Posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived by Victoria Schwab




RATING: 2.5/5 stars

Series: The Archived #1 | Published: January 29th 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Pages: 336 | Format: E-book
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Status: read from July 30 to August 2, 2017
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First sentence: “The narrows remind me of August nights in the South.”

I've been putting off writing a review for The Archive since I finished it about a month ago. Mostly because I don't know what to say about this book. I cannot seem to gather my thoughts. One thing I can tell you though, is that I did not like it very much. None of the books by Victoria/V.E. Schwab that I've read so far have impressed me nor have they swept me off my feet, which is the case for a lot of readers apparently. I liked Vicious by her, I even gave it 5 stars (2 years ago), but I feel like that rating is a little wrong today. But back to The Archived.

I was very intrigued by the idea behind the story, with a library of dead people, and I thought the story had very much potential. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations or come near its full potential. My expectations weren't that high either... In the end, I think everything comes down to Victoria Schwab's writing style. If only I could realize that her books aren't for me. (To be fair though, I think I realize that now).



• The idea is very imaginative and unique and I found some parts of the story taking place in the Narrows (a place between the library and the real world) to be quite interesting.
• When ever Mackenzie touches something she can see its history which is pretty cool. I liked when she touched her bedroom floor because that led her into an exciting track in the story. (The most entertaining track in the whole book to be honest).
• The friendship between Mackenzie and that punk guy.


• Flashbacks (connected to present time) could be found throughout the story and I didn't enjoy those at all.
• The characters aren't very memorable and, to me, not very likeable. I didn't feel for anyone of them.
• The worldbuilding. I had a hard time imagining the world and other things like Mackenzie reaching for a memory in her mind. It was just weird to me.
• The ending, probably. I cannot even remember it. At all.
• The romance was confusing. I couldn't tell who Mackenzie liked of the two "love interests". Why was there even romance in the book in the first place? It didn't fit whatsoever.

What is it about?

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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 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.

Have you read this book? What did you think? :)

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