Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Archivist Wasp (Archivist Wasp Saga, #1)” as Want to Read:
Archivist Wasp (Archivist Wasp Saga, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Archivist Wasp

(Archivist Wasp Saga #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  3,564 ratings  ·  664 reviews
Wasp's job is simple. Hunt ghosts. And every year she has to fight to remain Archivist. Desperate and alone, she strikes a bargain with the ghost of a supersoldier. She will go with him on his underworld hunt for the long-lost ghost of his partner and in exchange she will find out more about his pre-apocalyptic world than any Archivist before her. And there is much to know ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Big Mouth House (first published April 13th 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Archivist Wasp, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Nicole Kornher-Stace Here's the thing. The Wasp books are written in a very tight (as in, may as well be first-person) third-person POV. Due to her upbringing there is a l…moreHere's the thing. The Wasp books are written in a very tight (as in, may as well be first-person) third-person POV. Due to her upbringing there is a lot of vocabulary Wasp just doesn't have--about herself, about her world, about other people in it--and the words "aromantic" and "asexual" don't appear in the text as such. That said, romance and sex never once cross her mind in either book--though close platonic relationships very definitely do & form the backbone of both books (and all of my books, honestly). Without getting into spoilers, the Wasp books are built around two very strong platonic M/F relationships, one of which involves her and one of which does not. There is no sex or romance of any kind in ANY relationship in these books.

Hope this helps!(less)
Erin Wasp is an archivist in that she maintains and adds to the records that previous archivists have kept regarding what knowledge they are able to glean …moreWasp is an archivist in that she maintains and adds to the records that previous archivists have kept regarding what knowledge they are able to glean from the ghosts that they hunt.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,564 ratings  ·  664 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Archivist Wasp (Archivist Wasp Saga, #1)
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
After starting to read the sequel - Latchkey - and realizing I couldn't remember much besides my general feeling about Archivist Wasp, I had to revisit it. And now, having re-read it, I think I had underrated and undersold it back 3 years ago.

This book left me a sobbing mess. This is the kind of book crying I like - the kind that is caused by emotions not easily accessible. After all, anyone can make you cry over a dead puppy or a mom with cancer (you know those books). The crying I like is the
“I am the Archivist. Catchkeep’s emissary, ambassador, and avatar on earth. Her bones and stars my flesh; my flesh and bones Her stars. Mine is the mouth through which the dead world speaks. Mine are the hands that record what the dead world left behind. Mine are the eyes that hold vigil, so that the old world’s death does not return to kill the world anew.”

Wow. What an unexpected, beautiful, strange, unique, imaginative story this was. For most of it, I felt a lot like Alice must have in Won
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Archivist Wasp has just survived her third annual Archivist-choosing day and her wounds (she is getting slow) are still fresh, but healing. This time though, she chose to let the last of the upstarts she fought, live. Maybe things will be different this year, she thinks.

The upstart dies anyway.

The Catchkeep-priest makes sure to tell Wasp that, after he steals some of her food, as he twists yet another psychological knife on her side.

But life goes on, and Wasp has another year before the next rou
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Now that was different.

A solid fantasy that was entertaining, but just couldn’t make the transition from good to great.
The premise & worldbuilding was fascinating. The characters frustrating.

TALK TO EACH OTHER AND SHARE INFORMATION PEOPLE! Also, share this information with me too! So many questions are raised by the intriguing premise, but NOTHING ever gets answered. Who? What? Where? When? How? Forget it buddy, move on. Throughout the book I found myself vacillating on the rating. One star. F
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book. There is something quite personal about this book, which is a heart wrenching story of loneliness, loyalty, and unfufilled longing.

Nicole Kornher-Stace has woven a profoundly imaginative tale that rivals the blend of fantasy and reality that I have come to associate with Frances Hardinge. That is pretty well the highest praise I can give anyone.

This is one of my favourite books of 2015.
Gabrielle  (needs a break)
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
2.5 stars

Full, somewhat spoilery review here

Did I love this? Did I hate this? HECK IF I KNOW.


1. The Premise -
Kornher-Stace clearly has a gift for ideas. The blurb and early reviews promised me originality, and that's exactly what I got. Basically, Archivist Wasp is about a girl named, you guessed it, Wasp. Wasp is an Archivist - a person who hunts and studies ghosts before releasing them from limbo so that they can find eternal peace with Go
Susan Gualtier
Welcome to one of the strangest and most wonderful books you will ever read. I wanted it never to end. I'm almost sorry that I ever gave another book 5 stars, because now 5 stars don't seem to be enough for this one.

This is the rare piece of post-apocalyptic fiction that doesn't feel like it's trying too hard. I think it's been categorized as YA based on the age of the protagonist, but it's not at all written with an eye to the teenage experience, and contains none of the usual YA tropes. Instea
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very strange.

Wasp is the Archivist, an honored but feared position as the Chosen of the goddess Catchkeep. Which is not fantastic because it's a position that she has to maintain by fighting challengers to the death every year. The Archivists deal with the ghosts that saturate the post-apocalyptic landscape where she lives.

