Friday, January 11, 2013

Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Hyperion
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Fantasy, Paranormal
Release date: January 22nd, 2013
Pages: 336 (ARC)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

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.

Mackenzie can't tell anyone who she is, but she has more connections to the dead than most people can imagine. She is what they call a Keeper and she works for the Archive.  Her grandfather is the person who introduced her to this life, and now that he's gone, she's trying to fill his shoes the best way she can.

When Mac moves into an old hotel-turned-apartment building, she finds that there are more Histories to return than expected.  These Histories are the dead, but not quite ghosts.  They're just the shells of what they once were, and yes, some of them can be dangerous.  When she meets a History who is completely different than the others, she's thrown for a loop.  Now she gets tangled into the mystery of her new home, and why three years of its history seems to have gone missing.

The story itself is very unique and intriguing.  I was hooked by the very first line in the summary, "Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books".  The Archived wasn't as creepy as I expected it to be, but it was definitely worth the wait.  Mackenzie is an awesome heroine and the person that comes to be her sidekick will make you smile.  I can't imagine being a Keeper, especially when that means that you're so close, yet so far away from the loved ones you've already lost.

Victoria Schwab is an amazing storyteller.  The writing is beautiful and descriptive, while the mystery keeps you on the edge.  The story, the writing and the characters stayed on my mind for hours after putting the book down.  The Archived is imaginative, thrilling and a series I will definitely be continuing.


  1. Great review! I didn't enjoy this one as much as you did (I gave 3/5 stars) but I definitely agree it is imaginative, and I was definitely intrigued by the goings-on. ;)

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

  2. Oh, now I can't wait to read this book! Beautiful writing, intriguing mystery, a unique concept? Yes please! Lovely review :)

  3. I've got the next stop on an ARC tour for this one. Hopefully I'll enjoy it as well!

  4. I thought this was a stand-alone, now I'm more excited to read this book. I love the idea of dead people being book, it's so imaginative, and creative.
    Great review :)

  5. This looks really different, I definitely want to read it! Great review!

  6. I've been keeping my eye out for this one for ages. It looks so intriguing and I'm glad to hear that it is worth the read. Lovely review :)

    Faye @ A Daydreamer's Thoughts

  7. I'm definitely squeezing this into my reading schedule soon! It looks amazing and I'm glad to see it earned a 5 out of 5 from you!

  8. Great review! I've been meaning to read one of Victoria's books so it sounds like I should definitely start with this one before reading her debut book. Sounds like my sort of read.

  9. I'm very excited to read this book! It sounds so interesting, very Sixth Sense. Great review!

  10. Waahh! Lucky that you read it before it comes out. I've been dying to read it. Thanks for the cool review...... want!


  11. So jealous you got to read this before its release! Thanks for the review, I can't wait for the release.