January 22, 2013
Series: Book one in The Archived series
I remember reading Victoria Schwab’s debut, The Near Witch, and there are two very specific things that I recall about Victoria: 1) her writing is amazing, and 2) she has the strangest ideas. The Archived is no exception. However, The Near Witch’s concept and idea was so weird that it was a bit uncomfortable in some ways, and just not a pleasant read for me. Going into The Archived, I was a bit worried about that. Gladly enough, Victoria’s second novel was surprisingly breathtaking and just fascinating.
I’m not going to give you too much information on what The Archived is about, because I think the synopsis that is given on the book flap is quite enough. The fact that I went into this story kind of knowing what this book was about and kind of not was… a better way to go about reading this book, I think. Having too much knowledge would kind of ruin it, I suppose. So rather than give you a brief summary, I’m only going to tell you my positive thoughts for this book!
Like I mentioned before, Victoria Schwab has gorgeous writing. Her writing is among the richest (creamy?) of writers in the young adult atmosphere. Seriously, it’s quite amazing. She was able to deliver the most vivid of descriptions, which definitely helped with the world of the Archived. Her writing was great in The Near Witch, but oh, it has improved, I must say! *slow claps all around for Victoria* While her writing was just so easy to get immersed in– and I’m not sure her writing necessarily was the problem– but I found myself having to frequently take breaks every 20-30 pages. I THINK it was the fact that her writing was so dense that I had to take a breather often, but I’m not sure. Her lyrical writing is a positive thing in my eyes, and most definitely not a negative thing (though, having to take breaks while reading a good book is not so fabulous). Who knows, maybe I was just having an ADD kind of day.
That was the only drawback in the novel though, fortunately! One of my favorite things about The Archived was the fact that the world-building was just out of this world. I have never read anything so unique as this one! It’s so captivating and different, I just bow down to Schwab’s creativity. I fell in love with the world and Mac’s involvement in it. And although the plot is slow-paced at times, I enjoyed every plot twist.
The characters were not the strongest point in the novel, but they were endearing nevertheless. Mac, our main protagonist, is very admirable because of her hardworking and curious persona. Characters who contain these two traits never fail to disappoint me! I love characters who are willing to learn and work hard to achieve their goals. On a different note, while there is somewhat a romance–eh, not really, ish– I could have totally enjoyed the book just the same without the vaguely-there romance. The romance may be further enhanced in book two, but I’m not sure.
With an expressively melodic writing style, an unsurpassed story idea, and a lovable main character, The Archived is a story that readers of mystery and paranormal will enjoy immensely. Even if you’re out for an adventurous read, this would be perfect as well because it’s set in a freaking hotel. What can be better than that? Wait– a hotel with gargoyles. Yep, I think you need to pick this book up PRONTO.