December 11, 2012

ARC Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
Publisher: Disney/Hyperion
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Source: ARC from YA Book Exchange (Thanks Nicole!)

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.

First Thoughts: 
     I had been looking forward to reading The Archived ever since I saw preview in the back of The Near Witch. The idea of a place where the dead rest on shelves like books? How could that not be a great premise? I really enjoyed The Near Witch, so I was super excited when I was able to trade for an ARC of The Archived through the YA Book Exchange.

And Then:
      I truly loved this book. The plot was unique and well thought out. When reading, I didn't feel like I had read the same type of story in another book (which has been happening quite a bit lately). It was well and truly one of a kind.
      I love when an author's world building really gives me a clear picture, as if I am watching a movie in my head. Victoria Schwab really achieved that for me in this book. The plot was fast paced and thrilling. There were many creepy twists and turns that I did not see coming. (I love when that happens.) The writing was lyrical and had such a nice flow to it. The main character Mackenzie was tough and brave, but also had a sentimental side. She was very likable and I enjoyed going on this journey with her. The romance was sweet, and not a huge part of the novel. Still, I felt that the way it was incorporated worked really well with the plot and pacing.
     There are a few things in the book that I felt could have been explained a little more. For example, I would have liked a little more detail about how the "histories" could actually wake up and walk around. I mean, they are dead right? If they are only the person's memories, how do they have bodies? Maybe there was something more that I missed, but logically speaking, I didn't quite get some of the more technical aspects of how it all works. 
     Besides that, this was a beautiful story filled with heartbreak, love, and loss. The author really made me think about truth and lies, past and present, and how easily they can blur together. I especially loved the parts where Mac was remembering the time she spent with her Da (grandfather). It is written in flashbacks, and the relationship it revealed between the two characters added something very special to the story. 

     I really enjoyed The Archived. I would recommend it to anyone who likes their paranormal to have some depth to it. It really leaves you with something to think about in regards to life/death, love/loss, truth/lies. This was another winner for me by Victoria Schwab. I will be eagerly anticipating her next novel. 

Rating: 4½ out of 5 stars

Pre-order it today!

(All earnings from my affiliate links go toward giveaway prizes at Jessabella Reads)


  1. It\s not rally clear to me from your review what genre this book is. Mystery/paranormal/YA? I'd like a short blurb too.

    1. I'm sorry, I always include it with my reviews, but I was writing this quite late last night, and I forgot! It has been updated with genre and the blurb. Thank you for pointing that out to me : )

  2. Christina K.December 11, 2012

    LOVE Victoria Schwab's The Near Witch so I'm so happy this one is awesome too:)

    Lovely review:)

  3. Wow, sounds like an absolutely great read. I loved her last book and thanks to your short but precise review, I have added this to my TBR.

  4. I've been looking forward to reading this! Great review, can't wait even more now :)

  5. Sounds amazing. So lucky you already read this! Great review!

  6. I love it when a book actually lives up to expectations! I have heard people being really excited and anticipating this book for a long time so I am glad it was good!!

  7. It's good to find a book with a unique story. I agree that most books seem similar. Thanks for this review. I'm hoping to get a copy of this. Happy holidays!

  8. This was an interesting review for a book I hadn't heard of before. Thanks for featuring it.

  9. This one looks great! The premise is so different, but I was worried to read it in case it fell short of my expectations. Now that I see you like it, though, I'm definitely going to move it up my list! :)

  10. Sounds fantastic! thanks for the great review!

  11. Thanks for the review. Now i'm more excited to read it! :)

  12. Oooh this looks great, I still have to read Near Witch and The Archived sounds so amazing.

  13. I love this cover - so mysterious! I agree with you and love the unique idea of this story! I'm glad to read from your comments that it was so good and you liked it! I am always looking for original stories and if they leave you thinking even after you close the book, even better!

  14. OMG, you totally made me wanna read this book! *_*
    I can't wait for it!

  15. Can't wait to read it! And I love the cover, too! :)

  16. This books sounds so good! And I really like the cover! I'm really looking forward to reading this one! The idea for this story is so interesting! Thanks for the review!

  17. Thanks for your thoughts! I'm glad to hear you liked this book. Sounds great!

  18. Great review! I've been wanting to read this book ever since I've seen it around on the blogs. It does sound really good. I'm glad its different and original. I love when you read a book and its so detailed. Thank you for saying that about the book. That to me is what makes stories even better. Awesome review!! Thank you!!

  19. I've seen this book around, and I don't mean to sound so shallow, but the book cover doesn't really appeal to me. However, your review makes the book sound so good so I'll give it a try. (:

  20. I was a little worried that this book would end up being a disappointment. It was not, in any sense of the word, a disappointment. It was beautifully written, the characters were well drawn out and relate-able. The story itself was very unique and captivating. Truly a great read, and I am looking forward to the next installment. Thank you for your great review!

  21. Great review Hummmmm this book looks and sound very intriguing I love when a book is unique have to check this out soon! thanks for sharing!


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