book review

The Archived by Victoria Schwab || Book Review

Victoria SchwabTitle: The Archived

            ( The Archived #1 )

Author: Victoria Schwab

Published: 7. January 2014.

Edition: Disney-Hyperion

                 Paperback, 352 pages

Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult | Horror


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.

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 hardwon redemption.

Goodreads | Bookdepository | Amazon

◄ 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ►

Before I actually start this review, there are a few things I would like to say:

  • This is a reread for me. The first time I read this book was in March of 2014 (or so goodreads tells me) and I had NO IDEA that I read it that long ago.
  • Why was I rereading it? I wanted to reread it before I read the sequel, as I haven’t picked that one up until recently (for whatever reason that was). And I just wanted to have the story fresh in my mind, so that I get more out of reading the sequel.
  • Yes, I plan on reviewing The Unbound as well, once I actually read it. (Just wanted to mention that as well.)
  • Also this is the first book that I read by Victoria Schwab and it’s the one that got me into her writing. It also made me want to read ALL of her books!

Now that that is out of the way, lets get into the review!


The world that Victoria Schwab has created is simply wonderful and very unique! A library where the DEAD are stored instead of books is a concept I have never encountered before. And I ADORED it! I think the uniqueness of it is what drew me to this book in the first place.

I love the whole system of the Archive and the people who work within or for it. The dead, called Histories, can escape into these dark hallways called Narrows (it’s all quiet creepy, if you ask me) and that is when the Keepers come into play, it’s their job to bring these Histories back. That are the basics about this world (of course, it’s a lot more complicated than that).


Mackenzie Bishop is our main character. And Mac is a Keeper, meaning it’s her job to take care of the Histories that manage to escape. Which is amazing, but also quiet frightening. (Trust me, I wouldn’t be comfortable in going through those dark corridors on my own.) I really really liked Mac. She is a very strong character and I LOVED reading about her. She did make some very stupid decisions (in my opinion that is) – that were kind of understandable but also not. She is flawed and I loved that even more! I also love the way she developed and grew throughout the book, she was just an amazing character.

My personal favourite character was Wes. He is a guy who Mac meets when she moves to the new place with her parents and they start hanging out together from time to time. He is simply amazing and I loved EVERY scene that he was in. Though honestly I wish there was more of him (simply because I adored him, and let’s be honest there would never be enough of him for me). I love his personality and his style and everything about him. (Can you see a pattern here?) I just don’t know how to write about him without fangirling…sooo I’ll leave it at this. I do hope that there will be more of him in the sequel (fingers crossed)!

Then there is Owen, who mac meets in the Narrows (those creepy dark corridors that I keep mentioning). He is very mysterious and someone I wanted to know more about immediately when he was introduced. I can’t say that I liked him much, from the beginning he wasn’t my favourite – but he was very interesting and I wanted to read more about him as well.

The side characters were quiet interesting as well, from Mac’s parents to her best friend, to the people who work in the Archive (or for it, however you want to call it), to the people who lived in the new places Mac moved to – I was interested in all of them (okay…NEARLY all of them to be fair). And that doesn’t happen often with me.


This story was full of twists and turns. I did not see most of them coming! And I loved being surprised at every corner and some of the revelations were simply crazy. I also enjoyed where the story went and how everything progressed. It was frustrating from time to time not knowing what was happening (as Mac didn’t have the information either), but in the best way possible. It just made it impossible to put the book down.

I found the way Victoria Schwab portrayed grief over losing someone very realistic. Mac’s little brother died some time before they moved, and I found the way it affected Mac and her parents very believable. They all dealt with it in different ways and I just felt for all of them.

Have I fangirled enough about this book ? Most definitely YES. So lets wrap it up!


The Archived was simply amazing. I loved EVERYTHING about it, from the world to the characters to the actual story. This is a wonderful book and I would HIGHLY recommend it! And I can’t wait to read the sequel – I just want to see where the story will go and what more I’ll learn about this world.

Have you read this book? Did you love it as much as I did? Or not? Do let me know!

Thank you everyone for reading my review. I hope you have a wonderful day!



13 thoughts on “The Archived by Victoria Schwab || Book Review

  1. This is a great review Anna, and you’ve definitely made me want to pick up my copy of The Archived and start reading it again. I can’t actually remember when i read this book for the first time bit definitely a while bac becase I can’t rmemeber a lot of the finer details. Still it’s definitely an amazing book, I’m glad it survived the re-read as well you get books that aren’t as good the second time around, and for me it was the book that introduced me to V.E. Schwab and her writing too.
    The world was amazing, I loved the concept of this story and the development both it and the characters went through throughout. The second book is just as good, I can’t wait to see your review for that one! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ❤ Hahaha, I'm glad that my review made you want to reread it as well. I'm really glad that I enjoyed it this time around as well! That's my biggest concern when rereading something – not loving the book as much as the first time around. Luckily I loved this book now as well! 🙂
      I'm glad to hear that the second one is just as good! I can't wait to read it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right! ❤ Oh well this book has been on my re-read list for a while but your review made me want to pick it up right this second and get started. I hope I love it just as much the second time around! 😀
        I hope you really enjoy the second, I'll be looking forwards to seeing your review for that one as well! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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