Wednesday, February 18, 2015

{BookTalk The Archived #1: Victoria Schwab

Rating: 78%
Series: The Archived
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult, Fiction,
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Page Count: 328
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: The dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead, called 'Histories', rest in 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 tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper is dangerous and a constant reminder of those she lost, Da and her little brother. Mac wonders about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. Yet someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall. 

Disclaimer: At Loving the Language of Literacy, a BookTalk means that there will be clearly marked spoilers interspersed throughout the review.

Would I Buy It?
While I simply adore the cover, I didn't enjoy the book enough to go running out to buy a physical copy (because I read it as an eBook), but if there were a boxed set for purchase when the trilogy is completed, I would jump on a chance to own it. 

Background & Backstory?
There really isn't that much backstory behind my reading this book besides the fact that I was in a slump before I started reading it and am still in a slump afterwards. Don't get me wrong, this was a good novel and any other day, it would have been spectacular. I just keep hitting dud after dud and have yet to find a book that reminds me why I love to read.

What Was My Reaction Upon Finishing?

Premise/Writing Style | 98% Can we just talk for a few minutes about how amazing the premise of The Archived is? Even though you would have to classify it as urban fantasy genre-wise, it has some of the best, most complicated world building I have read in a long time. Something about Schwab's writing made me feel like I was floating on a cloud of mystery and death... which are two completely opposite things. The Archived just broke down all preconceived notions of mine for what a "paranormal" novel should be and I absolutely respect Victoria for whatever is going on in her brilliant mind.

Romance | 40% This was a complete personal preference issue, but I did not enjoy the romance because of the types of characters the two love interests were (if you have read the book, you'll know what I mean) as well as the fact that there were two love interests. With the kind of writing/story The Archived was, I didn't expect there to be a need for a love triangle.

***Start Spoiler***
Wesley seemed a little like the too-good-to-be-true, snarky, friendly boy-next-door who just happened to be a Keeper too. Of course, I know this is to help with the arc for the rest of the series, but I still dislike him. I also didn't understand the need for involving Owen romantically except for the fact that Mackenzie needed a distraction from the stress of her world, which vaguely reminded my of a paranormal DUFF. I thought it was kind of expected, but simultaneously a good decision that he ended up being a bad guy. The circumstances of them even KNOWING each other, let alone being romantically involved meant that they wouldn't end well.
***End Spoiler***

Pacing | 50% The reason I am in this darn reading slump is because I love my books fast-paced and unfortunately, with books as beautifully crafted and complicated as this one, the pace couldn't be lightning fast. It was extremely stimulating and thought provoking conceptually as events unfolded, but I wasn't able to fly through it.

Dealing With Tough Topics | 80% This is a completely new category in my reviews, but it is high time I had one considering I like reading books that feature them heavily. The premise alone tells you as the reader that you are going to be reading a lot about death. I thought the way Schwab presented death was interesting because of how she incorporated it into the something the reader should care/be aware about as well as part of what her story is relying on. The main character Mackenzie is forced to deal with the loss of her younger brother Ben as well as her grandfather Da. She's in the middle of grieving and Ben's death is the reason her family moved in the first place. Armed with her beautiful prose, Schwab presented grief in a conceivable, yet realistic way.

How Likely Is It That I Will Read Another Book By This Author?
I just put the sequel, The Unbound, on hold for me at the library and have Vicious, which is Victoria's adult fantasy novel in my hands as we speak. I loved the beautiful writing style and want to read everything of hers.... just maybe not at this very moment because of this stupid reading slump.


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