Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review: The Archived

SynopsisImagine 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.

My Review: I was intrigued when I first read the synopsis of this book.  It sounded pretty bad ass.  The whole concept is just cool to think about.  And I was definitely not disappointed.

Mac is a Keeper, has been since she was twelve and her Da (grandfather) passed on the duty to her.  She lives a life full of lies.  Her mother and father have no idea what she does, and it makes their already strained relationship after the death of her little brother even harder.  Her parents have uprooted their lives, moving to a new town and into an old hotel turned apartment building.  Although her scenery has changed, Mac still has the Archive and the Narrows, where she patrols for Histories who have woken up.  But the apartment comes with a few surprises of it's own.  Mac discovers that her room was witness to a grisly murder, a murder that seemingly has no record.  As Mac dives deeper into the murder, she dives deeper into the Archive and the secrets hidden there.

I loved absolutely everything about this book. The whole entire concept was brilliant.  I loved the idea of the Archive and how it serves like a type of afterlife.  The whole world was just brilliantly designed. Even though it was like a hidden world within our own, it meshed really well with reality.  The whole system was pretty easy to figure out and it's easy to follow.  The Narrows were creepy and reminded me of a labyrinth with endless doors.  Almost like a Department of Mysteries type thing.  You never know what will behind a door. The concept of the Histories was also really cool.  I loved the idea that when a person dies their collective consciousness is stored and kept for records.  Very interesting concept.

I absolutely loved all of the characters as well.  Mac was just brilliant.  She was tough and smart, and yet she's still trying to cope with the death of her brother.  She's vulnerable but hates to show that vulnerability.  She is the most skilled liar I have ever encountered in an MC.  She's like a pro.  Granted being a skilled liar is kind of a requirement for being a Keeper, but it's kind of sad that she's been living a lie since she was 12.  She lives a lonely life.

All that changes when she meets Wesley. He's a bit eccentric with his black nail polish and guyliner, and he sounds like pounding rock music to Mac's touch, but he's just what Mac needs.  He's funny and upbeat and best of all, he's a Keeper just like Mac.  For the first time in her life, she doesn't need to hide who she is.  She can be honest with Wes unlike anyone else in her life.  I really loved Wes.  He was witty and a bit over confident, but he was just fantastic to read.  He was a fun character and you can tell he really cares about Mac and her well being.  There's really nothing between them YET, and I stress the yet because I am definitely hoping there WILL be something because I liked Wes a lot and those two go together like peanut butter and jelly.

I also really liked Roland.  He's one of the Librarians in the Archive.  He was just really easy going guy who could with a flip of a switch turn bad ass and put down an unruly History without a sweat.  Plus he had red chucks.  ^.^ It made him awesome in my books, cuz that speaks volumes to his personality.  He helps Mac with her investigation and bends a few rules himself to try and get to the bottom of what is happening.

What I really appreciated was that I couldn't guess the outcome of this novel.  I kept guessing and theorizing but while I guessed a few things right, I never got the whole twist.  It was just brilliantly written and was so fun to read.  I devoured the thing in two sittings.  It was so well planned and had a brilliant twist that I never saw coming.  The pacing was perfect, it didn't feel rushed and while I was dying for more it was a good ending point.  I don't have a single criticism of this book.  One of the best books I've read in a while.  A really excellent read, highly recommend.


Julia @ That Hapa Chick said...

I haven't heard of this one but it sounds AMAZING!!!! I agree that red chucks make a character awesome. Anyone who wears those is automatically cool in my book. :D