The Archived by Victoria Schwab

the-archivedGenre: Fantasy, Supernatural, Yound Adult

Pages: 321

Published January 22nd 2013 by Hyperion

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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.


I wanted to like this book so much more than I actually did. For one, it was fairly difficult to follow initially and then secondly, it was quite dull which made it difficult for me to want to engage in.

Imagine this, there is an archive of history somewhere, but inside are not books but rather people and each person is essentially a book to be read. In this Archive people are filed away by Librarians and Histories are protected and also watched over, because Histories can wake up and they can become violent. There are also Keepers and Keepers are individuals who help guide lost/violent Histories back to the library.

Mackenzie’s Da was a keeper, and when he brings 12-year-old Mackenzie to the Archive to begin her training as a Keeper, they laugh but she passes the test and becomes the next Keeper. She can’t talk about it, can’t say what it is she does and has to become adept at lying.

Now, the story itself presents itself in an interesting way. Reading about it I wanted to be hooked and I found myself really not. Unfortunately, this is my first Schwab book and I’m crossing my fingers, hoping and praying that this is just not the right fit for me. The world in and of itself was interesting, too. Except we’re stuck in this loop of her being home and then the Archive, which I found a bit like being in a hamster wheel. I wasn’t keen on her disposition and none of the characters outside of Wesley were actually likable or had any amount of personality.

I wanted to like it, but it was a bit of a dull read.

2.5 Crowns.


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.

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