Author: Victoria Schwab
Release date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Reading level: YA
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 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 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 hardwon redemption.
Victoria Schwab is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. The Near Witch was one of my favorite books of 2011 and it really impressed me. I was pretty sure her sophomore novel couldn’t be better than that one but boy was I wrong. The Archived is one of the best books I have read in 2012 and one of my all-time favorites.
The Archived is one of the most unique books I have ever read. The concept is fabulous and the execution is perfect! I wasn’t quite sure where the story was going to go in the beginning but I honestly didn’t care because it was just so interesting. However, once the story really picked up and things started to come together, I was fascinated. I won’t try and tell you exactly how things work in the Archive because the book does a way better job of explaining it. Just know that it’s an awesome concept and it’s kind of spooky.
That’s another thing about The Archived that I didn’t expect but I should have given the spookiness of The Near Witch. The Archived takes place in two locations: the Coronado, an old hotel turned apartment building, and the Narrows/Archive. Both places are pretty much equally creepy. The Coronado is a building full of secrets. A series of strange deaths happened shortly after the place became apartments and somehow these murders tie in with strange things happening in the Narrows and the Archive. While it’s not a horror story by any means, I was sufficiently creeped out yet equally intrigued.
Mackenzie is one stubborn, strong-willed, hard-headed girl. She did not want to accept help from anyone and she wanted to do everything her own way. She was a little closed off with people but she did grow out of that a little bit throughout the book. She was lonely and she just wanted someone who could relate to her. She found that someone in the very unlikely form of Wesley Ayers. (By the way, Wesley Ayers is my new fictional crush and none of you can have him!) Wesley is the comic relief in this book. He’s the complete opposite of Mac. He’s free-spirited, friendly, and a little goofy. He’s pretty much the definition of a nice guy. I have no complaints regarding Wesley’s character! As for the rest of the characters, it was hard to judge them. The Librarians were very aloof and mysterious, Mackenzie’s parents were heartbroken and lost, and the Histories were kind of creepy yet kind of sad. I look forward to learning more about everyone in the next book.
As for the writing itself, if you’ve read The Near Witch you know what to expect from Victoria Schwab. Her writing is beautiful and creepy and mysterious and just freaking fantastic. Victoria Schwab is one of those authors who could write a phone book and have people fall in love with it. I really can’t put into words how much I love her writing. =)
Overall, The Archived is a stunning sophomore novel from Victoria Schwab. It’s a creeptastic story full of mystery and secrets and I can’t recommend it enough!
Looking for more reviews of The Archived by Victoria Schwab?
The Paper Reader's review
Dark Faerie Tales' review
The YA Sisterhood's review
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The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab