The Archived by Victoria Schwab

April 7th, 2014 Kimberly Review 104 Comments

7th Apr
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
The Archived
by Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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 is the first in her fantasy series. Archived  offered up interesting characters and the fantastic secret world of the archives. From the very first pages I found myself captivated by the author’s creative and unique tale. Mini review: magical, mysterious and engaging.

Caffeinated Aspects:

• Schwab had me from page one with her prologue and flashbacks. I connected and wanted to know more about this secret world and the Histories.

• Schwab’s world-building was impressive and I loved the realm of the Archives, and the Narrows. The secret society that cares for it all was intriguing. The world is clearly drawn from the lowest level associate to the highest and I found it all refreshingly original and breathtaking.

• Mackenzie Bishop was brought into this world by her Da. She is the youngest “Keeper” in existence and it is her job to stop the Histories from waking up and crossing the boundaries between the living and the dead. I like Mac “Mackenzie” and Schwab did a great job using flashbacks and memories to introducing us to Mac and her secret other half. I found Mac easy to relate to and loved her take no prisoners attitude. She was tough, kick-ass and yet had elements of a typical teen.

• Wesley “Wes” intrigued me. I first thought he was this player but the more Schwab revealed the more I liked him. I loved his presence from the way he dressed to his interaction with Mac.  I could see them as a possible couple or team.

• The mystery aspect, battles in the Narrows and the increase in awakening Histories was beautiful drawn together keeping in me suspense. I loved how tenacious Mac was in her search for clues.

• Schwab made me feel for the histories and the burden the Keepers, Crew and Librarian’s had.

Archived would make the coolest movie. The special effects would be fantastic!

Decaffeinated Aspects:

• Mac references her grandfather as “Da” and this confused the heck out of me because her Dad is alive. At first I wondered if only she could see him..LOL

• The beginning may be slow for some, as the world is fleshed out and at times the flashbacks weren’t seamless. Having said that, I cannot tell you how much I appreciated how fleshed out this complicated yet simplistic world was.

• As charming and unique as Wes was we didn’t get much of a back history and I am hoping we see that in the next book.

• I loved Mac least when she acted like a teenager and there were some cliché moments and some odd kissing. I will give Schwab credit for making me understand why Mac acted this way.

• Lucian, Nix, Patrick, Lisa, Agatha, Roland and other secondary characters all intrigued me, and added to the tale but I wanted more details about them.

• The flow of Archived was not consistent and at times it was dreadfully slow or too fast.

Fans of unique fantasy, paranormal elements, secret societies and kick-ass characters will enjoy Archived and the world Schwab has created. I am excited to start, Unbound the second book which is currently available. The final book has not yet been titled.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

104 Responses to “The Archived by Victoria Schwab”

  1. Dani

    This is a book I have seen a lot of and I really would like a to find a moment to read it. Thanks for the insightful review!

  2. Sharon - Obsession with Books

    I have wanted to read this book since it was released so I’m pleased to see you enjoyed it. The kindle version isn’t available here & I can’t get into paperbacks lately so I think my wait to read it may be lengthy.

    A great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is worth the read and I hope you get the eBook version there 🙂

  3. aurian

    I am intrigued, but I don’t think I will read this. I just don’t like to read about dead people, be they zombies or not.

  4. Lily B

    Still hoping I will ever get a chance to read this one. I kind of like the sound of the world. Sorry to hear the pacing was a bit off.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ya’ know Lily despite that I totally recommend Archived ..the world is fascinating.

  5. Faye

    Glad you enjoyed this one enough to give it four stars, Kim! It definitely was unique and imaginative, and I loved the idea behind the Archives. When are you going to read the next installment? 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am hoping to pick it up soon Faye. I really enjoyed it.

  6. Lindy

    I love the fact that the concept of this story is creative and unique. I enjoy stories with flashbacks, giving us glimpses in to the past. This story sounds so mysterious and suspenseful! I need to read it! Great Review Kim 🙂

  7. Franny

    Ohh… I love this!! Somehow, with the infinite “library” archive and the keeper, I can’t help thinking about Aeon Flux.
    Your review is inspiring, I hope I can get my hands on it here in UK as well!! 🙂

  8. BornBookish

    I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile but have yet to pick it up. The whole plot sounds so unique I’m excited to discover this world of the archived. It’s good to have a heads up on the slow start, now I’ll know it’s worth pushing through. Thanks for sharing!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I really had no issues with it, but I know some peeps give up and they would totally miss out on a fantastic story 🙂

  9. Katherine

    Great review! This sounds really interesting – I love the idea of people storing their stories. I’ll have to pick this one up!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Katherine..i really loved the world and all the details 🙂

  10. Celine

    I’m glad you enjoyed it so much! I’ve been wanting to read this for quite a while, actually – maybe I should get on it.