After her latest challenges Wasp is at the end of her rope when she encounters an incredibly powerful ghost who convinces her to help him. They take a journey through the gho
Francesca Forrest
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading Archivist Wasp is like navigating an intense, harrowing nightmare in the company of a true friend. Wasp, the young heroine, is the true friend, though she doesn’t know it. Her role—as recorder of ghosts and their ways, and (more importantly for her town) an executioner of them—means she’s a friendless outcast. She achieved her position by killing the last archivist, and three times a year, other young girls try to do the same to her. Her life has made her suspicious and untrusting, but f ...more
Debbie Gascoyne
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, dystopia, kindle, 2015
This was quite astonishing. I am lucky to have found it: I happened to read a rave review from @TheBookSmuggler on Twitter, then, when I came in here, discovered that my friend @FrancescaForrest had also reviewed it with a five star rating. I am so happy to have discovered it! It is certainly one of the most strikingly original novels I've read for a long time, and I have a feeling that it's going to stay with me.

Wasp is an Archivist. She became one by killing the previous Archivist, and she rem
Feb 25, 2022 rated it it was ok
To be entirely fair about this book, I probably had higher expectations because had liked one of the author's more adult fare.

So I said to myself, "Hey, look at that wild cover and ignore the YA blurb. Check it out and try not to weep!"

So I finally did. And here's something I can honestly say about it: It's competently written and fits all the right popular stereotypes for the type of angry, knife-wielding, Post-Apoc girl who finds herself in a difficult position with the "enemy" and eventually
If this book is weird, it is my kind of weird. Part mystery, part odd couple quest, part search of identity and forging human (or sometimes not quite human anymore) connections, the power of compassion and friendship....the whole thing just spoke to me. I cried a little and cheered a lot. I loved every bittersweet, beautiful word.

Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
A little gem of a book, so odd and yet so wonderful.
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it
How on Earth am I going to review this book? While I was reading Archivist Wasp, I was adoring the language, hating the all unanswered questions, respecting the bold concept, but also a bit bored from time to time. The relationship that I formed with the novel is one of those I-hate-you-but-I-love kinds, so I apologise my (most likely) incoherent ramblings.

First of all, Archivist Wasp was so different than I expected it to be! It's classified as a young adult novel on Goodreads, even though I pe
Charlotte Kersten
I ended up liking this one much more than I thought I would at the start. I'm very curious about the sequel because I thought it ended pretty much perfectly. Rtc ...more
This (fabulous) book is getting all kinds of much-deserved love from Kirkus and School Library Journal and whatnot, but seems to be not particularly well-known to the average reader?? Well, y’ALL ARE GONNA LEARN

Wasp is a priestess (of sorts) and ghosthunter that strikes a bargain with a long-dead supersoldier’s ghost: she helps him find the ghost of his partner, he gives her what she needs to gain her freedom from the shrine and priest to which she is beholden.

I stumbled on this one while visiti
so i walked into this book based off the description expecting a queer retelling of the myth of orpheus and eurydice.

i did not get this.

that being said tho, this is like the only disappointment i finished reading with??? like. the world building is rly cool, the underworld is weird & surreal & creepy as hell and i LOVED it. all the lore is amazing, the different gods, the myth behind the archivist title, the brief glimpses of legends and stories that was group up with.

i didn't actually expect th

This is the story of a girl lost in a lonely, desolate, and bare world; and a girl lost in herself. Wasp is an Archivist, one of a handful of girls selected from a young age to serve in a religious order where she must capture ghosts, learn what she can from them about their lives in the world Before and then dispatch them. It is a good thing to finish them eternally, or so she has been trained to think. Wasp must also battle to the death for her title every year. There is a line of upstarts
Mar 05, 2016 added it
Jagged, complex, full of smoke and peat and mystery, with a sharp clear high finish.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
It took me three days to read this. I read Crooked Kingdom (540 pages) in two. I think that already says a lot about my reading experience.

Anyway: 3 -

Uhm...weird. Archivist Wasp isn't exactly what I expected, and not in an entirely positive way, I'm afraid.

On one hand, this is quite original, and therefore a breath of fresh air in this genre, but honestly? I had so many problems with it. It makes for an entertaining read, but that's pretty much it.

The world-building is extremely...nonexistent?
Christine Sandquist
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review, and others can be read on my blog, Black Forest Basilisks.

It was a decision she’d been making over and over for three years now, and she always reached the same conclusion. She hated being Archivist. Hated being forced to choose between killing upstarts to keep the sacred role she’d grown so tired of and letting herself be killed so that the upstart who killed her could take up that role when she was dead. But if there was one thing she was terrible at doing, it was giving
Melissa McShane
This is going on my list of favorite books this year. It's also one of the strangest, most evocative books I've read this year and one I fully intend to re-read. I'm having trouble reviewing it without just retelling the story; even explaining the background (essential to understanding what happens) takes up more time than a review ought.

