Title: The Archived
Series: The Archived #1
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Hyperion, imprint of Disney (now Hachette)
Format: Ebook, Kindle
This book was really disappointing.
It sounded so awesome. I read the description and I was all pumped to read it. The afterlife is a giant library that contains corpses in fancy drawers. Sometimes the corpses get restless and wake up. It is our heroine’s job to make sure that they don’t escape back into the world of the living. I mean that sounds pretty creative and interesting, right?
Then I actually read the book, and all those happy feelings went away. It isn’t a bad book, but it isn’t a good one either.
The plot is just plodding along the whole first half. Then when things start happening, it’s super predicable. I saw the twists coming from miles away.
I guess that was my main problem. If you want to do a book with little plot and mostly focus on atmosphere and an interesting concept, then that’s awesome. But, this book tried to do that and also shove in this dumb, convoluted conflict in the second half that was SO important to resolve, for reasons I have yet to understand. I never felt that the stakes were high— I was told they were, but I didn’t feel the tension.
The romance is also poorly done. There is a love triangle (already bad) and it’s really not believable. One of the guys is dead. So, that’s not really going to work out. The other guy is some Adam-Lambert-wannabe, with guyliner and everything. How are we supposed to take a love interest seriously when he has spiky, black hair and basically looks like an early 2000s, emo kid? Ugh. Also, he’s so smart and deep cause he reads Dante’s Inferno for fun (So clever, get it? They are working in the Underworld and this book is about Hell…sigh).
There are good things about this book. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I didn’t completely hate it. I think that Schwab did a good job writing the grief that Mackenzie feels with her grandfather and brother’s deaths (not a spoiler, happens before book even starts). The way she wrote this was very touching and realistic.
I’m not sure if I’m going to read the sequel. As you can tell from this review, I wasn’t really feeling this book. So, unless I hear REALLY amazing things, I’m staying away.
Quick Version: Good idea, but the execution left much to be desired.
Cover Critique: It’s very nice. The designer did a great job. On top of being pretty, it is also relevant to the content of the book– so bonus points for that.
Score: 2.5/5 stars
Now, go read it and let me know what you think!