The Archived by Victoria SchwabThe Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived

byVictoria Schwab

Hardcover | January 22, 2013

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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.

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. Advance praise forTHE ARCHIVED: "This gripping supernatural thriller features nuanced characters navigating a complex moral universe."Kirkus Reviews
Victoria Schwab( is the author ofThe Near Witch-whichKirkuspraised for its "shivery horror tang"-as well as several upcoming novels. Victoria suffers from a wicked case of wanderlust, but when she's not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, she can usually be found tucked in the corner of a cof...
Title:The ArchivedFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.75 × 6 × 1.25 inPublished:January 22, 2013Publisher:Disney-HyperionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1423157311

ISBN - 13:9781423157311

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Surprised I really like the idea of this book - the synopsis is was really attracted me to this book. However, it was definitely confusing for a good part of it. It's been two days since I've finished reading it, and I think I understand the system, but I also feel like I don't. I also found the villain to be VERY predictable - saw it coming as soon as they made an appearance, which became frustrating that the MC didn't suspect anything (but I guess that's also the point of these stories sometimes).
Date published: 2019-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this series! I just love this book and this series! The book by itself is already good, I wish the series would just go on forever!
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this I basically love anything written by Victoria and this was no exception. Unique concept and I adored it.
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Average An average YA read for me. The world Victoria Schwab created had the potential to be exceptional if she had just put a bit more detail into it all. The characters all fell a bit flat for me and because of that I didn't really care about anything that happened to them. I recommend reading her adult books, A Darker Shade of Magic and Vicious, which are much more intriguing.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Creative storytelling I am a huge fan of Victoria Schwab's fantasy novels. The Archived is a wonderful story of grief, the after life, and learning to trust. I could relate to the main character, and I enjoyed the story despite it being a YA fantasy novel. The elements to this story (the archive, the keys, the librarians) all built into a unique world.
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED This book was AMAZING! It was so mysterious, and eerie, and beautifully written! It had great characters and a very interesting and unique story. The author painted the pictures so well, I could see everything as she described it, as if I was walking through the narrows, or sitting in front of Ben's drawer myself. As if I was creeping my way through the hallways of the Coronado, trying to solve a murder myself. This story was brilliant and gave me goosebumps on more than one occasion! Great read!
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderfully Weird I wasn't sure what to expect when I went into this story and I was pleasantly surprised! It might have taken a little while to get into the meatiness of the plot but I became heavily immersed after that. The world is original and incredibly inventive. You became invested in the characters and feel like you genuinely know them. Mac is an (understandably) troubled character who can take care of herself (aka badass) and actually thinks before she acts. Wesley gives light and humour to the story. He wears guyliner and likes muffins but beyond that, he truly cares about Mac and doesn't try to change her or make decisions for her. These two characters balance each other out really well. If you aren't too into romance, don't worry because it doesn't take over the story and while there is cute flirting, their friendship is what's most important. Overall, I'm glad I picked this book up. Definitely worth checking out.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Very interesting concept. Well worth the read.
Date published: 2016-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from creepy and romantic I absolutely loved that this book kept me on my toes and guessing about what was going to happen next. Victoria Schwab created a descriptive and "visually" appealing landscape where i felt like i was fully able to understand and picture everything that was happening. it was romance, it was creepy, it was suspenseful, it was mystery, it was just a great duology and i'm sad there wasn't more, even my husband was in suspense as i read him some passages.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A kick-butt paranormal romance mystery Mackenzie isn't your average teenage girl, she's a Keeper. Her job is to keep the Histories from the Outer and returning them back The Archived. When her family moves to an old hotel where she knows a murder takes place, she starts to unravel the corruption that is deeply ingrained in the Archived. Who can she trust? Who is the mysterious new boy? Is he a friend or foe? Will she find out who is responsible for the Histories getting out? Slow start to the whole story-line since we're getting used to what this whole world entailed. I tell you I had to wrap my mind around some of the concepts, but after it was explained several times on repeat successions, I eventually understood what everything meant. It's a clever concept using keys and doors, but it wasn't the first I've heard of. I couldn't stop comparing Mac to Suze from Meg Cabot's Mediator series which she basically does the same thing, kicking their butts and sending them home. Though without the snarkiness that is. The similarities don't end there though because the love triangle also seemed eerily similar. One guy being the charming more experienced Keeper, while the other was a History. Even though it was similar, I still enjoyed it. Victoria writes well and her pacing, setting and characters all worked well. I like how she introduces the concepts, but I did feel the info dumps to be repetitive. Also the second point narrative irked me to no end. I didn't like the way it was used, but I guess I'm just being picky. A kick-butt paranormal romance mystery and journey into Victoria's Archived world and I'm betting you'll be picking up the next book like I did.
