Synopses & Reviews
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.
Last 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.
Praise for The Archived"As gorgeously written as it is brilliantly inventive, The Archived is that rare book that grabs you by the mind and the heart, not letting go of either once you've turned the last page. It's earned a permanent spot on my Keeper shelf." -Rachel Hawkins, New York Times best-selling author of the Hex Hall series
"A page-turning plot, a setting that haunted my dreams, and breathtaking prose. Truly a masterful, dark, beautiful novel." -Ruta Sepetys, New York Times bestselling author of Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy
"Schwab skillfully manages that rare accomplishment: a spine-tingling, supernatural, ghostly mystery that is fully believable. A writer to watch for sure sequel please!" -School Library Journal
"From the unusual premise to the dark, evocative narration,Schwab's novel skillfully blends fantasy and mystery there's a musty, yearning charm to this story. -Publishers Weekly
"Teens who like a quick pace and a smart read will enjoytheir journey to the Archives and hope for a return trip." -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Mackenzie transfers to an exclusive school for her junior year, but acceptance is the least of her worries. As a Keeper, Mackenzie serves the Archive by returning wandering ghosts (Histories) to the Library shelves, thus preserving the equilibrium between the dead and the living. At the last book's conclusion, she was almost killed by a History and now struggles with anxiety and nightmares. Meanwhile, Archive leadership questions her competence, and she finds herself falling for enigmatic, loyal fellow Keeper. While there's more focus on action than character development, Schwab continues to explore themes of loss, grief, and recovery, contrasting Mackenzie's physical dangers with her PTSD. Several surprises prime readers for future titles. - Debbie Carton--Booklist Online
In The Archived (rev. 1/13), the dead are Histories, each a body of memories to be catalogued by the Archive's Librarians. Mackenzie is a Keeper, whose job is to put wakeful Histories in their proper place. That's what she has done with Owen, a renegade History-but now, in this second volume, it seems she hasn't quite managed to shelve him. He terrifies her in nightmares and even appears in her waking life, disrupting her efforts to adapt to her swish private school and keep up with her Archive work-and her relationship with caring, mysterious Wesley, also a Keeper. Then Mackenzie becomes associated with a series of deaths and disappearances. Are sleeplessness and memory driving her mad? Schwab intensifies terror and threat here, at the same time offering loving relationships and intelligent plotting. Although she leans on characterization and interest created in The Archived, the sharpness of her prose and plot give this action-intense story abundant energy. Mackenzie has lost none of her impulse for analysis ("I've always thought of [people] more as formulas-full of variables, but always the sum of their parts"), and although the story depends more on action and less on emotional subtlety than its predecessor, it's smart and engaging. deirdre f. baker--Horn Book
Gr 8 Up In this sequel to The Archived (Hyperion, 2013), sleep eludes Mackenzie Bishop. She's traumatized by violent nightmares of Owen and later theorizes that the sadistic History might not be confined solely to her fraying mind. People with whom Mac has limited contact start disappearing, and voids crop up where they were last seen. Mac suspects someone is trying to create evidence that will get her relieved of duty as a Keeper. When her concerned parents justifiably hover, making trips to the Archive and the Narrows difficult, Mac has trouble keeping up with the Histories assigned to her. Fortunately, charming Wesley also attends Mac's new prep school, offering more than friendship and backup. But can Mac risk getting closer to Wes with danger already her companion? An exciting climax carefully ties up certain threads, while a well-executed final chapter promises a further installment. Schwab's characters are distinct, and she has a talent for conveying the connections between them. The mystery and waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop sense of foreboding is sustained throughout. Wesley and Mac's romantic tension is palpable, and their dialogue is natural, with plenty of entertaining banter. While Schwab includes bits of explanation and flashbacks, readers will be better served reading this suspenseful and engrossing supernatural series in order. Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ--SLJ
PRAISE FOR THE ARCHIVED
"This is no common policing-the-supernatural romantic thriller: Schwab's image of the Archive and its Librarians is both poignant and intellectually piquant, a suggestion that the repository of human memory goes beyond personal loss and is central to human culture. She writes of death, sorrow, and family love with a light, intelligent touch and inventive vigor, and provides romance with a pleasing edge of unpredictability. It isn't often that lines from Dante's Inferno make their way into supernatural thrillers for teens, but they do here-and to good effect."--Horn Book
PRAISE FOR THE ARCHIVED
"A refreshingly angel-free departure in afterlife fiction, this gripping supernatural thriller features nuanced characters navigating a complex moral universe."--Kirkus Reviews
PRAISE FOR THE ARCHIVED
"Schwab skillfully manages that rare accomplishment: a spine-tingling, supernatural, ghostly mystery that is fully believable. A writer to watch for sure-sequel please!"--School Library Journal
About the Author
Victoria Schwab (www.VictoriaSchwab.com) is the author of several novels, including, The Near Witch-which Kirkus praised for its "shivery horror tang" and "extraordinary sense of place"-and The Archived, of which The Horn Book said "[Schwab] writes of death, sorrow, and family love with a light, intelligent touch and inventive vigor, and provides romance with a pleasing edge of unpredictability." When she is not wandering through foreign countries, Victoria can usually be found tucked in the corner of a coffee shop in Nashville, sipping tea and dreaming of monsters.