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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic new YA read, for all ages.
I was lucky enough to get a `sneak peek' eGalley of The Archived. I knew nothing of Schwabs writing before, and didn't know what to expect. I guessed it may be aimed at a younger age group than me, but i figured I'd give it a go.

I was really impressed, I was right, its probably aimed at 12-16's rather than the typical YA genre, but I don't think that stops...
Published on 21 Jan. 2013 by g

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Lukewarm
Many thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for my review copy, this is in exchange for an honest review.

The synopsis to this sounded so good, I mean how cool is the idea of having the dead rest on shelves like library books.

But I have to say overall I found this one to be a bit of a deadpan, it stayed the same level all through the book. I was...
Published 21 months ago by J Juckes


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic new YA read, for all ages., 21 Jan. 2013
By 
g (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Archived (Hardcover)
I was lucky enough to get a `sneak peek' eGalley of The Archived. I knew nothing of Schwabs writing before, and didn't know what to expect. I guessed it may be aimed at a younger age group than me, but i figured I'd give it a go.

I was really impressed, I was right, its probably aimed at 12-16's rather than the typical YA genre, but I don't think that stops the older reader picking it up and becoming engrossed. The story is simple, its written from the perspective of Mackenzie (a girl Mackenzie) who's a keeper. A keeper of histories. Histories are us when we die - a download of our memories (its explained much better in the book) and occasionally these Histories escape, and its the Keeper job to take them back. The reader (and Mackenzie) don't know what happens when they go back, but I'm presuming its something we learn later in the book - where do they go? How do they escape? Why do they escape? I'm sure there's a lot more than we see in the sneak peek.

The best part of the book is the way that Schwab writes about loss and death, she doesn't sugar coat it, she doesn't pretend its all flowers and fairies, she writes about it in a way that we can all relate to. Mackenzie talks (in narrative form) to her lost Da and some of the memories are heartbreaking, and tender. The reader can feel the relationship between the two, you can feel her loss, but its a different loss to that of her younger brother. HE was lost recently, and he's the one HIstory she can't see, her mum isn't dealing with it, her dads a shadow of his former self so its down to Mackenzie to sort it out for herself.

A fantastic, original take on ghosts, death and what lies beyond that bright light, a book to be proud of and one to be recommended to all (no matter what their age).

Thanks to NetGalley for supplying a 'sneak peek' egalley in exchange for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Well Crafted Tale of Action, Romance, and Horror in a Richly Imagined World, 9 April 2015
This review is from: Archived, The (Paperback)
Here's a list of ingredients for a top notch middle grade/YA read. Since it also describes this book it's a nice list to be able to set out. You need a strong heroine with common sense, guts, a few endearing flaws and a bit of attitude. If you're going to have a supernatural or afterlife theme it has to have some weight to it and some sort of consistent logic to what's going on. If the other world has a physical dimension it helps if it is deeply imagined and described in a way that places the reader in a very specific and complete setting. Romance is fine if it feels authentic, and not just gushy, swoony, hot guy stuff. Angst and family drama is also fine, maybe even necessary, but you don't want to drift into "oh for heaven's sake get a grip!" territory.

Well, this book scores across the board on all of these elements. I was especially taken by the world of the Archives, with the Library, the Narrows, the rules that applied to the doors, the rules that applied to the Keepers, and how all of that played into the plot and its resolution. This book is founded on very high end world building that would be strong enough to carry the tale even if the book were weak on other elements. But it isn't weak - the heroine is engaging and feisty, but also vulnerable and honest. The drama of loss and grief is there, and you can focus on it or just go with it as a sideline to the action, so that readers of all persuasions and sensibilities will find things to like.

The writing, the actual prose and composition, is of a high order. Again, a good premise can often carry a reader over a bumpy style, but that isn't an issue here because the quality of the writing is itself an added bonus and additional appeal of the book.

So, horror, action, romance, world building, an interesting view of the afterlife, suspense, and engaging characters. What a nice find.

Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Archived by Victoria Schwab, 4 April 2013
By 
This review is from: The Archived (Hardcover)
There's been so much hype surrounding this one! I had been dying to read it ever since it was released, because it felt like every single blogger was talking about it. People still are talking about it, and it's been two months! So because of all that hype, I was excited, and my expectations for this were through the roof. I can honestly say that I did enjoy this book, but it wasn't as great as everyone had led me to believe.

The main draw of the book for me was the interesting world that Schwab has created here. I loved the idea of the Outer, the Narrows, the Archive, and everything else that came with it. It was dark, intriguing, and intense. I can't wait to learn more about it in the sequel, because there are so many secrets and lies and things. I'm sure the world is going to expand even more!

