Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived
(The Archived #1)

Author: Victoria Schwab

Publication Date: January 22nd 2013

Publisher: Hyperion

Genre: Fantasy



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

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 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.

My Thoughts: I really wasn't sure what to expect going into The Archived. I didn't read any reviews about it or anything, I just read the synopsis and it sounded like a unique fantasy novel and it has been awhile since I've read a fantasy. Well, unique it is, in a good way. Victoria Schwab writes in a way that makes it very easy to imagine the Archive and the Narrows. She does an amazing job creating the world so that you'll immerse yourself in it and lose track of the time, much like being in the Narrows and Archive for Mac.

Mackenzie, or Mac as she is frequently referred to, is our main protagonist. She is a Keeper, she has to return the Histories to the Archive when they wake up so they can be put back to sleep. Histories are the dead and sometimes they can be quite violent when she finds them. Mac has been trained from a young age for this job, she was thrust into it before she was supposed to be, much younger than any of the other Keepers. Sometimes she wishes she was a normal teenage girl who didn't have to lie and keep secrets from those she loves. But that's her job. She can't go blabbing about the afterlife to anyone, they can't know. Then she meets Wesley (a character I immensely liked). He's got a goth-like look and a totally different attitude. Best of all, he's a Keeper also. Mac can finally talk to someone about it. But she still keeps secrets from him as well. Like the mysterious History in the Narrows who isn't slipping (falling into confusion and becoming violent) No, for some reason he's not on her list either, so she gives him some time, after saving her life it's the least she can do. I really enjoyed Mac's character and felt bad for her. She has to lie all the time, her little brother died and she is slowly forgetting certain things about him. She has no one to talk to about it all and her parents are pretending it never happened. She's a character that is basically alone and I just wished there was something I could do for her, like even just give her a hug. I guess I just felt really bad for her. She was a very misunderstood character by many of the other characters it seemed.

The Archived is a great fantasy with a bit of mystery in it. Some thing is happening in the Archive, Histories are waking up in massive numbers. Others are missing chapters, those surrounding their deaths. Even stranger, some Histories are even missing. Someone within the Archive is behind it all, but I didn't really guess it all until the end. One romance I didn't really get, another that I rooted for. I will definitely be reading more by Victoria Schwab though, and will be recommending this to any fans of fantasy. It really is a great read!


  1. Oh I am excited for this one.It sounds so different then all the other books out there. Great review.

    1. Thanks! I really enjoyed it and it was a lot of fun to read!


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