Posted in Reviews

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Recommended: Yes!
For a world full of creative systems and imaginings, for a a breakneck adventure that goes between realms and countries, for the best trip to Hell or a library you’ll probably ever have

I don’t want to tell you how long it was before I noticed the arm coming out of rip.

Summary, from Goodreads:
Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing—a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job is mainly repairing and organizing books, but also 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 muse-turned-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. 

So if I liked it so much, why not five stars? I just want to get this out of the way so I can gush about everything I loved. I didn’t feel very attached to the characters, for whatever reason. There was plenty done to build them, it just didn’t click for me. Rami and Hero were my faves, but even then it was still a bit lukewarm. Claire did nothing for me, and with her being our main leading lady, that took away from it a bit.

But you know what made this OUTSTANDING? So many things. Let’s see if I can cram them all in here.

Most importantly, the wildly creative imaginings of systems. By that, I mean things like how and why there’s a library in Hell, how to get between the different realms of belief, how and why unwritten books awaken into their characters, what happens when you die… y’all, this got serious. The cleverness and creativity that went into so many aspects of the worlds we see blew me away, and more impressively, there didn’t seem to be any plotholes or gaps in the designs that exposed them as untrue. I could solidly believe that there’s a library in Hell.

I had so much fun exploring the details of this book. While it was funnier than I had expected, and significantly less dark and violent (for something set in Hell and about the Devil’s Bible, who knew?), it was still a powerful adventure. There was darkness in it, but more of the personal kind. I mean, remember, Claire did end up in Hell. There’s a reason for that.

Also, this whole book should make you commit to finishing every story ever no matter how badly. Don’t leave your poor characters to rot!!! Nanowrimo folk, I’m looking at you! Use this as motivation!


Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

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