Date published: 2015-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After Victoria's debut The Near Witch was a book so enchanting that I told myself I had to read anything she wrote afterwards. And luckily for me, The Archived is a book that appeals to my literary taste. Victoria incorporates mystery, slight morbid curiousity, determined young woman, and an appreciation for the past in her newest release. Reasons to Read: 1. Writing style that perfectly sets the mood: I praised Victoria's writing in The Near Witch for its whimsical yet eerie style that accurately reflected the unearthly setting. Victoria utilizes this talent of hers and applies it to The Archived - Mac's voice is distinctively Southern and strikingly mature in some ways and young in others. Her familiarity with The Archives is notable, particularly when contrasted with her frustration at home with her family. The reader doesn't just read Mac's words, but feels them and experiences them as much as a reader can. 2. A ghost story...without ghosts? The Archived makes the comment a few times that Histories are not ghosts and explains the differences between the two. So while it may not be a story about ghosts per se, it has the distinct flavour of a ghost story and all the good things that come with one. It's very creepy at some points, and fairly dark. 3. Reflections on living & the past: Mac spends a significant portion of the book pondering the meaning of life and death and what it all means to the dead and those they leave behind. And this is where I can best describe this book as making me feel terribly homesick! I am personally petrified by the thought of losing those I love dearly, and this is one of the key themes of the book and one of life's most personal struggles. We will all experience it in one way or another, and as Mac tries to make sense of her grief, all it made me want to do was give my grandparents and sister and everyone the BIGGEST hug and hold them close. It's just so raw and painful - very, very real.  It took me a little while to adapt to the world though, and the reader is very much launched into it with little warning. Mac gradually explains bits and pieces of her world and involvement as a Keeper, and while that works well for staying away from any info-dumping or lengthy explanations,  it also makes for a rather confusing beginning to a book.  I was a bit split on my impression of the villain as well. For the most part I thought it was clever and surprising, but about half of it seemed thrown it without much background or any hints. It was ultimately less fulfilling than I had anticipated.  A good book will resonate with its reader, and make you think and most importantly, FEEL. I can't stress how well The Archived accomplished that with my experience reading it. It delivered as a breath of fresh air in YA, and I can't wait to read the rest of the series as well as Victoria's other upcoming books.  ARC received from Hachette Book Group Canada for review; no other compensation was received. 
Date published: 2014-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unlike anything I've read before! Wow where do I even begin with this book??? AH I can honestly say there was not one thing that I didn't love about this book. The entire premise was something so new and original and utterly unlike anything I had ever read before. This book had been sitting on my shelf for months now and I am so glad that I finally read it!  While the book does start off a bit slow things really begin to take off about a third (maybe half) of the way through and let me tell ya, you will not be able to put this book down! I think my favourite parts of the story was definitely the central mystery that Mackenzie was trying to solve. It just kept me on my toes never knowing what was going to happen next. I also LOVED all of the interactions between Wesley and Mac. These two characters just compliment each other so perfectly and every single one of their conversations was so easy and fun to read. All in all, everything about this book, from both the lead and secondary characters, the plot, and most definitely the world building were so fabulously constructed! I can't think of anything that would merit me docking this book a star. All I can say is GO READ THIS!! You will most definitely not regret it!
