Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.
Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that 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 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 might crumble and fall.
The Archived brought out emotions in me that made me put the book aside for a minute just to take a break. This usually happened while McKenzie was in the Narrows. Most of the time the Histories were frightened and that made me feel hopeless for them and for McKenzie. Imagine waking up after you die and not knowing where you are. Imagine having to return these copies of human beings to the place they just tried to escape. I was conflicted. I knew they weren’t humans, but I still felt for them. This part of the book was dark, powerful, and it made me believe this place was real.
The thing about this book that I loved the most was that I didn’t know what to expect. There were so many things happening in The Archived that I thought I was going to get lost at some point. That never happened. Instead, Victoria Schwab gave us a beautifully written book full of suspense and secrets that you will never see coming. Also, the little bit of romance the book has left me in shock. It was like a surprise kick to the stomach. It hurt, and then it left me breathless and then it hurt a little bit more, but I won't tell you why. I really want to tell you what this is all about, but I hate spoilers!
I connected with McKenzie and the other characters so much that I wasn’t just a reader looking from the outside in, I was them. I put myself in their shoes, and I think that’s why this book made me feel a little bit emotional sometimes. The way Schwab described the Archive, the Narrows and the Coronado, which is where McKenzie moved into, was so vivid and mysterious. I could see these places in my mind. I walked the Coronado's corridors, I went to the Coronado’s roof and touched the gargoyles, and I saw the characters, and I know what they look like. Ah, this book is like a drug. I was addicted to it, and right now I’m having really bad withdrawals. Like I said the sequel needs to be in my hands ASAP because gosh, I need it really bad.