Published: January 22 2013
Number of pages: 321
Publisher: Disnet Hyperion
Genre: fantasy, mystery, paranormal, romance
Rating: 3/5 owl hoots
Each body has a story to tell, a life that only Librarians can read. The Dead are called Histories, and the vast realm they rest in is called the Archive.
Da first taught Mackenzie Bishop when she was 12 years old, and now that Da is dead, Mac is determined to prove herself as the new Keeper tasked with hunting violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves. Being a Keeper is dangerous as it’s a constant reminder of how much Mac has lost. With Da gone and her little brother dead, Mac begins to wonder about the boundary between the living and the dead. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed but someone is waking them, altering Histories, and deliberately erasing chapters. It’s up to Mac to piece together the mystery before the Archive crumbles and falls apart.
Victoria Schwab has never failed to let me down! After proclaiming my love for this author and her Darker Shade of Magic series, I have been on a winning streak to read her earlier works.
Once again Victoria has left me dumbfounded with her brilliant imagination as I dive into this fascinating world where a person’s life is seen in pictures that only Librarians are allowed to see, and the dead are shelved into the Archive were they rest in peace and are locked away from living eyes. This world called the Archive is a little more complex than I expected as there are dimensions which are layered on top of each other and the only way to access these places is with a door and a key; a special key that only Mac, the Keeper has access to. Each of these places is explained fluidly as we visit Mac’s memories from how she became a Keeper as her mentor, Da, trained her. In the first half a lot of world building takes place as we’re introduced into Mac’s second life which involves hunting down Histories and preventing them from escaping. It’s a difficult and violent job and despite her young age, Mac has proved herself capable of handling the responsibilities without anyone’s assistance (as she frequently points out to her superiors). She’s independent, clever, and reacts quickly when handling even the most hostile Histories.
The romance was settle which I liked as it didn’t overshadow the plot, although I found it amusing of how Mac’s love interest is a mysterious Goth boy who wears too much black and wears guyliner. Meet Wesley, a boy around the same age and understands what Mac is going through as he shares another life like hers. Watching these two together in action as they struggle to fight against the most violent Histories were the best action packed scenes in the story! These two were meant for each other that it pissed me off when Mac pushes Wes away for having trust issues.
I was so absorbed into the world of the Archive that I kept my eyes on the pages to learn more about its secrets and history. I feel that there is more to the Archive than what Mac has seen and I cannot wait to see more of this strange place which I find so thrilling. Expect a long slow pace from the beginning to make room for the world building, but the long wait is worth it since the ending was a thrill ride when the war within the Archive begins! I’ve already ordered The Unbound so I cannot wait to follow this series. I should also mention that Victoria Schwab is planning out a third book for next year too; I can’t wait for the title and cover reveal! However, if you’re thinking of ordering the hardcover of The Archived, I should warn you that on Twitter, Victoria commented that the hardcovers will be out of print, so be sure to grab your copy NOW! The book is still available in paperback and ebook format.