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. – Goodreads
This book has been on my TBR list for as long as I can remember. The fact that it took me this long to read it is more a reflection on me than the book, seeing I did not pick up this book until last week. This book did not let me down at all. I actually couldn’t put it down and the fact that I have to wait a year for the next book slowly kills me. Thankfully Schwab ends this book quite nicely. Thank you no cliffhanger!
Told through flashbacks and present day, this book is the story of Mac(kenzie) who works as a Keeper. She is a Keeper for the Archived, a place that collects the dead like they are books in a library. As a librarian I found this to be completely fascinating. Schwab worked through every little detail and let nothing go overlooked which made me fall in love with this book even more and look forward to book two, a lot. By use of flashbacks it was easy to understand how Mac got her job as a Keeper through her Da, who ultimately meant the world to her. It becomes clear from the very beginning that Mackenzie is not a typical YA heroine: she’s extremely close to her grandfather, she can kick ass, and she doesn’t like to touch people or animals. The later is because she can hear what she calls the “noise” from their feelings and thoughts and understandably that effects her.
Of course no one is allowed to know about The Archived. Which means her parents do not know, and yet they never question where she goes at all hours of the day. She comes up with extremely lame excuses and they are perfectly content and okay with said excuses. This is in part because she lost her brother Ben and they know she is still adjusting to life after, they all are.
The mystery and twist occurs when Mackenzie realizes there is someone else with this gift/curse along with the same time that someone is messing with the Histories and something bad is happening in The Archived. Through excellent storytelling Schwab has the reader waiting for more, me included.
Did you read it? Did you love it? Hate it?