Book Review: The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith

Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto. 

But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil’s Bible. The text of the Devil’s Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell… and Earth.

What I Thought:

What’s not to love about a book featuring a library and a librarian – and a kickass librarian at that? In picking up The Library of the Unwritten, I was immediately drawn in by the idea that every book that is started and never finished is contained within a library in Hell. As a chronic starter of bits and bobs of writing, this struck a chord with me – what if all of those terrible paragraphs that will hopefully never see the light of day are just sat somewhere, waiting to be finished??

This book is my kind of fantasy, that which has fantastical elements, but still retains enough of the contemporary. Our librarian travels to Earth to capture the Hero, but then she also travels from realm to realm in the afterlife on the hunt for a mystical book that a pair of mentally unhinged angels also seem to be after.

The world-building is excellent, weaving mythology with creative license to create settings full of menace and danger. I could see further adventures of Claire and her gang in these and many more realms of the afterlife.

Claire is such an interesting hero – she is in Hell, so she’s obviously complex, and I feel that there is much, much more of her to explore in future books – it’s no coincidence that one of the cover quotes alludes to a series – I hope there’s plenty more where this came from!

The Library of the Unwritten is published by Titan Books.

To find out more about A. J. Hackwith and her work (including the second book in this series), you can check out her website. Alternatively, why not connect with her on Twitter?

Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

This entry was posted in Book Review and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.