The Archived by Schwab

Mackenzie Bishop is skilled in the art of lying. Her habitual deception weighs heavy on her soul but it is the lies that keep her alive. She guards a secret that few could handle and even fewer are chosen to bear.

The Archived
By Victoria Schwab
Hyperion Book
January 2013

To the outside world Mackenzie looks like any other teenager troubled by the death of her little brother. However, her struggle goes much deeper as she seeks to come to terms with her dead brother’s fate as a resident of the Archive. The Archive is a realm only known by a select few, like Mackenzie, called Keepers. When people die they become Histories-empty shells of their former selves, bodies containing only memories. Filed away like books in a library, Histories only purpose is to remain shelved until a Librarian chooses to read their memories. Histories are meant to exist in a state of rest but sometimes they wake up. As a Keeper, Mackenzie must capture and return these Histories to the Archive before they escape into the world of the living. As Mackenzie copes with her brother’s death and new home in the Archive, Histories begin waking up at an alarming rate. Mackenzie must race to uncover the truth of the Archive before the world she has sacrificed so much for collapses and the secret of the Archive becomes known to the world.

The Archived was a rare find and I count myself lucky to have been introduced to the work of Victoria Schwab. Schwab’s imaginative plot was a welcome treat and sets her apart from many other contemporary YA authors. As the story unfolds it is clear that every detail has been chosen with great care and intention. Her creative use of flashbacks throughout the novel helps develop a complex back story in a simple and engaging way. The novel builds in suspense as Mackenzie discovers more about herself, her family and the world of the Archive she thought she knew. The developing plot makes this book impossible to put down; with the end of each chapter I found myself compelled to find out more.

Upon finishing Schwab’s book I immediately preordered the upcoming sequel to The Archived. I highly recommend this book for teenagers and adults and have already loaned my copy to several friends.


Gracie is a passionate reader who believes that life is better with books. Nothing is more soulful to her than cuddling up with a good book, a cup of tea and her cat. She is a United Methodist minister who seeks to know God through both the extraordinary and the mundane. Each time she opens a book she discovers more about God, herself and the world God so beautifully created.

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