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 that 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 hardwon redemption.
So the last book I read had something that made me think of the adipose from Doctor Who. Now I have a book with a character that is 100% channeling David Tennant. In wondering if it was just me… I found a blog post from the author which includes her nods to Doctor Who.
I stayed very interested even though the main conflict didn’t really get introduced until well in. The whole concept is beautifully crafted. Schwab wove the entire world with detail. Everything from the lobby of hotel/apartment building to the way that the Archive functions. The Archive has a lot of secrets but I expect that she has though them out. Mac is tough, maybe a little too tough sometimes, but honestly I adored her. She is physically tough, though not as tough as she thinks she is and she is also emotionally damaged. She is tender and vulnerable. The effects and her resistance to touch are just perfect. She feels like she is all alone, but the more you watch her, the more you know that it is a choice. Though maybe not a conscious one.
Honestly I don’t know what I didn’t love about this book. There are keys and libraries. There are stories to be told and old buildings to be explored. There is a mystery and research but there are also fights. There is friendship and there is romance. There is a breadth of emotions. Fear, betrayal, happiness, laughter, pain, anger, grief, bitterness and I related to it all. My one hesitance was the dealing with parents, but she does impressively because it is summer. I cannot imagine how the next book proceeds with her currently enrolled in school. Though Buffy made it, so I guess that Mac can to.