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.
In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.
Let me just start by saying, I loved Victoria's first YA, The Near Witch. A lot. So I had high expectations going into this one . . .
She did not disappoint.
The Archived has flavors of The Adjustment Bureau (but way darker) and a few from Inception--but at the same time, it's very unique. The world in the book is built seamlessly--and creepily, I might add. There's the Outer, which is the world as we know it, and then the Archive, a place where Histories (aka bodies) are kept, storing the memories of the lives they once lived. But between them, are the Narrows, a buffer between the worlds.
"Close your eyes and picture this: a dark alley, just wide enough for you to spread your arms and skim the rough stone walls on either side with your fingers. You look up and see . . . nothing, just the walls running up and up and up into black. The only light comes from the doors that line the walls, their outlines giving off a faint glow, their keyholes letting in beams of light that show like threads in the dusty air. It is enough light to see by, but not enough to see well." (ARC of The Archived, page 14)
Those, my friends, are the Narrows. And they freaked me the freak out.
The main character, MacKenzie--Mac--is hardcore enough to complete her tasks (which, in case you didn't read the description, are to stop the Histories--so, you know, the bodies of the dead--from waking up and getting out of the Narrows) (creepy, right?) but also vulnerable enough (over the loss of her brother, and the way she feels about her family, and how she reacts to/forms relationships with other characters in the story) so that I could really connect with her while I read.
The Archived isn't scheduled to come out until January 2013, but I couldn't wait that long to share it with you! So I'm giving away my ARC.
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