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.
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.
Every moment of our lives we are observing and learning. Our minds contain the histories of us, our friends, family, and country. We are all history books. In Mackenzie Bishop’s world, after a person dies, a copy of them is put into a library. The History is not the actual person, but a type of recording of their life. Sometimes, Histories wake up. It is her job to find and return the History to the Library before they escape into our world. Mackenzie’s job has never been easy, she is sixteen and still struggling to recover from the death of her younger brother, but lately, more and more Histories are waking up and they are becoming violent. Mackenzie faces difficult choices and dangerous situations in The Archived.
Schwab’s characters and plot are unforgettable. Mackenzie is tough, capable, and broken. She is trying to do her job, but life and lies are confusing her and making her question beliefs she has always held as true.
Teenagers can relate to Mackenzie and will be sucked into her world of Histories and lies. Victoria Schwab’s The Archived earns four out of five stars.
*Reviewed by Kristin*
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