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderfully creepy and emotional 4.5 stars There’s just something about Victoria Schwab’s writing. The Near Witch was one of my favourite books of 2012, and from the moment I finished reading it I practically counted the days until I could get my hands on something else of Ms Schwab’s. Her writing is so beautiful and fluid it seems to flow effortlessly, ensuring the reader is completely captivated and unable to stop reading. The Archived has one of the most fascinating concepts I’ve ever come across. The idea of the dead resting on shelves, and there being this whole secret world of people who tend to them, is intriguing, creepy, haunting, and yet oddly mesmerizing. Ms Schwab has a knack for writing characters that leap off the page and take up permanent residence in your mind (and heart). Over a year later, I still find myself thinking of Lexi and Cole from The Near Witch, and I’m certain that a year from now I’ll still be thinking of Mac and Wesley from The Archived. But not just them - Da, Roland, Ben, Owen, and all the other characters in this book, all of whom felt like an integral part of the story, no matter how big or small their role was. I connected with Mac immediately, feeling her pain and her desire to have her brother back and to make her family whole again. She wasn’t perfect - she made mistakes, she had flaws, her judgment was questionable at times - but that made me love her even more. She didn’t make excuses for who she was or what she did, and when you think about all she had seen and experienced and done at such a young age, it was a miracle she wasn’t completely broken. Then there was Wesley…oh Wesley, with his eyeliner and tall hair and scars and lies and crooked smile. Just thinking about him makes me smile. I loved the interactions between Mac and Wes - they often brought just the right amount of levity to an otherwise darkly intense story. As for the plot itself…I actually don’t want to go into too much detail because I feel it needs to be experienced rather than read about. I’ll say this: the mystery was so tightly woven that it kept me guessing and had me on the edge of my seat, with my fingers flipping the pages almost faster than my eyes could read. To say this book is a must-read would be downplaying its awesomeness. Simply put, if you haven’t already read The Archived (and The Near Witch), you’re missing out on an incredible book that deserves a spot on everyone’s shelves.
Date published: 2013-02-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing Pros Victoria created this visual experience for us readers. It was powerful, enticing, and free. The character seemed to speak to you with this air of grace and power, soft and hard. And I can say that my mind went on a magical journey throughout the whole novel. The only other book that made me experienced this "visualization" was The Night Circus. While reading the book, it felt like I was thrown into a world that was like ours but twisted, ancient, silly, and teasing. But just like The Night Circus, the plot barely develops. But, (and yes, a second but), this makes the book different. It wasn't like normal YA, it was more, something deeper. Victoria was able to capture a middle grade feel from the start and transition to YA as the character grew. It really had the best of all worlds. I mean, I am a huge fan of MG plots, but YA/Adult level of sophisticated writings, so when Victoria merged the boundaries, I died in heaven. It was as if you plot me in my fantasy world of Lemony Snicket and brought back memories of adventure. This book was funny, let me explain. This book seemed like balance, on one side it is plot/action, on the other is visualization. In the first half and so the visualization is fabulous, but the action lacked. And as the later half approached, action increased but visualization dropped. The atmosphere around this book was something indescribably. It almost seemed like a mist had en-caged you and you, as the reader, are having visions, visions that are vivid and fierce. The words Victoria weaved seemed to swirl around me and turn into scenery. The Narrows, The Archived, and everything else were dreamlike. I cannot describe it and I will not because I am not up to the quality of Victoria, but I really hope when you read this book, you can feel the joy I got reading it. I can totally see a "Coraline" type of animation coming out of this book! But also an Inception like movie! Cons Like The Night Circus, it had almost too much "visualization" and not enough plot advancements (or at least not good ones). The book seemed to dragged on forever and when things happened it seemed to leap. It was choppy, unprofessional and honestly boring. The characters were boring to read, typical and just not relatable. But at first I liked Kenzie and Wes and even Da (even though I was confused for a long time about him). But as the story went on I just couldn't care about them. It really was a pain to read on. But really, I just think this book was waaaayyy too slow for me. The first half was just setting up and I am sorry, I am not patient. So basically this book had me in this bad mood for the first half so anything that was somewhat exciting was somewhat bland. I literally had to force myself to finish. So if you are the type of people who only reads about 100 pages of a book and decide to continue or not, you might have some issue with this book. Oh, one of the pros lead itself to the cons. You know the MG/YA thing I praised above, it became a pain in the butt. Half of book to me seemed like MG (the first half), and set my brain to this mode of "oh, this is a MG book". So when Victoria switched on the YA part, my brain didn't register and it was just weird for me to read it. But of course, this is just my opinion, and I am weird. So yes, I think Victoria killed a great concept. I mean that prologue was one of the best prologue I had EVER read! I am soooo disappointed! I might just cry myself to sle-. Okay maybe not.