I really liked Mac, the main character, and her struggles. She was still trying to deal with losing her younger brother, and I loved that this was a main theme throughout the book. I hope it comes into play in the sequel as well. I think a lo of YA tends to skip over the theme of family, and how important it is to teenagers, so when I found out that the loss of a loved one was a big deal in this, I was thrilled.

Wesley is the love interest, and he's all right. There was some build up there before they became more romantically involved, which was nice, but I can't say that I adored them together. I think I like them more as friends, since they had a more platonic chemistry in my opinion.

I adored Roland, who is one of the Librarians. He has the potential to become a kind of stand-in for Mac's grandfather, and I hope the relationship between he and Mac continues to grow throughout the series. Mac could really use someone like Roland to help her, especially as she can't tell her parents about her role as a Keeper.

The twist at the end was interesting, and I definitely didn't see it coming! The hints were really well placed, and I loved that the reader - and Mac - was sent on a bit of a treasure hunt. You'll understand when you read it.

Overall The Archived was a really interesting book, but I wouldn't say it's anything outstanding. I am very excited for the sequel, though!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 29 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Archived, The (Paperback)
It definitely took me a while to get into this book. I felt it was a little too slow at the beginning and it was only about two thirds of the way did I really start to enjoy myself (and resulting in giving this book a high four stars!!)

I felt the beginning was very heavy on context, going over past history and getting to grips with the new surroundings that Mackenzie moved to. There was some scenes of action however I was too caught up in confusion to have any say in those scenes.

BUT having collected my bearing around about two thirds of the way in, maybe a bit less than that, I was SO ready for everything! Everything suddenly felt like it had picked up speed and I was gripped. Blown away. Torn and twisted until the very end where seeing the acknowledge page through the final end page was too much for me to bear!

Things I liked:

- The WHOLE idea. The dead are stored in a library where you can look back into their history? Um, yeah!
- The interesting narration that we got when Mackenzie was retelling parts of the past with her and Da. I've never read anything that used the word 'you' and I think that it really stood out as something more personal, as if Mac was speaking to the reader directly.
- I LOVED Mac's parents. I loved the way Shwab did the interaction between Mac and her parents. They were embarrassing but funny and nothing tops that!!
- The climax, the realization, the mystery revealed boggled my mind! I feel like I should of known, which is why it makes everything that much more impressive because I let it slip!

What slipped a little:
- In the narration itself, I found there were some cases of inconsistency. I think there were some cases where the Mac's excuse for her disappearances didn't follow through completely. There were times where I thought that she was disappearing so much that it would be slightly odd to not bring it up in any conversation with her parents. Are they not worried? Do they not notice her silence or tiredness or anything about her other than her love life? (But I admit, I do love their obsession over the love thing)

What I want more of:
- The different characters that live inside the Corondo. We got a gist of the old folk who live there, but I want more about them. Mac in an essence 'used' them and I would like to see them feature as more rounded characters. There were a lot of characters to boggle around in this book, I commend Schwab's effort, but I want more in the next book. More about the more minor characters! They are as intriguing as the main characters!
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4.0 out of 5 stars My Kyrosmagica Review of Victoria Schwab's The Archived, 1 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Archived, The (Paperback)
Well before I even start my review I would like to say that I just loved the cover art, and the title too! In Victoria Schwab’s The Archive the library isn’t just a place to store books, no it is so much more than this, it is a mysterious place where people’s dead loved ones are archived away like precious memories. More and more of them are waking up, and it is Mac’s job as a Keeper to make sure that they return to the Archive. As you can imagine this is no easy task, but Mac has been trained well by her grandfather Da who has every faith in her.

This is the second Victoria Schwab novel that I have read, my first being Vicious, so I had high hopes. Like I said, The Archive is a truly fascinating concept and I think Schawb really pulled it off well. I think every single person would do what they could to keep the memory of their loves ones who have passed away alive. Mac is just so relatable, and so human, of course she can’t bear the thought of her dead brother being locked away in a drawer. But is her brother really her brother anymore? Or is he something else entirely?

In the Archived we have a world in which the Histories, the Librarians, The Archive, The Returns, and the Outer exist alongside a family still coming to terms with the sudden death of Mac’s brother. We sense the personal and individual responses to grief in Mac’s relationship with her mother and her father. Along the way Mac meets Owen and Wesley, (super cute guy-liner guy), and these three characters drive the plot forward. Mac’s father seems to do his best to encourage Mac to spend time with Wesley. Not the way most fathers behave! I found this quite touching and cute.

To begin with I have to admit that I struggled with some of the details of the novel. I found Da a bit confusing, I started off thinking he was Mac’s father but realised that he was in fact her grandfather. I also thought that Mac sounded more like a boy than a girl. BUT, and this is a big BUT. Victoria Schwab knows how to write, she writes amazing characters that draw you into the story and her dialogue is just spot on. I am so jealous of her dialogue! I really enjoyed the second half of the novel, very mysterious and exciting, with a great plot twist, and Mac is just so fearless in solving the mystery. A big high five for Mac!