  11. Melliane

    Oh it sounds so good! I heard so many great things about this one but I confess I forgot about it… I really need to try it and well I want to discover her world and the secrets too! At least I know the slow start is nothing. Thanks!

  12. Candace

    I’ve been really curious about this and have almost picked it up more than once. It sounds really fascinating and very different. Sounds like I should probably add it to the TBR.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Candace I think you will love the world 🙂

  13. Michelle

    Love the new review setup, very…caffeinated, lol.I really enjoyed this one too, but I notice a lot of the same problems you did. I think the ‘Da’ thing tripped a lot of people up to begin with. I’m glad you enjoyed it and great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was so glad I wasn’t the only one, but overall I am excited to continue. Thanks Michelle 🙂

  14. ShootingStarsMag

    i finally have a copy of this. I hope to read it sometime soon, as it’s been on my wishlist for a long time. I’m glad you liked it overall.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Sweet, so glad you have a copy Lauren. I hope you loved the world!

  15. Michele-A Belle's Tales

    I’m loving these “caffeinated” and “decaffeinated” aspects! I’ve seen this book around, but you’ve really piqued my interest now. Perhaps one the kiddo and I can both enjoy? Thanks so much for sharing, my friend 😀

  16. brandileigh2003

    Wes sounds like one who would catch my attention as well and the mystery sounds great. I have seen a lot about this one but haven’t picked up for whatever reason.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was quite good and I am anxious to learn more about Wes

  17. Christy

    I always get the vibe this is more of a high fantasy when I see the cover, and I get turned off by it. Obviously that’s not the case though. It actually sounds pretty damn good.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      No, more urban fantasy vibe. You would like it I am sure:)

  18. Lily

    I’ve been seeing this one EVERYWHERE (i kid you not!) lately. It seems everyone suddenly has something ot say about the Archived. I’ve seen it at the book store pretty often but i haven’t gotten around to reading it yet but now i’m thinking i probably should. I liked how you managed to enjoy this one and the fantasy element! I think i’ll probably (one day) give this one a shot.
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It released in January and is quite good Lily, I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  19. Ginny

    This is the first time that I have heard of this book and its sounds fascinating. Keeping the dead on shelves and making sure violent histories don’t escape. Ummm…yes that sounds like something I would love to know more about. Thanks for mentioning the Da name thing that would have tripped me up. 🙂 I’m off to see if my library has this one.

  20. Dre

    I own this book but I haven’t done a single peek! I realize, I really am a hoarder. With all the positive points that you’ve mentioned, I’m now excited to read this. Brilliant review, Kimba!

  21. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Well, it doesn’t look like the negative aspects bothered you too much. I do think the “Da” part would bother me and I would want to know more. Still, it sounds enjoyable. I will have to check this one out!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Nope not all all, I just put it out there for peeps, I quite enjoyed this one!

  22. Braine Talk Supe

    Great review Kimberly! I love Disney-Hyperion books, usually their collection is a win for me regardless if it’s YA, MGA or what-not. I hope they turn this into a movie or series someday.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have had luck with their books as well Braine 🙂

  23. chelsea

    This review definitely makes me want to read it! I love a book that has you wanting to know more from the very first page.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Chelsea I hope you get a chance to visit the Archives.

  24. Lupdilup

    Yes! From the cover to the wonderful review, this a must add to my TBR, no audio yet(I checked right, I have to wait 🙁

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I really enjoyed it and if done right I think the audio would add to the tale!

  25. Heidi

    I have wanted to read this for a long time since I enjoyed the Near Witch. Her writing is gorgeous but I am sorry to hear that she was again has a problem with pacing. I had that issue with her other book. Still I am anxious to check this out.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You are like me and like details and solid world-building, so the pacing won’t bother you as much since you are rewarded with deets.

  26. Amanda

    I loved this book – it was so original, and I loved the idea of a “library” full of memories/histories. I’m really sad actually that there won’t be a third one. Might just leave it at the first book so I don’t break my heart.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think that is awful, and agree this was wonderful!

  27. kimberlybuggie

    Awesome review!! I really want to read this book next and I have heard some great things. I am glad you like the secondary characters. Sometimes, I don’t think they get enough love!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was unique Debbie, and I got lost in the pages 🙂

  28. Siiri

    Ooooh! Everyone loves this and I’m so intrigued by the premise. Great world building you say? Um, yes please 🙂 Great leads? Whoop! I like the sound of this more and more 😀 (It’s funny since I’ve seen more about these on booktube than on blogosphere so thanks for reviewing this, btw) Ha! I can see how Da references could be confusing. I’m sure Wes will get some backstory in book 2. I hope 😀 I can’t wait to read this book and I’m so glad you enjoyed. I hope that the final book will be picked up by the publishers since so many people are reading this now. Great review 🙂

  29. Jenea

    I read the preview of this before it came out, but I never actually got around to read the entire book. *fail* It sounds so good too. Glad that you enjoyed it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Don’t feel bad Jenea..i have a huge list of books on my wishlist and err tbr piles!

