Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Series: The Archived #1
Pages: 336
Received: Received from Hachette Book Group Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: January 22, 2013
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Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

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.

My Review:

I had been waiting on this book for quite some time, everything about it sounds different from what's out there and I was intrigued. The book tells a story where the dead are kept in something like a library and are watched over. Every so often the dead will "wake" and this is where Mackenzie comes in, her job is to find those that have woken and send them back. This book gave off a great creepiness factor, which I'm really getting into, as something different from the dystopian books I've been reading a lot lately.

I found the book to be a little slow going in the beginning, taking it's time to find it's place, but when it did finally get into the mystery it picked up and became really interesting. What really interested me was Schwab's writing style. I liked the back and forth Schwab gives readers from Mac doing her job in the present, and her remembering what she learned from her grandfather. After reading this book, I feel like there were clues in those passages of the past that if you pay attention you may be able to figure things out.

The characters were really interesting, but I absolutely loved Mackenzie. Throughout the book, I really felt her sense of loss, Schwab makes it relatable and there are a lot of emotional scenes that just made me want to wrap Mackenzie up in a hug and never let go. She has dealt with so much and I think that helps on her journey in this book. I love what Mackenzie learns not only about the Archive but about herself and her relationship with her family.

The ending brought about a lot more action than I expected from this book, and I think everything was wrapped up really nice. I'm interested to see how the rest of the series will continue after everything in this book.


  1. As a librarian I was really intrigued by the concept of this book, but reluctant to add it to my growing to-read list. After your review I'm definitely going to have to make room for it this year though! :) Sounds fabulous!

  2. Great review! I agree with everything here 100%. Victoria Schwab is an amazing writer!



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