So overall my advice would be to read The Archived, not to shelve it, go on read it! Most definitely. I will definitely be picking up the second in the series, The Unbound.

Highly recommended for readers of YA fantasy, paranormal, romance, mystery….
My full review is at http://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/my-kyrosmagica-review-of-the-archived-victoria-schwab/
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4.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, 25 July 2014
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This review is from: Archived, The (Paperback)
This story has such a fresh and unique idea spurring it on, that it's hard not to become fascinated with the world Victoria Schwab has created. From the labyrinth Narrows; desolate corridors lined with portals, where the dead escape; to the Archive, which hosts the Histories, shelving them like books. And then the Histories themselves; ghosts of what people once were, confused and endlessly dangerous.

It's a world brimming with detail and originality, that I found myself unduly fascinated with. Victoria Schwab did a fantastic job of describing this eerie other world and contrasting it with Mac's everyday life; her family VS the librarians, her home VS the archive. It was light and dark, good and evil, black and white and grey.

Mac was a fantastic leading character, perfectly able to coax escaped Histories back to the Archive, either through manipulation or general bad-assery. She was witty, intuitive and committed to making Da proud by doing the best she could as a Keeper.

The flashbacks depicting her relationship with Da were my favourite and really showed the tender and close bond they had. It was beautiful to read about and not only did it give us essential glimpses into Mac's training, but also glimpses into who she was and how she became who she is.

It's sad to follow Mac's story in a way, because death seems to surround her not only in her job, but in her personal life. Da died and then her younger brother did too. She feels alone, which is understandable, and throws herself into her Keeper duties, neglecting real life for the lives of the dead. I rooted for her throughout as she struggled to balance her identities and come to terms with the horrors of her past (and her present).

I won't go into detail about the other characters, because my feelings toward them may spoil some aspects of the book, but I will say this: they were all well-developed with interesting backgrounds and distinct personalities, and they really helped bring the story to life.

With such a varied cast, it was hard to gauge who could be trusted and know who the good guys were, which I thought was a great aspect. It kept me on my toes, that's for sure!

There were a lot of mysteries and twists that kept me guessing and made sure I never got bored. This book (and it's sequel, which I rushed to read) were filled with non-stop action, amazing character growth and extraordinary world-building. There was a great mix of the everyday and the paranormal and I loved how Schwab combined our world with one shadowed in the supernatural. It was a fantastic contrast and a joy to read!

Favourite quote: "The only way to truly record a person is not in words, not in still frames, but in bone and skin and memory.”

Overall rating: 4/5 little birdies

For this and more reviews made of awesome, visit Little Birdie Books: www.littlebirdiebooks.uk
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!, 14 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The Archived (Hardcover)
This was one of those few books I knew I’d love from the cover and blurb alone. Libraries? Dead people shelved like books? I had a feeling this was going to be right up my alley, and happily, I was right!

The premise for the books is the idea that we are made up of our experiences and memories, and that these survive our deaths in the form of Histories, stored in a vast library known as the Archive. Mackenzie is a Keeper, meaning that it’s her responsibility to find escaped Histories and return them to their rightful place. After the loss of her little brother, her parents move to an old hotel, a place with a history someone wants to cover up. Mackenzie is forced to reassess everything she thinks she knows as she learns that something is wrong in the Archived, and it’s somehow tied in to her new home’s sinister history.

This book drew me in from the first page and refused to let me go. I loved Mackenzie, who is a fantastically relatable protagonist – both tough, ruthless keeper and lost teenage girl desperate to cling to the memory of her little brother. The Archived explores an array of themes surrounding loss and memory, life and death, through its unique concept of the Histories. They’re like ghosts, in a way. I wouldn’t call this a horror story, but the idea of a hotel with a hidden history and the shadow of a murder in the bedroom send a delightful shiver down the spine.

I’ve read so many books and seen so many films which have a great concept and poor execution. Thankfully, The Archived isn’t one of them. The gripping story and lyrical writing more than match the concept, which is no easy task! I’m usually a fast reader, but this is one of those books you want to slow down and savour because of the beauty of the writing. At the same time, the plot held me hooked until the end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Archived by Victoria Schwab, 27 Dec. 2013
This review is from: The Archived (Hardcover)
Ok, so I'm going to put my hands up and say that when I first started reading this I really didn't think I was going to enjoy it. The first few chapters weren't very interesting and I could feel myself getting slightly bored. But then I was suddenly completely hooked! I honestly don't know what changed my mind about this book so quickly, but I'm so glad that I started to enjoy it because this was such a fantastic book!

