book reviews

[Book Review]: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Archived
Series: the Archived #1
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Published on: January 22, 2013
Source: own copy (HB)

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.


     Never in my life have I imagined this thought question: what if memories of every person who ever lived in this world are stored in a certain place, like a library, only not in a form of a book, but their actual bodies? Creepy and haunting idea, I know.

 When I first read about the summary of this book (last year), I was curious and crazed with 

the idea of the plot. It was original and certainly unique from the usual themes I’ve read from other paranormal books. And then I read lots of good and rave reviews, and i just knew i had to read it! I got it in ebook at first, when it finally came out (as that way’s faster) but then i had so many ebooks and books to read at hand… Then it just got shoved in the way. But now! I finally figured out a way to schedule and lineup my books to-read, and finally! I knew I had to finally read the Archived, because I just bought the hardcopy, and i shouldn’t really waste my money,lol.

     But all those thoughts came to a stop when I started reading the Archived. I was so busy this week with paperworks and lots of numbers, then I got sick..but but but I’m finally finished with the book and I am so astounded by the story. It was just so full of secrets and lies and mystery and add all those to the creepy ambience of the setting. Everything was so put together, and the new ‘innovative’ concepts that Victoria Schwab brought me in to is not hard to understand and grasp. 

     Mackenzie is a Keeper, and her job is to return “Histories” back whenever they woke up (for reasons such as minor disturbances, light ‘sleepers’, etc) and roam around the “Narrow”, which is the space between the Archive and the real world outside. “Histories” are the perfect copies of people who already passed away. In short, every dead people’s memories are well kept, in a place called the “Archive”, and not in papers but in perfect copies of their bodies when they were still alive. 

     When the book started , Mac is already a keeper and she’s been doing it for 4 years now. What makes the “now” the center of the story is because “now”, she has more reasons to want to wake up a History, her recently dead brother, Ben. Plus, there are all these mysterious blackouts and weird disturbances in the Archive. Something wrong is definitely happening, and the curious one in her is just too smart (or not smart) to let it go.

     The sequence of events just rounded me about, I didn’t expect the events only transpired in days and not in months. I loved every bit of it and I was always on the edge of my seat. Loved loved it! Can’t wait for the Undone (#2) 🙂


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Hi there! My name is Jenna. I write and speak to encourage and empower women, equality, freedom, sustainability, and the plant-based lifestyle. For the Kingdom of Jesus. <3

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