a missing record, Mac is determined to find out what happened and must try to stop the Archive from crumbling, all while still confronting her inner turmoils and facing the fact that her brother is gone.The first thought that came into my mind when I read The Archived was that it was hard to grasp the world of The Archived. All those names were popping out and it was hard to get those terms immediately and put the definitions to the names. It was a bit like getting up too quickly and everything is so fuzzy and you feel disoriented but slowly everything starts to come into focus again. That was what it felt at first with the whole world of The Archived but slowly, it all got better and understanding how everything worked was easier to figure out. I think it was more of a case of too many details being given out at the same time, it was fantastic that Schwab really tried to develop the world but spreading it out would have been easier to get used to. One area that really got me confused was what was Mac’s relationship with Da. I first thought he was her older brother then her Dad and finally I managed to figure out he’s her grandfather. A little clarification on that earlier on would have been nice.I love how Schwab concentrated a lot on the emotions of the characters and their pain. She really nailed it with Mackenzie who even after a year, still couldn’t come to terms with her brother’s death and she tries to fill that hole within her. Schwab really managed to tap into that pain and emotion in Mac, it was heartbreaking to see her crumble over Ben, being an older sister to a younger brother myself I could really empathise with her. Mackenzie is a great heroine, she’s tough, strong and can take care of herself, in overall a very likable main character. Schwab was able to capture the psychological distress that Mac and her family felt after Ben’s death, one year later. It still hurts and they try to cover it with appearances but that pain is still very much present and I loved how real it was.I was a bit ugh at the love triangle but after thinking about it, I realise that it wasn’t really about love but really more of taking advantage of the distraction. Mac isn’t being intimate with O (Could be a potential spoiler I think? So I’m just going to use his first initial) because she loves him because hello they just met like a day ago but kissing him gives her a sort of peace she has never been able to have and she wants to take advantage of that. So I could reason with that and was just relieved it wasn’t really a romance more like friends with benefits?Wesley is a very unique character, he wears eyeliner! Yes for an uncommon love interest! You don’t see that everyday in a YA novel and I love how punk he was. He’s so at ease with himself and comfortable in his skin, a great companion to Mac and yay for no rushed romance between them! We can get plenty more development before it comes to that in the future books, really can’t wait to see more of their dynamic.The plot managed to take me by surprise, I honestly wasn’t expecting some parts to end up like that and it threw my initial suspicions way off so that’s good. I always like a book that can surprise me, being able to predict everything is just boring. The story-telling didn’t bother me as some reviews said because it did switch from the past to the present but everything was woven very well with the story. Despite my initial confusion at the world of The Archived and the mechanics of how everything worked, it was all well-planned out and I couldn’t find any loopholes and lack of continuation. I did however worry a little about the numerous characters, I did feel like there was one point where we were getting introduced to too many characters than I could keep track of and that did leave some characters forgettable but the important characters weren’t affected.In overall, The Archived is a book with a well-crafted world and an interesting and compelling mystery (multiple ones in fact) that will keep you engaged throughout. Great characters that are likable and well-developed that I’ll look forward to reading about in the sequel – The Unbound. Definitely worth a read, I highly recommend it and plus the book is just gorgeous!