March 24, 2013

Review of The Archived by Victoria Schwab



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.

add to goodreadsThe Archived by Victoria Schwab
Publication Date:  January 22, 2013
Publisher:  Hyperion

Available for Purchase:
Chapter-Indigo | amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in now way paid for our opinions **

MaryAnn NewThe Archived by Victoria Schwab was everything I hoped it would be and more.  For book lovers everywhere, I’m sure they would all appreciate the fact that dead and their histories is storied in place called The Archive and are being watched over by Librarians.  That, in itself, is a pretty epic idea.

For main protagonist, Mackenzie, the life of being a Keeper is a role that was bestowed upon her by her dying grandfather, Da.  Where the ability to become a Keeper is not allowed until the age of 12, Mackenzie finds herself holding that position even earlier, thanks to the training provided by Da, and with the backing of Roland, a Librarian in the Archive, who believes that Mackenzie is ready.

After the loss of her younger brother Ben, Mackenzie and her parents leave their roots and move into The Coronado, where, once upon a time, it was a hotel, but has now been renovated into apartments.  It is here that Mackenzie’s parents hope to bury the pain and memories of such a terrible loss, and start over again.

But in a place full of pasts and histories, The Coronado keeps Mackenzie’s duties as a Keeper on her toes.  Change also comes to Mackenzie in the form of an eyeliner wearing boy named Wesely.  But it seems, Wesley is not all that he seems to be.  Wesley seems to know a lot about the hidden secrets that Mackenzie has, and Mackenzie isn’t sure if it’s a blessing to have someone she can speak to, or if it’s another obstacle in her life where she must keep more secrets.

And secrets seems to be the theme of The Coronado.  As stated before, an old place holds lots of history and past, and when Mackenzie stumbles upon a string of mysterious deaths, who can Mackenzie really trust to find the truth and answers she needs.  Not only does she fill her time with investigating these murders, there is also an influx in Histories in The Narrows.  Histories being the dead who have awakened from The Archive and are lost and confused and are trying to find a way to The Outer, the place where the living live, and the dead used to call home.

And to complicate things even further, Mackenzie runs into an anomaly within The Narrows…a History that does not appear on her paper that needs to be returned, a History that is out and about under the radar of The Archive.  Owen…who seems to have some of the answers that Mackenzie has been looking for regarding the murders, Owen…who is mystery unto himself, Owen…who makes the all the noise in Mackenzie head…quiet.

But still grieving the loss of her brother, some sort of breech that is happening within The Archive itself, and with more Histories that need to be returned and who are becoming more violent, how will Mackenzie handle all this chaos without slipping and finding herself dead and archived.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab is a masterpiece.  This story had me from the very beginning and held my attention right to the very end.  I loved how the story was told in a back and forth manner.  Where we are told the story in the present, but are allowed glimpses into the past whether it be through Mackenzie’s skills as a Keeper, or by the memories of Mackenzie’s time with Da as she is slowly being trained to become what she is today…a Keeper.

The world building found in this book is phenomenal.  You can’t help but be caught up in this world of Librarians, Keepers, Crew, and Histories.  Every little piece of information provided in the book leads way to another exciting chapter in the book.  You’re kept guessing until the very end as to the outcome of the mysterious deaths in The Coronado.  And when you think you have it all figured out, Schwab throws in another twist that will have you reeling.

The pacing is quick and easy to follow and I quickly found myself devouring every word, not wanting to leave this world and the characters found within.  The idea of The Archived is so unique that that in itself will draw readers in.  Once you get a taste of the story within the first few chapters, you will quickly find that The Archived is a story that you will not soon forget.

Fans of mystery reads and are in the mood for something different but breathtaking will fall in love with The Archived by Victoria Schwab.  Believe me when I tell you that you will NOT have read anything like this, and you will be so glad that you were able to experience this epic read.

About the Author:

Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes,” “like,” and “y’all.”

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Brooke

    I absolutely ADORED this book. And guess who I get to meet today! YUP! I get to meet Victoria Schwab! I cannot wait!!!!

  2. Chapter by Chapter

    OMG you are so lucky! So jealous :D I hope you have a fantastic time!

  3. I have this on hold at my library, but I don;’t ever think I am going to get it. Ugh. I read the sneak peak a while back and loved it. Awesome review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  4. Chapter by Chapter

    Ahh! I hope you get to have it in your hands soon!

  5. I read the sneak peek and I’ve been curious about the rest of the book ever since.

  6. Chapter by Chapter

    The sneak peak was such a tease! lol I hope you get to read it soon Bea!

  7. JennRenee

    great review. I have just started this book and already loving it.

  8. Chapter by Chapter

    I hope you continue to love it! It’s a pretty original and addictive read :)

  9. This is already on my tbr, but I will definitely be reading this one now. Thanks!

  10. Chapter by Chapter

    Thanks for stopping by Tressa! I hope you get to read it soon!

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