Hi everyone! This is Julia of The Broke and the Bookish, formerly blogging on my own at The Competitive Bibliomaniac.
I read mostly historical romance, but can often be found reviewing paranormal romance, young adult books (mostly distopian/fantasy), fantasy/sci-fi, classics, and the occasional non-fiction book about languages.
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The Archived is a book that I wanted to like more than I think I actually did. Doesn't that summary sound super interesting? Well, it was and it wasn't. The Archive is told in flashbacks of memories had with Da, our heroines grandfather (which is not explained and I thought it was her father for a while until I realized) teaching her to be a Keeper, and the present day where her family has just moved across town to an old hotel converted to apartments to escape the memory of her suddenly departed younger brother.
There is a lot going on in this story. The flashback, the grief of her parents (both who are handling it differently), her job as a Keeper and that whole world of the Archive, the move to the hotel, the opening of the coffee shop, you get the gist. At first this is a bit overwhelming, but once the plot kicks in a bit more (later than I would have hoped) it get's its sea legs. The plot is a mix of mystery and suspense.
Mac is a Keeper so she gets to go to The Archive and the Narrows (the world between the worlds). The Narrows are what she is suppose to keep clean from woken Histories. Her job is to guide them back to sleep. Because she has just moved she is assigned to a new territory and there is where things get strange.
The characters are just as much of a jumble as the plot. The characters never really connected with me and it felt like we had only scratched the surface with them. Mac herself acts erratic at times, and I am not sure if it is her reaction to grief or just story telling that I didn't connect to. Wes, our requisite friend, however is awesome. He is a character that pops up, and I just want to hang out with him.
That was my problem with this. There are a lot of things that are pretty cool concepts, but the execution left me feeling like an outsider looking in. Ben's (Mac's brother) death is a whole lot more core to the story then the summary makes it sound. The plot is pretty predictable once that shows up. I think my favorite character was Wes. This story needing more time with him.
I think the world building was just okay. It goes back to my "This is a great concept, but poor execution" thing. Will this book work for some people? Sure. It's not unreadable by any means. It is also one of those sneaky series books I didn't know was a series. But the one good thing it has going for it is that is can be read as a stand alone. I am perfectly content. I see where she can keep going, but I dont need to follow.
Overall, the book was okay. If the summary interests you maybe check it out from the library or read the sample. I think you would be able to tell pretty quickly if it was worth your time.
**Review to come :)**
But two things I will say until then, is 1)this subject matter is pretty heavy and 2)though it says it's a series, I think you could read this as a stand alone and be perfectly happy.