The highlights: Wasp is a young woman who lives in a postapocalyptic far-future in which the religion of Catchkeep, and its priest, dominates the town where she
Jaime Moyer
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
I actually finished this after midnight on Monday. The entire time I was reading Archivist Wasp I kept thinking "Oh...this book. THIS BOOK." And while that--and a few heart for variety--are an actuate reflection of my response, they aren't very useful as a review. While I tend to react emotionally to books and talk about them in emotional terms, others want something more.

Yeah, I don't understand it either. Go figure.

Archivist Wasp is the story of Wasp, a young woman whose job and sole r
Brigid ✩
Short Review:

Hmm, I may have to digest this one a bit and see if it sticks with me or not. The thing is, there were things I really admired about it––interesting world-building, an intriguing backstory, some beautifully-written passages ... It was an addicting read, and though the first chunk of it was a little rough for me, for the last half of it or so I was pretty engrossed in it.

But I don't know, it just felt like something was missing? It just felt a little ... dry, I guess. Although I was
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
The Good:
An utterly dark, haunted setting, with some cool ideas. This is set after the apocalypse, and follows a young woman with a job that doesn’t exist yet (though I suspect anthropologists might disagree). The protagonist is badass.

The Bad:
The story is confusing. It starts out with unanswered questions and stays that way. The fantasy elements of the setting are so arbitrary that it’s hard to follow cause-and-effect. Why do things happen? Far too often this question isn’t addressed in the boo
Nicole Kornher-Stace
Aug 02, 2021 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Not a review! Six years later I finally think to do this and have time to do it simultaneously! Better late than never?

So I wanted to talk a minute about how this book came into being, how it was intended as a standalone, and how that proceeded to get entirely out of hand (zero regrets).

I wrote Archivist Wasp in 2012, but it goes back to oh god 1995? when the character of the ghost landed in my head fully-formed. I still don't know where he came from. I was a twelve-year-old baby writer and comi
Acordul Fin
If a ghost was a recording of a memory, as some believed, and Wasp pulled back the curtain from the third alcove on the right, she might find the wide-eyed bloody-handed ghost of herself, hugging her knees and shivering, trying to unremember the sound of her little dagger sinking hilt-deep into girlflesh, the day she earned her name.

I was intrigued by the odd and rather unique premise. Unfortunately, I didn't end up enjoying it. The characters felt pretty lifeless, in a style over su
The Captain
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there me mateys! One of the many things I love about me large and diverse crew is the little-known fantastic treasures that they bring me way. This be one of them. I found out about the book from matey Sarah @ theillustratedpage. Her thoughts:

"Have you read Archivist Wasp? If you haven’t, you really should. It’s a striking, post-apocalyptic, ghost-hunting body novel that tells a deeply intense story without even a hint of romance. Latchkey is a follow-up, taking place three years later. I s
Para (wanderer)
Wasn't vibing with this one. It was a quick enough read, but...the dystopian post-apocalyptic worldbuilding, the characters, the plot of searching for a ghost's dead friend through the underworld, the revelations, there was nothing I truly connected to. The atmosphere I outright disliked. While it's not a bad book techincally speaking, everything felt fairly thin and honestly I'm not sure why I even finished it.

Enjoyment: 2/5
Execution: 3/5

More reviews on my blog, To Other Worlds.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The book structure 1 5 Sep 18, 2019 07:41AM  
Polls for Our Souls: This topic has been closed to new comments. Polls for Our Souls topic organization 2 39 Sep 16, 2019 07:58AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Nona the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #3)
  • Hold Fast Through the Fire (NeoG, #2)
  • The Grief of Stones  (The Cemeteries of Amalo, #2)
  • Ten Low
  • The Book of Living Secrets
  • Light from Uncommon Stars
  • Battle of the Linguist Mages
  • Nona the Ninth Sneak Peek
  • Indestructible Object
  • The Necessity of Stars
  • The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
  • Taste of Marrow (River of Teeth, #2)
  • Three Miles Down
  • The Thousand Eyes  (The Serpent Gates, #2)
  • The Heir and the Spare
  • A Master of Djinn (Dead Djinn Universe, #1)
  • A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot, #1)
  • As Yet Unsent (The Locked Tomb, #2.5)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Nicole Kornher-Stace lives in New Paltz, NY, with her family. Her two most recent books are the adult SF cyberpunk dystopian thriller FIREBREAK (Simon & Schuster/Gallery/Saga, 2021) and her middle-grade debut JILLIAN VS. PARASITE PLANET (Tachyon, 2021). Her other books include the Andre Norton Award finalist ARCHIVIST WASP (Small Beer Press/Big Mouth House, 2015) and its sequel LATCHKEY (Mythic De ...more

Other books in the series

Archivist Wasp Saga (2 books)
  • Latchkey (Archivist Wasp Saga, #2)

News & Interviews

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
27 likes · 3 comments
“Its deadpan and her sarcasm sailed straight on past each other, strangers passing on a dark road in the night.” 10 likes
“There are worse ways to die than trying.” 6 likes
More quotes…