The Archived follows our main character Mackenzie Bishop who is a Keeper. A Keeper is someone who works for the Archive - which is a place where Histories are stored. Histories are a record of a persons life that is stores within their bodies. Sometimes a History wakes up and escapes. The History becomes agitated and violent and it's a Keepers job to return the History. Mac became a Keeper when Da died and she's the youngest keeper they've ever had (she started at 12). Mac has to lie to her family about where she goes because they're not allowed to find out about the Archive. Mac's family is dealing with the loss of her brother Ben and they've been constantly moving ever since his death. Mac and her family move into an old hotel and Mac is the head Keeper of the hotel. She soon discovers that there's something major going on in the Archive. Someone is deliberately waking and altering Histories and Mac is also trying to discover what happened to the girl who was killed in her new home. Mac must try to figure out what's going on or it could be the end for the Archive.

I absolutely adored Mac. She was putting on a brave face for her mother and her father but she still isn't over Ben's death. Her mother and her father may be trying to forget it, but Mac can't. Mac is actually a lot stronger than she comes across. She manages to pretend to be alright (which requires a lot of strength) and her determination to uncover what the hell is going on required a lot of strength as well because she put herself in a lot of danger by investigating the Histories and the hotel. Being a Keeper requires brains and bravery, and Mac has both of them. Seeing the different ways she deals with different Histories was intriguing and she knew how to approach each age group (minus the older ones because they were extremely violent and required a lot of physical force to take them down). I just really liked Mac.

Wesley Aires was a very welcome addition to this book. He was mysterious, charming and just absolutely hilarious. He just gave off the friendly, easy going vibe and I instantly loved him. I knew he was going to be good for Mac and I was right. Every time he appeared in the book I found myself smiling. He just made everything easy and lighthearted. I really loved learning about Wes and finding out about him. He was just such an intriguing and charming character. I love Wes.

The romance in this book was sweet and weird. The sweet part is about Wes and Mac. I thought they were so adorable together and Wes clearly cares a lot for Mac. Mac is still working through her own issues so she doesn't know how she feels about Wes. But, I just thought they were so perfect together and I need them to get together! The weird part is about Owen and Mac. I was wary of Owen right from the start because he was an escaped History but he wasn't on Mac's list. That instantly made me suspicious, but he seemed like such a nice and genuine guy. Mac and Owen's relationship was a weird one. Owen is technically dead and Mac isn't... so yeah, it was weird.

I can honestly say that I never saw any of those twists at the end coming. I was completely in shock and ended up powering through the last quarter of the book super fast because I was so desperate to see what was going to happen! My jaw actually dropped more than once at the end of this book. It was such a fast paced, thrilling, action packed ending and I loved every second of it. There was a part at the end that almost had me in tears because it was so unexpected and shocking. This book provoked so many emotions in me at the end.

Overall, despite not being that interested in it to begin with, I ended up loving this book. The exciting, mysterious and thrilling story line completely hooked me in and I ended up flying through this book. The fast paced, action packed ending definitely made up for the sightly boring beginning. The Archived is a book I definitely recommend to everyone. Seriously, if you haven't read it yet, I definitely recommend that you do.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lukewarm, 22 Sept. 2013
By 
J Juckes "Hades2" (, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Archived (Hardcover)
Many thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for my review copy, this is in exchange for an honest review.

The synopsis to this sounded so good, I mean how cool is the idea of having the dead rest on shelves like library books.

But I have to say overall I found this one to be a bit of a deadpan, it stayed the same level all through the book. I was waiting for the excitement and the tension but I didn't feel it. I didn't connect with the book and I just about scraped through to the end. No I didn't hate it, it just didn't light a fire underneath me. Shame really as the concept sounded so good.

I liken it to a pan of simmering water, just a few bubble breaking the surface but not the great frenzy you get from a pan of boiling water.

The writing style was descriptive and very visual, it certainly didn't lack in imagination but maybe this was its downfall for me. Instead of creating the world I wish the story would have come through a bit quicker, then I think the story would have flowed through better.

I haven't got any characters that stood out, I did sort of like Mackenzie but to be honest I wasn't too fussed on the others.

Obviously this is my opinion of the book and it's not all bad, someone else may think it's a five star book. It just wasn't for me. The writing style isn't bad so don't be too put off by me.

Overall:
Not for me and left me with a lukewarm feeling.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Some nice imagery but this didn't hook me as I'd hoped, 15 Nov. 2014
By 
lochabar234 (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Archived, The (Paperback)
Some lovely ideas but the characters felt flat. It was a bit claustrophobic too as it took place in so few settings, and yet without much description of those settings to really make them understood. The back and forth between info dumps and the present day felt a little too convenient rather than letting the story flow -- it was as though the author found a way to get around the giant no-no of backstory dumps by flashing back regularly to the heroine and her late grandfather. But it didn't work for me. Some nice imagery but this didn't hook me as I'd hoped.
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The Archived
The Archived by Victoria Schwab (Hardcover - 22 Jan. 2013)
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