The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Huge thanks to SocialBookCo for sending me this book! If you’re interested in purchasing this book, SocialBookCo can help you find the best price. Use this link to purchase: http://www.socialbookco.com/book/9781423171089/the-archived?rid=180
WARNING: This review does contain spoilers, but I will give a heads up before I start discussing the spoilers. The first part of this review is spoiler-free!
Summary: 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.
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.
This book is absolutely incredible and unlike anything I have ever read before. The concept of the world that Victoria Schwab creates is so amazing. She manages to create this world with impeccable imagery that makes the setting crystal clear for the eyes of the reader. I had no problems with understanding exactly how the world in this book works. There are no big overwhelming dumps of information all at once either. Victoria Schwab eases the reader into the story and Mac’s world without any confusion, only excitement.
Not only was I very excited to learn more about the world that Victoria created, but I was also excited when I realized that this story was going to have so much more to it than I originally thought. There is a suspenseful and astounding mystery that weaves it’s way into Mackenzie’s story. It helps move the plot along in a fantastic way, but it doesn’t feel like an unnecessary addition. The mystery aspect of this story only makes the story that much more intense and fun to read.
This whole story was beautifully written, but then again, what else do you expect from a Victoria Schwab book? Victoria Schwab’s writing is like a drug and I literally cannot get enough of it. The way she describes Mac’s real world and her world as a Keeper is amazing.
I am very eager to get my hands on the sequel so that I can learn even more about the extraordinary world that Victoria created. Now that I have read the first book I know the basics of the Archive world, so that makes it easier to dive even deeper into the history behind it all.
There were also many remarkable characters in this story that I’d like to discuss briefly.
Mackenzie, the main character, is a very intriguing perspective to read from, and I thoroughly enjoyed solving this mystery right along with her. Mac is a very strong character, and I deeply admire her for many decisions she made throughout the story. However, there were decisions that Mackenzie made that I did not approve of, but that’s what makes her a realistic character. It is sad at times to read about everything that Mac has to deal with, but all of these important events of her past have shaped her into an astonishing main character.
Wesley, another one of the main characters, was definitely one of my favorites in this book. He has such a fun personality, and it makes me want to meet him in person. He is just the type of person that I would love to have as a friend. The funny thing is that at first I didn’t think I liked him, but very quickly I realized that I had been captivated by his personality in the same way that Mac was. For example, one thing I found really funny that he says is:
“Hey,” he says, knocking his shoe playfully against mine. “It’s the same for me, you know? This is all new to me. And I’m not going anywhere. It takes at least three assassination attempts to scare me off. And even then, if there are baked goods involved, I might come back.”
There are many other characters in this story that also add fun aspects to the story. I haven’t read a book like this in a while that had such a great cast of characters. Usually in a book I find myself only focusing on the main character’s story and no one else’s, but in this book I was longing to know more about all the characters, even the side characters that are only mentioned a few times.
Overall, you can see that this book is fantastic, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a fantasy that is not like anything else they’ve ever read, because nothing can compare to the mind-boggling stories that Victoria Schwab creates.
Now I will start discussing a few of my opinions on certain events that take place in the book. If you have not read the book, you will be spoiled.
I was really happy when Wes turned out to be a Keeper, too. I would love to see him and Mac become Crew in the next book.
The scene where Mackenzie sees Ben was so sad. I feel really sorry for her for having to go through that. I hope some of the things with Ben resolve themselves in the next book.
I really did like Owen in this book, and I wanted him to have a friendship with Mac. I did not like the romance between them at all. So, I was actually happy when he turned out to be bad.
As you can probably tell, I am really excited to get my hands on the sequel and learn more about this incredible world.