Book Review – The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived Cover 1

The Archived (The Archived #1)

Author: Victoria Schwab

Publication: January 29th, 2013

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Kindle Edition, 336 pages

Genre: Dystopian, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Read: May 2015

Victoria SchwabGoodreads

 Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
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.

Critically
Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Absolutely loved it, hooked me the entire time. It was exciting and intriguing. There were elements of mystery as well as heart-wrenching moments. It was full of twists and turns and I spent the entire time on the edge of my seat.
Writing Style – 5 out of 5 stars
Victoria’s writing style has always been hard for me to describe, all I know it that I love it. It’s hypnotic and addictive. It’s incredibly engaging while being elaborate and emotional. There’s also a mix of first and second person points of view that really allows us to get to know the main character and gives the story a very dynamic feel.
Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I’m going to be repeating myself the entire time but I don’t care. I LOVE ALL THE CHARACTERS! They’re freaking amazing all of them. Complex and entertaining and beautiful. Mac, the main character, is a legend. She’s fierce, strong and brave. But she’s also dealing with a lot, the new move, her little brother’s death and the things going on in the Archive. So part of her is vulnerable and defensive while she’s grieving but at the same time, hopeful for a positive change. I really really love her. She also meets a co-worker of her named Wes, who is as my close friend puts it “a pure cinnamon roll that needs to be protected.” He is kindhearted and witty. He’s really aware of Mac and super protective of her and it’s adorkable. There’s also the wonderfulness of his open vulnerability that contradicts her closed off attitude. Then we also have an antagonist who is frustrating as hell. He’s mysterious and crafty and insane and totally misguided. And you never see him coming.

Emotionally

This is only the second book I read from Victoria Schwab and I can say with certainty that she’s one of my favorite authors ever.

The plot kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. First of all, the Archive is an intricate place. There’s a lot of sections and rules to it and there are so many things we learn about it that it could’ve gotten overwhelming except for the fact that those tidbits are released little by little. It keeps the mystery of the place alive while still keeping the reader hooked and interested to know more. We always have this sense that we don’t know the whole truth and that’s true for the entire book. We meet a lot of new characters in this place and you never know who to trust. It seems like there’s someone out to get Mac, kill her or get her fired who knows, but they want her to fail. So the entire time the plot is developing and you’re trying to find out who this is and you have no freaking idea until it’s revealed to you and then it’s like WHAT?!

There’s a lot of things going on at the same time which makes it so exciting and then you get the mother of all plot twists. My jaw dropped. I did not see it coming. If this was a normal review, I would tell you exactly what that is. But since this is one of my favorite books ever and I want you to read it, I’m not gonna tell you. NA NA NA NA NA NA.

Mac, our main character, is fucking badass. She’s strong and tough, working hard on the job she inherited from her Da, not only because she loves it but because he honored her with it. But she is still vulnerable. She’s not over her brother’s death and she feels like a lot of the grieving she wanted to do because of her parents and the move. It’s heart breaking to see her try to remember and collect as many things from her little brother as she can so she doesn’t feel like she’s losing him. Yet she still does her very best at her job and does her best to make sure her parents are okay and that they don’t worry about her.

Wes is bae. He’s the first other Keeper that Mac ever meets and in the beginning she’s kind of standoffish towards him but her desire to talk about her secret life wins her over and she seeks him out. He is the perfect balance to her. He’s kind and funny and protective of her. He gently pushes her to trust him when she doesn’t want her, pushes her to open up to him and it’s a constant push that never lets up but doesn’t seem to bother him at all. He is just what she needs.

The supporting characters are just as amazing in this series. Roland, who is a Librarian, is Mac’s confidant, her supporter and her friend. He’s there for her as much as he can be and always has her best interests at heart. Something quick that I want to mention to wrap this up which I feel is something really unique and outstanding in this series is Mac’s flashbacks with her Da, who is her grandfather and the person who taught her about the Archive. It really gives us great insight about Mac and how her personality developed and also insight on the Archive and how you get in which I would totally do if I could.

So that’s it for this review! I hope you all enjoyed it and let me know if you’ve read it and what you thought about the book and my review. See you on my next post!

XOXO

Sara

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5 thoughts on “Book Review – The Archived by Victoria Schwab

  1. If this was a normal review, I would tell you exactly what that is. But since this is one of my favorite books ever and I want you to read it, I’m not gonna tell you. NA NA NA NA NA NA.

    How could you! But honestly though I think after this glowing review I’ll definitely be picking this up. I don’t think it’s published in Aus… I’ve never seen it around before and my library doesn’t have it (I’ve searched and searched for anything of Schwab that I can borrow, haha). Great review, Sara! The book sounds amazing and I love the idea of the Archive. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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