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Review of The Archived

The Archived by Victoria SchwabThe Archived
by Victoria Schwab
Middle School, High School    Hyperion    324 pp.
1/13    978-1-4231-5731-1    $16.99    g

Mackenzie is a “Keeper”; her job is to return the wakeful dead (or “Histories”) to the Archive, a repository of all human memory. Persuading the dead to return to their rightful resting place often involves kick-ass combat, but never so much as when Mac’s family moves to an apartment in an old hotel. Suddenly, the Archive experiences a rush of escaped Histories, and it’s no longer the silent domain it should be — nor is Mac, grieving the loss of her younger brother, as dispassionate as she once was about the dead. 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.

From the January/February 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Deirdre Baker About Deirdre Baker

Deirdre F. Baker, a reviewer for The Horn Book Magazine and the Toronto Star, teaches children’s literature at the University of Toronto. The author of Becca
at Sea (Groundwood), she is currently at work on a sequel—written in the
past tense.



  1. Dear Deirdre,

    I read your review of Victoria Schwab book The Archived and feel that you did a great job. In my judgment, your review was balanced, fair and well-thought out. You have demonstrated a justified objectivity, giving a reader a clear impression of what to expect from the novel. I will be following your other reviews with interest.


  2. Deirdre Baker says:

    Thanks very much. I’m glad you found it useful.

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