The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Source: Purchased

From Goodreads

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 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.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab was a refreshing novel filled with creepy twists and turns. We get to follow Mackenzie as her family pack up and move to a renovated hotel after the death of her younger brother. Schwab is able to describe the dynamics of a family struggling to move on one person down. There is no sugar coating.
Schwab answers one of the most common questions of humanity. Where do we go when we die? Well. She half way answers it. Our “Histories” are shelved in the library of the Archived. Sometimes they get out into the Narrows, the world between the Outer and the Archived. Mackenzie has to do whatever it takes to return the Histories back to their slumbers before they escape the Narrows, once they do it’s out of her hands and into the hands of the Crew.

I love that there were several different stories intertwining throughout the book. We have Mackenzie’s home life and how she deals with her parents. How they are all dealing, or not dealing, with Ben’s death. There are also flashback/memories of Mackenzie talking with her grandfather, Da. Those give us a lot of background information and I loved how Schwab included those scenes into the book. There is a mysterious murder in Mackenzie’s new apartment. The more she tries to solve the murder and find out what happened the more she discovers that someone is trying to stop her from learning the truth. Add Wesley, a guy liner wearing boy she meets in her new home, and a sudden overflow of escaped Histories and The Archived in a splendid story that will never leave you bored.

It will leave you guessing however. There are about as many twists and turns in this novel as there are hallways through the Narrows. You have to be careful where your allegiance stands because one minute you will think everything is going fine and the next you will be doing Taylor Swift’s famous ‘O’ face. (At least that was what I looked like)

So overall The Archived was a fantastic book with gorgesous writing only Victoria Schwab can pull off. I cannot wait for the second one! In the meantime if anyone hasn’t read The Near Witch then hop to it!