“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.”
Why was I excited?
There has been some major hype surrounding this book particularly on the BookTube Community. In March, Peruse Project, Jessethereader
and a few others all read this book and had a Liveshow
discussing it. Also, Victoria Schwab will be attending Teen Book Con
so I’m Reading the Books of some of the authors before I go so that I know what they are talking about in the panels.
What was my favourite part?
I really enjoyed reading the section where Wes and Mackenzie started working together and they had the Crew key because the hunting was way more interesting with two people so that you could see how different their techniques were.
Who is my favourite character?
Roland. I pictured him like Dr Erland from the Lunar Chronicles and I just really liked how he took over the role of Mackenzie’s grandpa after Da died so that she wasn’t completely alone and had someone to confide in.
Various other thoughts:
How freaking creepy was it when she woke Ben like oh my god. it was like Willow when she went evil in Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
Okay was anybody else picturing the archived like a big shop with like huge wall to ceiling filing cabinets? So like the end of Ikea except with body shelves instead of disassembled furniture.
I really liked the friendship between Lindsay and Mackenzie because it seemed like the only relationship in her life which hadn’t been almost entirely ruined by Ben’s death. Linking onto which there was a really significant development in her parents, they seem to be finally healing after Ben’s death and coming back into the people they used to be opposed to having a facade over an empty shell.
How Long Did it Take to Read?
Overall – 70% It was a good read, not spectacular but not terrible.
Worldbuilding (where applicable) – 60% The idea was very unique but really creepy and it really confused me, it took a while for me to get on board with it
Cover – 80% It’s really pretty