The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Summary: When Mackenzie was 12, her grandfather left her a special job—become a Keeper for the Archive. The Archive, a resting place for the dead, stores Histories—the sum total of one’s life encased in a comatose body. But sometimes the Histories wake up and escape. It’s the Keepers’ job to send the Histories back where they belong. Now sixteen, Mackenzie is used to being a Keeper. But then things start to get a little strange.
My thoughts: I could easily see The Archived being turned into a film, because Victoria Schwab’s prose is so cinematic. She includes every detail—even the things you wouldn’t usually think about—so that the reader can form a mental image. And boy, what an image. The idea of the Archive is so strange and wonderful, but being able to actually imagine it, thanks to Schwab’s vivid writing, is amazing.
The characters, too, seem to come to life—Mackenzie the most, because her pain is so accessible and raw. But even the minor characters, like the gangly, converse-wearing Librarian Roland, are clear and defined. I think this is what makes Victoria Schwab’s writing so exquisite: everything the reader could ever want from a book’s characters or setting is just…there.
To those who enjoy books with fantasy aspects, The Archived will definitely be your cup of tea—its world alone is enough to engage and hold interest. But to those who prefer realistic fiction, I’d also suggest giving The Archived a shot. Because at its core, The Archived is about grief and moving on. Think of the fight scenes in the Narrows as internal struggles against letting go. Or something. The book is fantastic, okay? Trust me.
For those who like: fantasy, stories about grief
Comment question: Would you want to be a Keeper, even if it meant fighting dead people?