Title: The Archived
Series Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Date Added: July 12, 2016
Date Started: July 11, 2017
Date Finished: August 29, 2017
Reading Duration: 49 days
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult (YA)
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Media: Hardback (Library)
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 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 might 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 hardwon redemption.
“It can be so hard to be so far from the living and so close to the dead.”
The life of a Keeper is lonely. It’s why Mackenzie’s grandfather wanted her to wait until she was at least of age before embarking upon it, but she persuaded him to convince the Librarians to give her an early shot. Now Da is dead, and Mac performs her duties alone with no one, neither parents nor friends, the wiser to the dark, narrow path she walks.
The “in between” is literally call the Narrows, serving as the space betwixt this world and Library where the souls of those shelved, called Histories, sometimes escape. The number of such events has increased, causing Mac’s list to be consistently full. This calls another Keeper, Wesley, to her territory, which isn’t that much of a shock, but when she also runs into Owen in the Narrows, she’s not sure whether he hunts the Histories or is one himself.
Mac’s inability to tolerate human contact due to her hypersensitivity to emotions makes her an excellent Keeper, but leaves her even more isolated. The only thing she and her parents share is the grief at her little brother Ben’s death, but knowing where the dead are shelved means Mackenzie is still one level deeper…