  30. Sophia

    Ewwww odd kissing? I don’t want to imagine THAT. O_O

    Although I did buy it back when it was 99 cents on Amazon; I’ve yet to get around to reading it though… o_o

    • kimbacaffeinate

      That is how I picked this up too, and I am so glad that I did 🙂

  31. Michelle

    I don’t get the Da thing either for grandfathers. lol And the pacing thing is a huge thumbs down for me, but this book still looks like something I would really enjoy.

    Great review Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think the incredible world building more then made up for the pacing, but I wanted to mention it since some folks have issues with that.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah that threw me for a loop, but I figured it out.

  32. Rita

    Hmm, I sometimes like YA fantasy and/or YA dystopian, but I’m not a huge fan of Ya/NA in general. What is the target audience? I see it’s from Disney. Is it best for kids,teens, or adults, or anyone at all? Thanks in advance. I love the cover and the idea of the plot is awesome so I’m curious.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This has broad appeal from YA to Adult, like Harry Potter. The premise and world is fascinating.

      • Rita

        Oh thank you! I am hoping someone will come out with a broad appeal fantasy series that young and old may enjoy, certainly doesn’t have to be JK Rowling. This might not be it, but it still sounds great. I love the library shelf comparison.

  33. Christa

    I LOVED this book. I thought it was so amazing and unique so I’m glad you liked it. They still haven’t signed her for a third book yet but I’m really hoping they do.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I just heard that and I am nervous. I loved the world!

  34. Ann Noser

    Sounds intriguing and I LOVE the cover. Whenever I see “Disney” on anything I expect they’ll make a movie out of it. haha

    I chuckled at bit at your phrasing of “odd kissing”. Perhaps everyone in life has had some moments of “odd kissing” they’d be happy just forgetting about in the long run. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, I think we all have experienced odd kissing. I would love to see this as a movie. Thanks Ann!

  35. Jenny

    Odd kissing? That has me really curious Kim! I want to know what was odd about it:) I like the sound of this one overall, and thanks for the heads up on the slightly slow beginning, but I’m a little concerned about Mac’s teenage moments. I know she is in fact a teenager so there should be a little leeway on my part, but sometimes cliche teenage antics drive me absolutely crazy. I’m glad to hear you’re made to understand the why of her behavior though, I think that will be a huge help:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      For me Jenny I could handle the slow beginning because I love all the details. Ha, I try to remember she is a teen, but as an adult I cannot help but roll my

    • kimbacaffeinate

      What? oh no. hmm, maybe I will hold off on book two until it all gets figured out. Thanks Christine 🙂

  36. Nick

    I’ve been debating whether I wanted to read this book or not, but your review has made the decision for me, Kim. I think I’m going to like this strange story very much so. I’ll also keep in mind the “decaffeinated” elements so I’m not too disappointed.
    Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I totally recommend it despite issues..the world is amazing.

  37. kindlemom1

    I am not always a huge fan of fantasy but it sounds like the world was done so well that I would really love this one as well.

    Fabulous review Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think you would like this Ali, since it is more urban fantasy.

  38. Mary

    I do like secret societies and I’ve heard good things about this story, even with inconsistent flow.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Well worth the read, I love the world and characters in this one Mary!

  39. Carmel

    I love a truly unique story, and it sounds like Archived has it in spades. I’m also happy to hear that it’s a trilogy, because I have commitment issues. LOL Great review Kimberly!

    • kimbacaffeinate are funny. The world building alone makes this a worthy read 🙂

  40. Sam

    It’s a shame that there were some pacing issues here, but I’m glad you enjoyed this book overall! I’m determined to finally read it this year, along with the sequel, and really look forward to it. I especially look forward to meeting this Wes I hear so much about. 🙂 Fantastic review, Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Sam this was a good and I am looking forward to the second book 🙂

  41. Jessica

    This one is definitely getting moved up on the TBR list 😉 Excellent review! This sounds like my kind of book.

  42. Aimee

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, Kim! I just adored the world building, Mac and Wesley. And here in our country, it’s pretty normal to call grandfathers “Da” and grandmothers “Ma”, so it was less confusing for me. ^_^ The beginning was pretty slow though. And the “odd kissing” just made me squirm, haha! Lovely review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love the world building and characters too. I didn’t know that about “Da”. LOL on the kissing.