Great books that flew under the radar

The Archived. I’m both delighted and sad every time I find an awesome series that hasn’t gotten much attention. Delighted, because these are really excellent books, and I now have a new series to recommend to friends and patrons. Sad because I know there are tons of readers who would love these books but may never find them.

Victoria Schwab’s Archived series (The Archived and The Unbound) has all the elements I look for in good books: an interesting premise, page-turning plots, rich characters, and great writing. And yet, if my brother hadn’t given me the free copy of The Archived that he got at a convention, I never would have known about the series. My to-read list is populated exclusively by books I’ve read reviews of, books that friends and colleagues with similar tastes recommend, and books whose authors have given interviews or contributed to the blogs I follow. It wasn’t until I saw The Archived mentioned in passing on one of those blogs that I bumped it up on my to-read list, and because of the lack of buzz, it still took me another two months and a snowstorm to finally pick it up.

I read it in a day, and checked the sequel out the next day. The sequel was even better. SInce I’m sure you’re wondering by now, here’s the summary of The Archived from Goodreads:

The dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead, called ‘Histories’, rest in 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 tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper is dangerous and a constant reminder of those she lost, Da and her little brother. Mac wonders about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. Yet someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

This series reminded me a lot of Meg Cabot’s Mediator series, and I’d highly recommend it to fans of that and Scott Westerfeld’s Midnighters series. I hope to see more Archived books in the future, but for now, Schwab has a new book, A Darker Shade of Magic coming out in February.

Are there any books you thought deserved more attention than they got? Please share in the comments!

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