Date published: 2013-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Isn't that a beautiful cover? The story is just as beautiful! I've been waiting to read the Archived forever, and it was truly amazing. It was very unique, and I really haven't read anything like it. The story starts off with Mac moving away to a new hotel/apartment with her family. Mac's family is still torn up over her brother’s death. That part was so sad to read about, because I have a little brother and I totally understood all of Mac's emotions, it was heartbreaking. Their move to this new apartment is a attempt at a new life. It can't be entirely new, because Mac is a keeper for the Archived and she has responsibilities. Reading about her life as a keeper, all the rules, the histories, and the whole world was so fascinating. The world was written so well, and I kept wanting to learn more about it. Another part I really enjoyed was Mac's flashbacks of her grandfather Da. Mac had such a connection with him, and I loved to read about everything he taught her. As a character I loved Mac, even though I didn't agree with some decisions, I really enjoyed reading about her. I totally understood why she did what she did, and she was a character full of flaws, which made her real. My favorite character was Wesley, he was hilarious, and reading about him was my favorite. I hope in book two we get to see more of a romantic relationship with Mac, and Wes. Then another central character is Owen who's a history which, you'll have to read to figure out. Another character I totally loved and admired was Roland, he was super cute. The Archived is thrilling, mysterious, and heartbreaking. I am waiting in anticipation for book two.
Date published: 2013-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A truly original and engaging read This was a hard review to write. Why? Because it is impossible to do The Archived justice. Victoria Schwab has delivered a truly unique and inspired story. An intriguing mystery, a wealth of metaphysical questions and a heroine that gets under your skin and into your heart. The current state of the YA market (and the book industry in general) is that we see a lot of the same books. A trend catches on and then a million books are published that are in a similar vein to the first few trendsetters. I don’t need to give examples here, you all know what I’m talking about. But The Archived is a book with no parallel. I couldn’t even put my finger on a genre for it. This, above all other things, has cemented this book in my memory, and gained Victoria Schwab an adoring fan forever. When I first started The Archived I have to admit I had some issues. I felt as though I had been thrown right into the middle of a story and struggled to figure out all the details. There was a lot of information you were expected to piece together for yourself. But once I got oriented the pages started flying by. I don’t think I can say it enough, The Archived is an incredibly unique and thrilling read. I have never read a book quite like this one. A library of the dead. Keepers who patrol an in between world called the Narrows. Renegade spirits, scared, lost and sometimes violent. And at the heart of it all an intense and intricately woven mystery that will keep you guessing right until the final scene. I love trying to guess what the big twist will be at the end of a book and this one caught me completely off guard. I had no idea it was coming and I definitely had an “WHA?!” moment when I found out. Beyond the action and the mystery however, there was an emotional element to this novel that just poured off these pages. Mac has lost her brother and her grandfather. Two people who mean the world to her. Her grief is very real and very forward in this story. Just like real life these feelings are at the forefront of all she does and thinks about. My heart ached along with her, when she talked about the people she had lost and how alone would feel. Victoria Schwab captured these emotions is a way that was both honest and heart wrenching. And I can’t finish this review with mentioning Wes. Loved, loved, loved Wesley. He was funky and honest and a genuinely good friend. He wasn’t too good to be true, he wasn’t a cliche, he was just an enjoyable character. He was the type of guy I would want to be friends with. Though I really liked him, we didn’t actually learn that much about him so I have my fingers crossed for even more Wesley in I hope we get to learn even more about him and his background in book 2. Recommendation: A book for mystery, paranormal, fantasy, contemporary….This is a book with cross genre appeal for sure so let’s just say The Archived is for those who enjoy a well crafted, intriguing story with brilliant characters. Highly recommended. This and other reviews at More Than Just Magic (
