Backlist Books Review: The Archived

the archivedThe Archived by Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived #1
Published by:
Disney Hyperion
Pub Date:
January 22, 2013
Read: April 8-13, 2013
Pages: 321
hardcover | Source: purchased
young adult, fantasy, horror

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

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.

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 may 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 hard-won redemption.

It’s been 5 years since I read The Archived but I have a feeling I would still love it if I read it today. Here’s my original review:

This book was amazing! It started off a little slow for me and was darker in tone than I anticipated (although I should have know, it *is* a story about the library of the dead after all). I found the concept and premise very unique and executed well. I also though that Mac was a great heroine that was easy to feel sympathy for. Wes was predicably adorable and I really liked their friendship. My favorite part was the murder mystery that drew all the story threads together. I was trying to piece it together but it was so well done that I was still surprised by how it turned out!

I didn’t like the second-person POV interludes at first; I found them distracting, both how they broke up the story and the POV they were written in, but I enjoyed them more towards the end. It was also a bit confusing that she called her grandfather Da- made me wonder at first if her Dad was actually a stepdad, or dead or something. This was one of the most innovative and unique books I’ve read in awhile and I loved the characters and sense of urgency. Great storytelling! I love that the story was wrapped up and can be read as a standalone but I can’t wait to read the sequel too!

Spoiler alert: I still need to read the sequel. D’oh! Have you read The Archived? Are you a fan of Victoria Schwab’s books?

4 thoughts on “Backlist Books Review: The Archived

  1. Kel says:

    This is another book I’ve had on my shelf for years and still haven’t read, even though I’m pretty sure I’d like it, but maybe that’s why I haven’t read it yet…if that makes sense? I shall add your positive review to the ever growing list of reasons why I should stop stalling and read it already. 🙂


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