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    Posted by: Ember Blue Posted date: 8:08 PM / comment : 1

    The Witch Snitch's Review Of....

    Title:  The Archived (The Archived #1)

    Author:  Victoria Schwab (Visit her website HERE)

    Teaser:  “Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.”

    Genre:  YA Fantasy/Paranormal

    Number of pages: 328 Pages

    Released: January 22nd, 2013 by Hyperion


    The dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead, called 'Histories', rest in 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 tool for staying alive.
    Being a Keeper is dangerous and a constant reminder of those she lost, Da and her little brother. Mac wonders about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. Yet someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.


    -Great premise.  It creates a whole no world beyond ours and teases the question of what happens after death.
    -It actually surprised me.  The book reads like a mystery as you find clues little by little with the protagonist.  Usually I can predict what happens, but this one actually had me give a stunned “Oh!”
    -Realistic portrayal of grief.  Although the book does not center on the grief the protagonist suffers after losing a sibling, the characters don’t get ‘insta-better’ like characters in some books do.  Nothing is really the ‘same’ after you lose something close to you.  The author provides a lot of symbolism to that.
    -Easy to read!  I got through this one quickly as I kept getting breadcrumbs of the mystery.
    -Okay, who doesn’t love a mystery surrounding around deaths in an old hotel?

    -A slight love triangle in this book, which happens to be a bit tipped over to one guy more than the other.
    -Similar YA plot format.
    -Limited glimpse into the whole world of the Archived.  I’m sure there’s more that we will see as the series continues.  I understand why the author left you wanting more, but I was still so eager!
    -I often wondered throughout the book how she gets so much past her parents….


    I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from reading for a while as real life was a bit chaotic.  Through all of it, this book remained in my mind.  The eerie, interesting description of the tale kept me looking back.  Every time I would visit Barnes and Noble my hands would run over the cover.  The book drew me in as it seemed to tease many philosophical concepts – what happens after death?  What makes us, ‘us’?  Do we really live on through our memories after death?  Is there a way to see back into past lives?  Is our mind just on a ‘shelf’?  Mystery, a library of memories, paranormal, and the whole ‘world within a world’ concept kept me intrigued.  And this was the first fiction book I read once I came back to reading.

    Reading the book is very easy, as the plot flows really well.  As the mystery unveils, the character occasionally slacks off from giving us another tidbit.  This irritated me a little bit, as I wanted more, but that’s all because we as human beings want instant gratification.  Some books give into that and then we complain that it is too instant.  There is a small range of where this is kept at balance.  This book does a good job at that, with the exception that one of the ‘romantic’ choices seems to be a bit ‘insta’.  But by the end it was something I understood.

    While I did love the story and am looking forward to the next, it is not a full five wands for me.  To get that, the story has to be purely unique and creative.  The author did create a unique underworld with the Archives, but we spent too much time on the outside of it.  Luckily, the author pairs the underworld with a hotel murder mystery on the outer.  If she hadn’t, I would have had much more to complain about.  The book does follow the very similar YA plot, so in that sense it is predictable.

    As for the characters, the protagonist, Mack, was passionate about what she was chosen to do.  While she wasn’t a super strong character that I really connected with, I did appreciate parts of her.  Her affection and loyalty to her grandfather is truly touching.  Her identity is found in what she does with the Histories and remains true to that.  I hate when there is a female character that is all gung-ho about her conviction and then goes back to her high school friends and is a social butterfly.  It just seems too common.  Mack instead kept to her own and was quiet despite having a chatty friend.  She felt like someone you could be content sitting in a room and just being quiet with.

    Her father doesn’t really trigger much for me, positive or negative.  Her mother, though, was a great representation of one way people grieve.  In fact, her obsessive ‘ignoring’ of the issue is something that I do sometimes, and it was nice to see that this didn’t let up through the book.  Things like that don’t go away easy.  

    As for the boys in the book?  I  know all of you want to know if they are swoon-worthy.  Honestly, the romance in this book was ‘meh’.  It seemed the other aspects of the book were more important.  The way she was drawn to either interest didn’t feel like ‘romance’ or ‘love’.  They felt led by other reasons – ‘loneliness’ and ‘distraction’.  Which actually as I write that, I find that sort of refreshing.  I won’t say much more, other than that I hope there is more Wesley in the next book.  I feel like I didn’t get to know his character much, but I love his uniqueness so far.

    To sum it up, the story has very similar parts to other current YA books, but the author does put a fresh twist on it.  She includes a solution for pitfalls that other authors often fall into with YA fiction.  I am excited for more and am currently waiting for my library to get it in! 


    Rating: 3.5 wands

    Recommended to:

    -Mystery/Paranormal lovers – the Histories/Archived world plus the hotel murder plot.  Great combination.

    -YA lovers who don’t mind the typical plot.

    -Those who love a creepy atmosphere.

    Not Recommended to:

    -Readers who can’t stand typical plots in YA.

    -Those that look for ‘original’ romances.

    -The story mainly takes place in the hotel in and the ‘Archives’.  So if limited scenery/settings bother you, this might not be your thing.
    Let me know what you thought!

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    1 for The Archived - By Victoria Schwab

    1. This is a great review! I love that you've given pros and cons, your own overview of the book, and some thoughts on who might or might not like this book. I think I'll give it a try! Cheers!



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