“The Archived” Review

Sure it’s winter, but why not review an amazing book that I read over the summer? An amazing book such as…

*Drum roll*

“The Archived” by Victoria Schwab

the archived

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 she 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. (Taken from Goodreads)

Let me just start by saying, this book had me spellbound. Victoria Schwab’s writing is so descriptive, fast-paced, and captivating. Not once was I bored or tired of the story. Not once was I begging for the pages to shorten. All throughout the book, I was fully intrigued.

Mackenzie Bishop (our heroic main character) is a clever, tough, witty, and all around lovable character. As a Keeper of the Archive, it’s her job to make sure that the ghosts of the Archive– also known as Histories–don’t cross into the our world. Mackenzie takes her job very seriously, but isn’t afraid to push the boundaries for the ones she cares about.

The story starts off with Mackenzie and her family moving to their new home, which is an old, rickety hotel that has turned into an apartment building. You can already tell that the place is haunted. But that’s the least of Mackenzie’s worries. Not only is she thrown into a whole new environment that she’s forced to adapt to, but she is also grieving from the sudden loss of her little brother, which has also largely impacted her parents. As Mackenzie spends her days hunting Histories, meeting new people (such as the charming Wesley Ayers), and begging an Archive librarian to let her see her brother, little does she know that an evil plan is taking place right under her nose. Events suddenly begin to unfold, Histories are escaping, dark secrets are coming into the light, and her time is running out.

The character development in this book is phenomenal. Even though this book is fiction, the characters felt real. Mackenzie’s and Wesley’s chemistry and friendship seem indestructible.  Through both hard times and good times, Mackenzie and Wesley are always there for each other, and know how to cheer each other up with a witty remark and a smile. While reading, I even found myself smiling with them.

“The Archived” doesn’t carry the YA stereotype of angsty teenagers and vicious love-triangles. No, this book carries an action-packed, humorous, relatable, and overall enjoyable story that I would recommend to anyone.

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3 comments

  1. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, I even dreamed about it XD so I probably should! It sounds SO good! The fact that there are few YA stereotypes AND no love triangle make it even better! ^^

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