Monday, March 3, 2014

Book Review: The Archived

Alright I gotta be honest. The first 7-8 chapters deserve about 2 out of 5 stars, at most. The rest of the book, especially the last half, deserve about 7 out of 5 stars. Super good. I'll balance it out by giving this book a 5-star rating, but don't think that's because it's perfect, because it's not. Just wanted to clarify that.

Once I got past the beginning, this book was fabulously entertaining. We enter a realm where things aren't always what they appear to be, and mysteries are a way of life for the main chracter, Mackenzie Bishop. Mackenzie is a Keeper, someone who can see escaped Histories (the dead who have woken up) and whose job it is to return them to the Archives (where the Histories are cataloged... sort of a library that files away all the dead people who've died in that part of the city).

** Spoiler Alert -- the following paragraphs contain minor book spoilers, just to warn you ** 

There were two main issues I had with the beginning of this book, so bad that I nearly gave up reading several times:

----> First off, it literally took me 2-3 chapters before I could definitely decide who Da was, or rather, who he wasn't. The way it's written, I assumed Da was just a mis-print and the author had meant to write Dad. Da seemed to be dead and Dad didn't, but the entire premise of the book is that she deals with dead people, so it seemed very fathomable that these two characters could be actually the same character, just with a few typos in there. It's extremely careless writing to name two characters nearly the same name, especially without clarifying who they are. It wasn't until about the 9th chapter that it's even stated that Da is, indeed, her grandfather, not her father, but in the beginning chapters especially, it's not even clear if Da is a separate person as Dad, or the same person. Very very poorly written and explained.

----> Second thing... LIke I said it took me about 8 chapters to even get into this book. That's because the first chapters are mainly just explanation... often-contradicting-each-other explanations. At least it seems that way until you understand the explanations better. Basically I felt like just as soon as I understood one part, another explanation was given that either explained things further or differently. It made it so extremely confusing that I very nearly stopped reading after every chapter. Only the great reviews made me push through, and I'm glad I did, but dang... NOT a great way to begin a book. Seriously. The premise should've been summed up in a few paragraphs... one chapter at most. Having it take 7 chapters to explain was entirely too long and tedious. Don't get me wrong - her writing is incredible, but taking that long to set up the story was ridiculous.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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