The Archived (The Archived #1) // The Memories Running Around and Those Who Catch Them

the archivedAuthor: Victoria Schwab

Published: January 22nd 2013 by Hyperion

Pages: 321

Genres: young adult // supernatural > kind of ghosts


:: Forgive my lull in blog action. My laptop crashed and I had a crisis trying to get it to turn back on again so I could save files – specifically the photos from Japan. Those’re important to me! All is well, now. So back to schedule! ::

I am now officially a member of the Schwab Squad! (I’m making that a thing.) I’m so glad and this was a fantastic book to start with. And then I hear her more recent books are even better? I can’t wait.

Recommended if you like:

  • fantastic characters and growth
  • some sass
  • psychometry and “bodies” made of memories escaping their library
  • baked goods
  • guyliner
  • keys that lead to different realms that are awesome



Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures 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 may 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 writing was wonderful and I especially liked the flashback moments right in the middle of present moments. 

– The concept of death and reading memories utilized in a unique way! The idea of memories being stored in a sort of “library” and the doors that lead to the different realms and runaway memories called Histories! You got cool keys held by Keepers (and Librarians and Crew) that lead to different places for the lingering memories. The Histories escape and gotta be caught again so it can also be creepy and quite violent at times. Such fun!

Because the only way to truly record a person is not in words, not in still frames, but in bone and skin and memory.

– Even the worlds of the Archive, the Narrows, the hotel have personalities that draw you in and make it easy to envision them.

– Really well done with the mystery suspense. I was constantly trying to figure out who could be the “bad guys”… And then the twists.

– Some fantastic characters. All are (tortured) in some way. Keeping secrets, losing loved ones, witnessing dark memories just through touch… Yeah:

  • MacKenzie – she’s cool and you can actually connect to her! She doesn’t cower away from fights or fear, she keeps a level-headed mind (most of the time), and is very intelligent. It’s sad watching her struggles with not being able to share her secrets, always hiding things from he parents. Makes for tons of inconveniences, too! Not to mention her general love for those she cares about.
  • Wesley – love his sass and “guyliner”. The latter struck me as a wonderful addition because I don’t think I’ve ever come across a male love interest with eyeliner. Points! Anyway, he keeps up the optimism and cheer, thank goodness. It’d be rather more dreary without you, Wes!
  • Roland – I want to know more about him!! He’s also got his own sass and he’s just so kind and helpful toward Mac. He’s like an older brother to Mac and I just adored him. His chucks and his personality. I hope we can learn more about him and his past in the next book. The other librarians also added great personalities to this.
  • Owen – His quiet, calm demeanor drew me in to want to learn more. He’s just so mysterious! I just liked him.

‘Lying is easy. But it’s lonely.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘When you lie to everyone about everything, what’s left? What’s true?’
‘Nothing,’ I say.

– I liked so many characters, I thought, something is going to go wrong, I KNOW IT. I was so worried.

– We can feel the grief, especially the grief from Mac’s younger brother’s, Ben’s, death. I like when the writing let’s us feel it instead of telling us it’s there.

Romance was not the center of this one, folks (woo!)and it lacks chemistry now, but I’m hoping it’ll build in the next books. And it was kind of a love triangle? I felt more chemistry between Mac and one boy over the other (the other was random). Then again, maybe the lack of chemistry between her and the other is purposeful – I can see that.

– Overall = WONDERFUL!


My rating:

my rating of 4/5




Ta-ta for now, worms!


Did you read this book? What’d you think of the concept? (Careful of spoilers, though)

~Cover photo from Goodreads~

~Review also posted on Goodreads~


5 thoughts on “The Archived (The Archived #1) // The Memories Running Around and Those Who Catch Them”

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