The Archived by Victoria Schwab

4.25/5 stars

 

In the world of Victoria’s Schwab’s The Archived, the dead, called Histories, are stored like books in a world called the Archive. Mackenzie Bishop has inherited the job of Keeper, someone who returns Histories to the Archive if they’ve woken up. After the tragic loss of her younger brother, her family attempts to start a new life in a small town. As Mac continues her job as a Keeper, she discovers murders and mysteries surrounding her new home that entangle the real world and the Archive.

 

The premise is amazing. I’ve never seen something like this before and it was really fun learning about it! I just loved how original Victoria Schwab’s world is. It’s rare to find a fantasy or sci-fi world that doesn’t feel like a copycat.

I also really liked the mystery! The murders, the erased memories, the mysterious escaped History—I couldn’t wait to see what happened next because it seemed like such an unprecedented occurrence in the world. However, the mystery dragged on for a quite a bit throughout the book without any major developments. The mystery is intriguing but moves along too slowly to continue building interest; rather, I just want to find out something already. Additionally, the ending was quite rushed compared to the relatively slow pace of the rest of the book. It was climactic and packed with action + emotion but everything was resolved much too quickly and much too easily. I would’ve liked to see more of a struggle and experience the full shock of the twist for longer after such a long + slow build-up.

The Archived is told in first person narration, from Mac’s POV. The writing is quite simple, making this an easy + quick read, but there are beautiful metaphors and action words used in unique ways.

 

I liked the main character for the most part: she’s strong despite her burdens and isolation, she’s intuitive (mostly), she’s determined, and she’s pretty kick-ass.

BUT she was way too curious and rebellious for me. UGH. Has she heard curiosity killed the cat? Her curiosity leads her to break rules and the things she discovers makes her more curious. I mean I understand the mystery that she’s investigating is really important but sometimes she just ends up causing more trouble. Can she just please follow the rules and not get kicked out of the Archive (who are super strict and don’t tolerate rule-breakers)?

(Side note: Is Da supposed to be a nickname for Granddad??? LOL because for a good chunk of the book, I thought Da was Mac’s dad and Dad was her stepdad after Da died.)

 

WARNING: SPOILERS & RANTING

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Her intuition? Why didn’t her intuition warn her about Owen?

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Okay, so I didn’t see the other twist coming but come on. Fricking Owen Charles Clarke is such an obvious suspect. His very presence + demeanor in the Narrows is sketchy AF.

But noooooo she’s like oh no I want to help him and he kisses me and it feels good. Goddamnit girl, pull yourself together! Don’t give up the independence that you so eagerly defend when you talk with Wesley.

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PLUS she already has a perfectly good love interest. They even joke about being together. Ugh. Wes is so adorable and cute. Seriously, I don’t even get what her thing with Owen was. It was just so strange and I got chills every time they were intimate *shivers*

Because if you think about it… he’s not an actual person.

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After the first object and piece of the story that Mac retrieved for Owen, I knew there was going to be something important about the objects. I didn’t know what but I called that it would totally help Owen enact his evil plan. Ugh she is so stupid.

Also Owen claimed Mac is the same as him and wanted to bring her younger sibling back. She replied that she would never be that insane.

FRICKING NO. WHAT A LYING HYPOCRITE. I swear. Just no.

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First off, she wakes up Ben. She tries to guide him out of the Archive and home.

My hand reaches for his.

“Then let’s go home, Ben.”

“Come on, Ben,” I say.

“Ben, please,” I say softly. “Let’s just go home.”

I don’t know what I’m thinking. I can’t think. I look at him, and all I know is that I can’t leave him here.

It’s only until Roland intervenes that she fricking realizes the crime she has committed. Ugh I could not deal with that.

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Wes is so cute and sweet and funny and clever. He and Mac just go together. He was my ship from the very beginning.

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Why Mac gotta dilly dally with evil Owen… Wes is understanding of Mac’s burdens because he is in the same position as her. He’s a good guy and he’s helpful but doesn’t try to dominate Mac. Plus he reads to her.

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I definitely want to read the second book because I want to know what happens!!!I know the conflict is far from being resolved. Just chalk it up to my intuition. Plus I need to see Wes + Mac (Weskenzie? Macley?) become endgame.

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