Review: THE ARCHIVED by Victoria Schwab


THE ARCHIVED (The Archived #1)
Victoria Schwab
Published: January 22nd 2013 by Hyperion
Pages: 321

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.


The day you die, you tell me I have a gift.

This was my second Schwab book, and I had high expectations for it. So I’m glad to say they were all met! I was once again delighted and impressed with the uniqueness of the world she managed to create. In general, the atmosphere of the book was creepy, considering most of the action happens in hallways between the Outer world and the Archive.

The concept of the Archive itself was so cool and refreshing! Dead people being kept in shelves like books? It was weird and twisted and creepy and I loved it. Especially since they still keep their bodies. I also really liked the different jobs one could have within the Archive and that Keepers were appointed by other Keepers to take their place, and only if they had what was necessary to do the job.

I know some people where bothered by the timeline moved back and forth, but I quite liked the little glimpses we got of the past. It showed us how Mac came to learn about Histories and the Archive, and how she became a Keeper. Although it took me a few chapters to realize that whenever she said Da she meant her grandfather and not her father.

My one tiny problem with this book were Wesley and Owen and the attempt at romance. I didn’t care for it. Or for them, really. But Owen was more of an interesting character than Wesley, in the end. I think the story didn’t need the romance to make readers feel something, and the entire Mac/Owen thing made me super uncomfortable.

But I have to say I was very happy with The Archived overall. It was refreshing and unique and creepy, all of my favorite things. And now I’m off to start the second installment. 😀


6 thoughts on “Review: THE ARCHIVED by Victoria Schwab

    • owlsreads says:

      Ooohh, I see why you’d make that connection. It is kind of similar, I guess? But with people getting lost and erased, not fictional characters in literary works. 😛


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s