The Archived (The Archived, book one)
By Victoria Schwab
Published 2013 by Hyperion
Mackenzie is a Keeper - she puts restless Histories back where they belong. But what happens when Mac discovers Histories being purposely altered? Is the organization that she's put all her trust in up to something no good?
I was given a free e-sampler of the first 100 pages of this book way back before it was released (end of 2012, I suppose it was). I was so intrigued by the premise - when people die, they essentially become Histories in the Archive, maintained by Librarians. Keepers are there sort of as a safety measure - occasionally, a History will get out and need to be returned. I tore through the sample and then waited for the book to be released. Then, I got distracted. Needless to say, I didn't finish reading this book until many, many months after starting it. Luckily, the world that Schwab created is memorable enough that it felt like I'd never been away.
For me, that's the best thing about this book. The world and myth that Schwab has created is fascinating and works really well. It may be a little weird to say this but I also found it a bit hopeful - the idea that the sum of my existence would be stored somewhere after I died. Additionally, I like Mackenzie. She's a complex and compelling character and it's easy to root for her. I thought the plot twists were well-done and I do actually feel excited to read the sequel, so that's definitely a good sign. One thing that I found a bit confusing were the flashback-type bits about Da. It wasn't entirely clear to me until rather late in the story who exactly he was to Mackenzie. It's entirely possible that I missed something obvious early on and was confused for no good reason, but I thought I'd mention it.
Overall, I thought this was a well-executed story that I actually look forward to revisiting in the future.
Thanks to the publisher for a digital sampler.