Date published: 2013-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great original fantasy! I really wasn't sure what to expect going into The Archived. I didn't read any reviews about it or anything, I just read the synopsis and it sounded like a unique fantasy novel and it has been awhile since I've read a fantasy. Well, unique it is, in a good way. Victoria Schwab writes in a way that makes it very easy to imagine the Archive and the Narrows. She does an amazing job creating the world so that you'll immerse yourself in it and lose track of the time, much like being in the Narrows and Archive for Mac. Mackenzie, or Mac as she is frequently referred to, is our main protagonist. She is a Keeper, she has to return the Histories to the Archive when they wake up so they can be put back to sleep. Histories are the dead and sometimes they can be quite violent when she finds them. Mac has been trained from a young age for this job, she was thrust into it before she was supposed to be, much younger than any of the other Keepers. Sometimes she wishes she was a normal teenage girl who didn't have to lie and keep secrets from those she loves. But that's her job. She can't go blabbing about the afterlife to anyone, they can't know. Then she meets Wesley (a character I immensely liked). He's got a goth-like look and a totally different attitude. Best of all, he's a Keeper also. Mac can finally talk to someone about it. But she still keeps secrets from him as well. Like the mysterious History in the Narrows who isn't slipping (falling into confusion and becoming violent) No, for some reason he's not on her list either, so she gives him some time, after saving her life it's the least she can do. I really enjoyed Mac's character and felt bad for her. She has to lie all the time, her little brother died and she is slowly forgetting certain things about him. She has no one to talk to about it all and her parents are pretending it never happened. She's a character that is basically alone and I just wished there was something I could do for her, like even just give her a hug. I guess I just felt really bad for her. She was a very misunderstood character by many of the other characters it seemed. The Archived is a great fantasy with a bit of mystery in it. Some thing is happening in the Archive, Histories are waking up in massive numbers. Others are missing chapters, those surrounding their deaths. Even stranger, some Histories are even missing. Someone within the Archive is behind it all, but I didn't really guess it all until the end. One romance I didn't really get, another that I rooted for. I will definitely be reading more by Victoria Schwab though, and will be recommending this to any fans of fantasy. It really is a great read! *A copy was provided by the publisher for review*
Date published: 2013-01-16

Editorial Reviews

3Q 4P J The Archived takes a look at what happens to the spirits of those who have died and where they reside once they have left the living world. The Archives contain the stories and memories of those people, as well as their bodies, and are managed by Librarians, Keepers, and Crew, who each have their own job within the Archives. Sixteen-year-old Mackenzie Bishop, who is a Keeper, was introduced to the world of the Archives by her now-deceased grandfather, Da, at the age of twelve. Mackenzie's family is struggling with the death of both her younger brother, Ben, killed by a hit-and-run driver, and her grandfather. After moving into an older apartment building with her parents, Mackenzie hunts down those spirits who have "slipped," or awoken, becoming confused and sometimes violent. Armed with a key that opens doors to get the Histories back into their rightful resting places, she is provided names of spirits that must be caught in order to keep the Archives at peace. After meeting a fellow Keeper, Wesley, within the apartment building, they encounter Histories that have direct ties with the apartment that she and her family live in, and whose stories are being altered by someone, threatening to destroy the entire Archives. Mackenzie sets out to right what is disrupted, only to discover twists and turns of "what seems to be" along the way.-Beth H. Green-VOYA