Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Mackenzie Bishop’s grandfather first brought her here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now her grandfather 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.
I call myself a V. E. Schwab fan but up until the release of The Dark Vault I had not read her The Archived and The Unbound books. Once I saw they were releasing a bind up of the series I thought it was the perfect time to finally get round to reading this interring series. The Dark Vault sounded like something completely original and something completely different from what V. E. Schwab had written about before and I was really interested to start it.
The story follows Mackenzie as she explores the realm of the dead and tried to keep the dead from returning to the world of living. I found Mackenzie to be an interesting main character. I didn’t warm to her instantly but over the course of the book I did become to like her more and more as her character developed. On the other hand Wesley was someone I connected with straight away and every scene he was in was such a joy to read. As with Wesley, Rowland was another character that you find you connect with and fall in love with almost immediately.
I normally fall in love with a V. E. Schwab book almost immediately but for me The Dark Vault had a different vibe to the other books and it did take me a little while to get into the story and the characters. The story was intriguing because I have never read anything like this before but I found it to be a little confusing and a little difficult to follow. Thankfully this did not last for long and after about fifty pages or so I started to understand what was happening and after that I sailed through the book and ended up really enjoying it.
As usual with any of V. E. Schwab books the writing is the stand out reason why I enjoyed reading this book. If you ever pick up a book by V. E. Schwab you know that what you are about to read will be beautifully written and utterly sublime to read. Even though this was a quite hefty book with about seven hundred pages once you start reading you find you loose track of any time and before you know it you have been reading for hours upon hours. V. E. Schwab makes writing a book look so easy and effortless because everything comes together and it’s such a joy to read.
Even though this quite a chunky book and I struggled to get my head around it in the beginning I found it to be an easy read and easy to work my way through it. I liked that this was a bind up collection of both the stories from the series and I was able to finish one and carry on with the other story instantaneously. I didn’t find the pace to drop any as I was reading and after the first few chapters I did find it difficult to put down. The story is just so interesting that you just want to read and read until you get to the end.
If you are already a V. E. Schwab fan and have not read The Archived or The Unbound yet then I would definitely recommend reading The Dark Vault. It has everything you want from a V. E. Schwab book, suspense, action, wonderful writing, original story, everything you come to love and expect. If you have never read a V. E. Schwab book before I still think that this is a perfect starting point because you have both books in the series in one book and you can experience the Schwab magic for the first time.
I rate this book 4/5 stars
***I was sent a copy of this book for review. Everything in this review is my own honest opinions.***