“In short: With an entirely unique and exciting concept, The Archived by Victoria Schwab is a refreshing read with an excellent mystery and vivd writing.
Just when you think there are no more truly original ideas left for books, Victoria Schwab comes back swinging with an entirely unique concept in her sophomore novel, The Archived. Mackenzie, the novel's easily likeable and sympathetic protagonist, is a Keeper, charged with the purpose of hunting down and returning restless spirits that escape from their shelves in The Archive. That's just the beginning of the premise, but I'll stop there to preserve the story's enigmatic plot. It's a fairly complex concept and Victoria Schwab nails the execution of it, ensuring that we are never confused, only intrigued.
The Archived was my first exposure to Victoria Schwab's writing and I was totally impressed - not only with the beauty and emotion of her prose, but also with how she handled the more practical aspects of the story, like the execution of the world building and the set up of the mystery. I can honestly say that I was left guessing right up to the end. There was also rarely a dull moment - the pacing was swift and the action scenes were numerous. Some of the spirits that Mackenzie has to hunt down are quite violent and this lends itself to some truly thrilling scenes. And this makes me especially excited as to the potential for this series.
There may have been a few times when my largely left-brained mind had trouble fully buying every aspect of the world building, leaving me with some niggling questions, but I think to dwell on them too much would be a bit too nitpicky and unfair of me. Ultimately, The Archived was a compulsively readable novel due to its enigmatic mystery, its thrilling action, and Victoria Schwab's vivid writing. Most significantly, The Archived has a wholly original premise and that is so refreshing and rare in books these days. Very much recommended!”