Review ~ The Archived

Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre : YA Urban Fantasy
Page Length : 328 pages
Publication Date : January 22nd 2013
Publisher : Hyperion
Source : Bought

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.

When I first heard about The Archived, I was greatly intrigued by the premise, the story line, and of course the fact that it was written by Victoria Schwab, who by now has become my favourite author. I was expecting a lot when I went into the book, and I am happy to admit that it didn't disappoint me in anyway.

The Archive is like a library - only it is for dead souls, not books. These dead souls are called histories - and they are preserved so that their memories will live on even after they're dead. But sometimes, some histories get disturbed, and they escape from the Archive and enter the Narrows, a corridor which separates the the dead and the living, and it's a Keeper's job to get these histories back to where they belong. Mackenzie, our heroine is a Keeper, and The Archived is her story, where she explores the minute difference between truth and lies, the dead and the living and most of all, what should be remembered and what's best left forgotten.

One aspect you can always expect in Victoria's books is a beautiful writing style which just flows through, that you'll most probably finish her books in one sitting no matter how intense her plot or subject matter is. The same was delivered in The Archived, and I was able to just fly through the pages easily, with Victoria's alluring yet effortless writing.

Plus she also makes it easy for you to envision the world building, and I could easily paint a picture of the archive, the narrows, etc. in my mind, and it was beautiful how she manages to do that all, along with describing the world building perfectly without info dumping. I am just in awe with her writing after reading The Archived.

I really liked the characters in the book. There was Mackenzie, our heroine, who was a cool headed and sensible girl who made her own decisions and I really loved her! I also really liked the fact that she made mistakes, because come one, she can be a kick ass Keeper, but she's still a 16 year old, and it wouldn't be realistic if she did not.

Wesley - the love interest. I loved this guy! He was hot in a super-cool-and-laid-back way and was super charming and a wonderful companion. He was confident, but not arrogant, rather he helped Mac with her endeavors and was a welome distraction amidst all the serious stuff that was going on in Mac's life.

P.S - Wes wears guyliner! I know it's a hit or miss for some people, but after what it does for Captain Hook, I can never blame a guy for wearing it!:)

See what I meant? *swoons*

I also liked the supporting characters. Roland - the cool yet strict authoritative figure, Da - Mackenzie's no nonsense grandfather, Mac's parents, who - for the first time in YA - wasn't conveniently absent, but asked questions which Mac has to think of answers to. And the villain. Well, without spoiling, all I can say is that the villain is the kind of person who plays with your mind, which makes you suspect everyone. And I really loved that aspect in this book!

There wasn't much romance in the book tbh. What Mac and Wes had was more of a solid friendship than a romantic relationship, but at the same time, it gave a chance for them to develop their bond before they even go to the next level. They do have some tension existing between them, and I am really hoping for more romance in the second book, because I can see that these two has the potential to be a great ship!

I'd recommend The Archived to all urban fantasy fans, and those who appreciate a fantasy with a stable world building, wonderful writing style and lots of suspense. And also, if you haven't tried out any of  Victoria Schwab's books, remedy that soon, because her books are awesome and deserve all the love!

Mishma is a 16 year old teenager from Sri Lanka who's always loved books and talking about them. She often comes off as a loud, outgoing, funny, hyperactive and happy go lucky girl! Her addictions include books, Twitter and Buzzfeed and she has an unapologetic love for classic old movies with uncensored violence and villains with a vulnerable side.

You can find her at her own blogTwitterInstagram. She loves making friends, so stop by to say a hi!


  1. I didn't read some of the review because of spoilers and just because I want to go into this book not knowing anything. I just want ur thoughts. Wow, what an awesome review. I've had this book on my shelf for over 5 months and feel bad that I haven't picked it up yet since I loved A Darker Shade of Magic so much! I will definitely be reading it soon bec of this review I just hope I"m not too late!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  2. I LOVE Victoria Schwab and I love library, I also love guyliner, does this mean this is the book for me?! I'm actually a bit glad the book is light on romance, I've been such a grinch about it haha.

    Aentee of Read at Midnight

  3. Wonderful review, Mishma!!!!! I have always heard about this book, but never really knew what it was about. This book sounds absolutely fantastic, and will have to pick up a copy as soon as possible :D

  4. Great review! Sadly, I started to read this book a while back and only made it 10% into it. But I have heard so many good things about Victoria Schwab that I feel like I need to give it another try. Thanks for sharing your opinion!

    Sofia @ Bookish Wanderess

  5. This has been on my wishlist FOREVER, I want to read it so bad and your review has me wanting to read it even more now! Wonderful review! :)

  6. Victoria Schwab is one of my favourite writers a well! I've only read Vicious, though, which if you haven't read, I deeply recommend. I think it's great the romance didn't take too much space and gosh, I trust you when you say the writing is beautiful. Great review!

    Vane at Books With Chemistry

  7. Wonderful review!!!!! I have owned this book for so long now and still haven't got to it. You have me convinced that I need to get to this book as soon as I can.

  8. I love the sounds of this from the summary and your review but I'm not a big fan of urban fantasy. I've also never been pulled in by Victoria's books. That's probably because I've never read the summaries lol. I know of her A Darker Shade Of Magic but I'm not too interested in the concept. However, The Archived sounds way more intriguing. I'm glad there's a potential romance. I'll be sure to add this to my TBR :)

    ~Karina @ A Reader Under The Sea

  9. Yay, so glad you liked this one! The Archived was my first (and still only, I need to change that!) Schwab book and I also thought the writing was just so great, it really pulls you into the story. Bonus points for that OUAT Hook gif ;D

  10. Ahahaha I laughed so much about the Guyliner! I do watch Once Upon a Time, and yes Hook <3 I will have to say that I want to read this one badly! It is on my TBR and I am definitely looking forward to it. I am on a romance high at the moment, so it's a shame about there not being that much romance in it but I go weak for beautiful writing and worldbuilding, which this book promises as well! And that cover ^.^


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