Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Review: The Archived by Victoria SchwabThe Archived by Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on January 22nd 2013
Pages: 321
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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.


The first time I read The Archived, it wasn’t love at first sight. I wanted to like it because the author was so excited about releasing it into the world, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I did love it the second time, so rereading has its perks sometimes. As much as I was fascinated with the plot, I found the book a bit confusing in the first couple of chapters. However, I grew to love the spookiness that The Archived had to offer.

I liked Mackenzie. For a girl she’s tough and she has to be tough because it is her job to track down Histories and put them back where they belong. Sometimes the Histories goes without a fight, but they do get violent from time to time. It’s a dangerous job, but Mackenzie proves that she is capable of it until she moves into the Conorado after her Da’s (her grandfather) and Ben’s death, even though she does make reckless decisions sometimes. Now the Archive is an endless library where the Histories are shelved (the only rule in this library is not to read the Histories because there are consequences if you do) and Mackenzie’s role as  a Keeper is constantly being questioned throughout the novel because she was inducted at an early age. However, despite much protest from the other librarians I loved how Roland supports her through it all. Like Mackenzie, Roland is probably one of my favorite librarians (probably because of the red chucks). While we don’t know a lot about Roland,  I likeed how he believes in Mackenzie and pairs her with Wesley when he knows that she needs help.

Now, we come to my favorite part of the book – Wesley Ayers. Oh Wes, you make the perfect book boyfriend. The romance in the novel was not entirely overwhelming. We get bits of ‘oh just get together already’ moments between Wesley and Mackenzie. Sometimes slow burning romance frustrates me to the point that I want to throw the book out the window, but I did like the build up between Mackenzie and Wes. Then, there is Owen who I didn’t really trust. He makes Mackenzie believe that she’s normal, even though the irony doesn’t escape me that Owen is not normal. I’m a Wes fangirl so it was hard to see Mackenzie being wooed by someone who wasn’t Wes. But, when they finally do kiss – Wesley and Mackenzie – it’s not as romantic as it turns out to be; however, I approve of it. Just when you think they’re going to get together angsty ensues. Yes, the shipper in me is crying when she figures out Wesley’s intention.

Mackenzie was kind of hard to connect with at times, but I liked her tough bitter girl character. She doesn’t let anything get in her way, not even Wesley Ayers – another Keeper – who has a more easygoing attitude than she does. But, tragic events shapes people and the death of her Da – grandfather – and Ben proves that.

Overall The Archived was unique and engaging. It made me anxious to see if Mackenzie and Wesley do hook up in the end, but otherwise I love the ending and the characters and I’m totally absolutely excited to read The Unbound.

About Victoria Schwab

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.


Author: Jackie

0 Replies to “Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab”

  1. Lovely review Jackie, I will be picking up this book soon because the mention of the archives and stuff is really fascinating to me. I’ve heard Victoria is an amazing author as well and look forward to reading her stuff.

    1. Thanks Jeann. 🙂 She is and I’d totally recommend reading all her books when you get the chance to.

  2. I just bought this book and I’m looking forward to reading it! I find the first line of the synopsis to be very haunting and I know so many people love this book. Can’t wait to read it! Great review! 🙂

    1. It was very haunting. I got chills in some parts of the novel, but it wasn’t too bad. I hope you enjoy the book. Thank you! 🙂

  3. I’m sort of reading this one right now! Meaning, I have a copy that I keep at work and just read it when I’m there lol. But I’m really enjoying it so far! I can’t wait to get to this fantastic sounding book boyfriend! Glad it earned such a high rating from you the second time around!

    1. I hope you don’t get too distracted by the book at work. lol Yes, Wes was very swoony and one of those nice guys that makes you want to cheer him on. 🙂 I’m very glad that it did too.

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series!!

    The world is so unique and well-described, and the characters are very deep and real. Love the mystery too!!

    Lovely review 🙂

    1. I hope there would be a third book, especially how things ended in the second book. The mystery was the best part of the novel. Thank you! 🙂

  5. Great review! I must admit that I was a bit sceptical about this series but I think I would like to give it a chance:-)

    1. Thank you! Definitely go for it. 🙂

  6. Ohh. Great review. You make me feel like I should deliberately bump it up on my tbr and neglect my arcs for a little longer. Lol.

    1. You should read it as soon as your done with your arcs. 😀 I think I liked this series just as much as I did Vicious.

      1. Haha, alright then. I think I should start writing my current TBR down because it’s gonna get out of hand. Ooo, and I did like Vicious. So that’s a reassuring sign of things to come. 😀

        1. lol I hope the book will be a top priority on the list. 😉 I ended up reading Vicious because of you actually.

          1. Lol. Really?? I guess I’ll have to put a couple extra stars next to it to make sure it stays right up top on the list.

  7. Awesome review! I still haven’t read this but it is definitely on my tbr list

    1. Thank you! I hope you get the chance to read it soon.

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