Author: Victoria Schwab
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Reading Level: Young Adult
"Imagine 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.
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."
This book was way more enjoyable than I had anticipated. Not that I thought it would be a bad read, I just wasn't quite sure what to expect going into it. To be honest, the first 50-100 pages were a little slow to me. However, I really don't think that it would be like that for everyone. I must have been distracted or not paying enough attention. My problem was just that I couldn't make sense of everything. It was sort of like the mentality people have about high fantasy novels. (Not that this book is fantasy, because it's not.) She was laying down the groundwork and information you needed to know to understand the story and my brain was just totally not having it.
Move on from that, around page 75-100 I started to really get into the story. Once it hit all that excitement and action, it never stopped. I was so enthralled to see what would happen next. I would definitely consider this book not only a paranormal-ish style book, but first and foremost a mystery. Each page kept me guessing and eager to know how things would pan out. After that point, I really couldn't put it down.
I'm not sure how to accurately describe the story without spoiling little things, but I'm going to try to avoid it. Essentially, the main character is Mackenzie Bishop. She's a teenager who's family moves into this new apartment building because her mother's going to refurbish the coffee shop on the base floor. But, Mackenzie isn't a normal teenage girl because she's a keeper who returns Histories to where they've come from. In the new apartment building, she meets a boy named Wesley and the story evolves from there.
I think that this is definitely a plot driven book, but that's not to say the characters didn't have depth. They were well-thought-out and definitely intriguing. But, to me the novel was as I mentioned a mystery story which really kept the action moving. I enjoyed the settings extremely much. The apartment building and the archive/narrows were detailed enough that my mind could form them perfectly and at the same time feeling like I was adding my own touches.
What I'm trying to say is that all around and in every aspect I felt like this book was perfect. I would highly, highly recommend this book to other readers. I own the sequel, The Unbound, and I can't wait to read it because the story didn't really have a cliffhanger as far as I'm concerned. I'm excited to see what adventures Victoria Schwab takes us on next. I rated this book a 4.5/5 stars only because of the slow start. Despite the fact that I didn't rate it a 5/5, this was definitely one of my favorite books and probably the best book I read in March.