“My name is Mackenzie Bishop. And I am a Keeper.”
Every teen feels a little bit different than the others….especially when they are in the midst of moving to a new home. But Mackenzie Bishop really is different, even if she can never tell anyone why she is always ducking out only to be gone for hours, or showing up with unexplained bruises and scrapes that no one will ever know the true story behind.
The Archived tells the story of an elite group of people, chosen both by genetics and by their predecessors to be the ones who will stand guard over what remains of the dead. After she showed an innate ability for the job, Mackenzie’s grandfather trained her from a young age to be sensitive to things that others cannot see. His tales of what lies beyond were the highlight of Mackenzie’s childhood, and his training in combat techniques would serve her well when she, too became a keeper.
The keepers are a lonely bunch, who must fulfill a vital but dangerous role: returning escaped Histories to the Archives before they reach the outside world. The Archives are a vast library of sorts, holding the “Histories” of all those who have died. While the Histories are not technically ghosts, they do have a tendency to wake up and try to return to the land of the living. It is the job of the keepers to find them and return them, at any cost. Sixteen year old Mackenzie is an experienced keeper, and her grandfather trained her well. But when strange things start happening with the histories, even she has all she can do to keep herself safe.
Author Victoria Schwab does an excellent job of pulling readers into the story, and her characters make it easy to lose yourself in the story. The Archived is listed for children ages twelve and up, and you won’t find any objectionable content that should alarm any protective parents. What you will find is a unique and compelling story that is enjoyable for all ages. Readers will empathize with Mackenzie’s struggles to feel normal when everything around her is falling apart, and her ability to keep everything together and walk into danger to do her job speaks to the wannabe hero inside all of us.
The Archived is scheduled to be released in January of 2013 by Disney-Hyperion. The Archived is a second book by Victoria Schwab, following The Near Witch, which is also a young adult novel. Schwab’s writing really draws you into the story, and we hope to see a lot more from this promising new author.
The Archived is currently available for preorder from Amazon, at a reduced price of $10 for a hardcover (suggested retail is $16.99).