The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Book: The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived #1
Publisher: Hyperion
Date Published:January 22, 2013
Source: Library
Date Started: April 15th, 2014
Date Finished: April 20th, 2014
Other Books Reviewed: The Unbound


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.


One reason I was so intrigued with this book was the fact that it had a library theme behind it. If you guys love to read as much as I do, you’d be just as intrigued!

So this story is about a girl named Mackenzie. Mackenzie’s job is to hunt down Histories, or the dead that have woken up. Not like in the Zombie sense, but each body harbors the memories from the person’s life, and sometimes the bodies wake up. Mackenzie tracks the dead down and sends them back to their original resting place within the Archive, the massive library that is more like a crypt. However, she discovers that someone is intentionally erasing the memories of the dead, and she must solve the mystery before the archive is shattered.

I had a major problem with this book, and I found that many people seemed to agree with me here. It may be because I wasn’t paying enough attention, but I don’t think thats the cause. I was really confused about the basic details about this book. I wasn’t sure if it was the actual dead bodies that were stored, or if it was their souls, their memories, or what. I never really understood it even at the end of the book. I also didn’t understand the motives behind most of the characters. There was this giant plot twist, and when everything was revealed, I had no idea as to why they did what they did. These two aspects really made the book difficult for me, and this disappointed me because I was so intrigued with reading the book.

However, there became a point of no return. There became a point where it didn’t matter what the Histories actually were. The book became so full of action, and I became more concerned with trying to solve the mystery. The second half of the book was much more interesting. However, I think this was far too late for the book to get interesting. I’ve heard of a lot of people applying the 50 page rule, where if you don’t like a book by page 50 or if you’re not interested, then you should put the book down. I usually don’t follow this rule because I like to follow a book to the end, but if I did follow that rule, I think I might have put it down by page 50. With that being said, I am not trying to deter you from reading the book, but rather I’m telling you to stick it out. It will be worth it, I promise.

I think what was redeeming about this book was the fact that it had such a unique premise. I’ve never heard of a story like this, and it was refreshing to read a new type of story. The story kept me guessing until the very end. I can usually predict what the twist will be, but I was totally wrong in this one.

As for the characters, I really liked Mackenzie. She was given this job by her grandfather at such a young age, but she stayed true to it. Her partner, Wesley, was also likeable. I was just hoping to get to know him a little better, and I was hoping for a little more romance between them than there actually was. One thing that threw me off, was her parents. Her parents just seemed so oblivious to everything, especially when their daughter was missing for hours on end. You’d think with the death of their youngest child, they would try to cling to their only remaining child left. But thats just me, I guess.

Overall, all I can tell you guys is this is a great read, its worth it, but just make sure to stick to it until the end. You won’t be sorry! There is also a sequel to this book called The Unbound, which has already been released.

So for the rating, I wanted to give this book a 3 for the confusion that I faced while reading. However, with the uniqueness of the story, I want to bump it up to a 4.


  1. I recently finished this book and also had some confusion, but only in the beginning. The second half was so awesome, though 😀 The action had me on the edge of my seat.

    Now that you point it out, Mackenzie’s parents were pretty clueless. I hadn’t even caught onto that. That’s one of my main problems with a lot of YA books, the lack of parental guidance. Oh, well. Maybe I’ll read The Unbound.

    • I loved the actions in the second half. Its what redeemed the book for me.

      I think the whole lack of parental guidance thing is just convenient for authors. They wouldn’t have these teenagers who do amazing things if their parents were there all the time. Mackenzie’s parents were pretty bad, and Wesley’s were even worse. It didn’t seem like he had any nor did he mention them.

      I had to have the library order a copy of the unbound because they didn’t have a copy. It seemed strange to me because I felt like it was a fairly popular enough book for them to have, at least in comparison to some of the books they have there.

      • It probably is for the sake of convenience. But it still bugs me sometimes…

        I have to order popular books from my library ALL THE TIME! Only because someone else is reading them >.< But it's crazy what books they have at the library in the YA section that I've never even heard of! But back when I was a newbie at blogging and I had started going back to the library, some of the best books I read were the ones that no one had heard of 🙂

      • I hope it gets to you soon! I didn’t even know about this book until I read your review. Hehe you got me at the part about the action haha. Sounds like an engaging read!

        • I think you’d like it a lot! Its really unique, and its got a really cool story line. When the main character touches objects, she can sometimes see memories in them, rewind and watch them again. Its a pretty cool way to do paranormal memories, like a reverse fortune. If you do read it, you’ll just have to trudge through the beginning, its slow as snow boots in mud.

          • Lol, sounds slow!! Well, it’ll be worth it, if the action part is like BAM. Which is the feeling I’m getting from your review, actually, I might put it on hold now if it’s at my library/libraries lol!!!! It sounds like something I’d love to read!

          • If you do get a hold of it, let me know what you think! Im hoping the next one will be good. The first one was set during her summer break (which I thought was a little too convenient to me) but in the sequel shes back in school. It’ll be interesting!

          • YES it was in my library *excited dance*. So I’ll defs let you know when I read it! Lol, sounds a little convenient, but omg it would totally be really interesting when she’s back in school! O.O

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