Sunday, March 16, 2014

Batty About The Archived by Victoria Schwab - Wrapping it all up

Batty About Books presents
The Archived
by Victoria Schwab

Here we are wrapping up this edition of Batty About Books. I enjoyed learning about The Archive and visiting with Mac and Wes. I look forwarding to learning more about them in The Unbound. As I look back over the past weeks, I wonder, were my questions from the beginning of the book answered? Let's take a really quick look.

In case you missed it:
Week 1 - Cover Appeal

Week 4 - The End - pg 215 - end
Here we are in the final pages of The Archived and I want to step back and see if some of my questions were answered - spoiler free…  It’s so hard to discuss without some spoilers! I’m hoping I can gather some local friends over a glass of wine and just let loose with no concerns.

Why Mackenzie?
Hm. I know she takes the job seriously and she can’t imagine her life without the Archive in it. “Truths are messy and lies are messy, and i don’t care what Da said, it’s impossible to cut a person into pielike pieces, neat and tidy.” (281) Her dedication to the Archive, which constantly puts her life in danger, shows she was the right choice. I’m guessing he saw this in her. And that she would do even better than he did.
I agree. I also would like to know how Da ended up with the job. He sounded so cynical near the end of his life. Did he have a smooth transition into his job? Mac not only is dedicated, she’s willing to pick herself back up when she falls. I love that she knows she’ll make mistakes, and she understands there are consequences, but she still wants to persevere. That’s a fabulous example.

Why The Archive?
“Because the only way to truly record a person is not in words, not in still frames, but in bone and skin and memory.” “...I don’t know whether that should terrify or comfort me, that everything is backed up like that. That somewhere my History is compiling itself.” (301)
I am still fascinated by this. Do we get more or less bias when our History comes directly from the skin and bone of the person involved? I know I try to impress upon my students that even “nonfiction” carries bias. Even primary sources are inherently biased. It is our job as historians to understand that bias and let it inform our understanding of the time period we study.

Why is Wesley at the Coronado?
“...the Coronado is being hit harder than other territories...”(228) ”...if any evidence presents itself that Mr. Ayers is unable to keep his own numbers down...” (258)
So fascinating. I’d like to think that Roland also hoped that Wesley would be a good partner for Mac. He seems to have her well being in his heart in each decision he makes.

Why isn’t Owen slipping?
Ah. “...our histories don’t slip.” (296)
Oooo… clever use of a quote here, my friend. Very ambiguous, and yet for those who have finished the book it helps us remember the reveal.

What happened to Robert?
“I know and I made him pay for that.” (288)

Were those other residents murdered?
Ah. “...Those people saw...” (285)
I LOVED this. I felt it really tied everything together well. The magical nature of The Archived also housed a wonderful murder mystery.

Did your questions get answered?
These past two weeks we’ve jumped into The Archive and learned about what we would do for the people we loved. How some of that stems from who we are and what we want. We strive to carry on the legacy of those we love and admire but sometimes it’s too much and we get tired. And we make mistakes. How do we honor the memories of the people we loved? While staying true to who we are?

I think Victoria Schwab did a great job of answering my questions.  The questions I have now come from me wanting to know more about this world, and one or two from the ending. I feel satisfied with the story and look forward to visiting The Archive again in The Unbound later this year.
I agree! There were just a few things that didn’t completely gel for me at the end. I’m hoping that the main questions - the ones that are about this fascinating world - get filled in during the next book.

We hope you enjoyed traveling with Batty About Books!  If you like this style of book discussion stay tuned! 

Next up we will have Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (Goodreads). We’ll discuss the Cover on March 29th.   It’s a fairly new release so available in Hardcover or ebook.  Here’s the trailer:

Hope you can join us!

Don't forget to stop by Maria's Melange where she explores the end of the book and talks about the different ways we feel about mysteries in novels.

Batty About Books - Facebook - join our page and post your questions for Victoria Schwab.

Have a great reading week!

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