The Archived Series

Why Victoria have you not finished this series?

When I find a new author I like that maybe has been around for awhile, I always look at their older books to see if there is anything else I might like by them.  When I first read the summary for The Archived, I thought maybe I had read it.  But I decided to pick it up again.  I thought it was a stand alone, but I then discovered that no it is actually an unfinished trilogy.  I hate when that happens!  But of course I didn’t know this until after I finished the first book and became hooked.  I will now be joining the hundreds of other fans quietly sobbing and praying in the corner for that final book. 

The Archived (2013)

The ArchivedImagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.  Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures 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 may 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. 

The Unbound (2014)

The UnboundLast summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe. 

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.

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The first book read a little slower than the second, but that may have been me.  The premise behind it was also a little hard to wrap my head around as well.  I still had questions about how the archive works when I was done with these books.  But eventually you just learn to go with the flow and not dwell too much with the specifics.

I loved Mac’s character.  She has had so much loss in her life, but she is resilient.  She is also a pretty strong character, not only physically but emotionally.  Being able to keep up the constant lies to her parents so that she can do her keeper job would be hard.  She so yearns to be ‘normal’, but yet fights so hard to keep her job with the archive.  She is a bit of a mess, especially in the second book.  It is interesting to see how lack of sleep affects her and those around her.

Wesley is the another fine character, he is less morally gray than Mac and is totally devoted to the archive no matter what.  I really like how he changed in the second book, from his goth persona that he had in the summer, to rich preppy kid at school.  I would love to see a story centered around him.  He is such an interesting character.  Loved the relationship that develops between him and Mac as well.

I liked the plots in both books, but the second one was a bit more exciting and interesting.  I don’t want to give too much away, but the whole concepts of how and where the missing people were going was like nothing I have seen before.  Also Mac’s sleep deprivation and PTSD were covered very well.  I will warn you that there is some self-harming in the second book which could be a trigger for some.

If you are a Victoria Schwab fan and have not yet read these two books I highly recommend them.  Then you can join me quietly sobbing and begging Victoria for that next book. 



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