The Archived – Victoria Schwab

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This book captured my eye on goodreads and as soon as I read the blurb I wanted to read it. Initially it was part of my book haul but as soon as it arrived I got captured in the first chapter.

It follows the life of Mackenzie, a teenage girl who has inherited the abilities of a keeper from her grandfather. The Archive holds histories like books which are the memories and lives of dead people. Therefore Mackenzie’s job is to patrols the narrows, an area between the Archive and the world, in search for any people who have woken up from the dead.

This book is exciting, fast paced and unique with a world that leaves you questioning the possibilities of what lies ahead after death. The plot was believable and had me looking at doors in a different way the whole time I was reading it.

The plot explores not only this world where the dead are categorised by their sleeping patterns but also delves into the emotional effects of death. The reader can sympathise with Mackenzie’s loss of a loved one, juxtaposed with the mysterious deaths of past tenants in the hotel where she lives. There is also an exploration into family relationships and friendships and the importance of keeping her abilities hidden whilst maintaining strong and trustworthy bonds.

I especially enjoyed the array of characters the book had to offer, from the Librarians in the Archive to the quirky characteristics of the keepers. It was interesting to see this world parallel to the stereotypical parents and neighbours in the hotel. I loved Mackenzie’s strong and caring personality, I always enjoy reading about a strong female character but who is realistic and not domineering and overconfident.

This book has everything a reader could want from a dystopian aspect to relationships and suspense. I really enjoyed reading it and am excited to read the next book in the series, The Unbound. At the start of The Archived, there is a lot of information to grasp but as soon as you start, it’s hard to stop. Over on goodreads I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars, mostly for its individuality and balanced, believable plot. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to read something a bit different with the same exciting and page-turning pace any reader expects from a good book.

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