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Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Archived



I got a preview/sneak peek of this book from its publisher via NetGalley.com. The sample was the first 9 chapters and all I can say is, "Is it January 22, 2013 yet?!"

When you die, you become a History. Every moment of your life is cataloged, recorded, and you get a special little shelf in the Library/Archives with a small little placard with your name, birth year, and death year. There are Librarians responsible for keeping it organized and protected, Keepers responsible for returning lost/escaped Histories, and Crew, which are a team of Keepers who hunt down the Histories who weren't easily Returned. Histories would be what the living call ghosts.


MacKenzie is young and she is already a Keeper, having been groomed for it by her grandfather before his death. She is trained and ready for this, she proves to a council to admit her as a Keeper, as her grandfather's choice, despite her young age. Her life will be defined by constant lying to the living as she does her job. She is alone. She can tell no one. There are acquaintances of course, but none that she can truly confide in.

In the first nine chapters, you are introduced to Mackenzie, her late grandfather, her parents, and the large gaping loss that overwhelms them all, that of her younger brother, Ben. Her mother uproots them in an attempt to reclaim life after such a devastating loss, but not so far away...a mere hour. They move into an apartment in a very old building called the Coronado.

I really like the premise of this book; it's an interesting and different view of human lives. The Archives are described as sunny, warm, with rich wooden shelves, the stacks full of shelved bodies (Histories). Despite the protagonist's awe at the beauty of it, I couldn't help but envision it as morbid. After all, these are not people anymore, but merely records of their lives.

Why ARE there these records? What can we glean from them? Does anyone talk to them to seek knowledge? It IS a library of sorts and libraries are about knowledge!

In the last chapter, you learn that a boy in the building that Mackenzie has come across is also a Keeper. She is no longer alone! The potential for her to have a confidante is there, but could it be something sinister? I can't wait for this book to be released. I definitely want to read more!