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

Hey all, Dani here.

The premise of today’s book sounded so utterly interesting to me that I had to put it on my highly anticipated list. And then, pretty much as soon as I got my copy, I was ready to sit down and start reading. Thankfully, I can say that my anticipation was not at all disappointed. But, I mean, come on, doesn’t a weird library in Hell that contains all of the unwritten works in the year sound really darn cool?

Okay, let’s jump into the review.

The Library of the Unwritten


In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren’t finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories.

Many years ago, 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 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.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars

Did this book sort of guilt-trip me into thinking that I need to take my writing more seriously so I don’t have a boat-load of books living in the Unwritten Wing of the Library? Yes, it pretty much did.

I am so glad I read this book. It was utterly fantastic, and set up such a fascinating world, with an interesting premise, and very intriguing characters.

Oh, oh. I should probably mention that I definitely loved all the descriptions of book maintenance. Like, there’s a couple times when Claire has to repair a book, and from my recollection from a couple classes in library school, the methodology was accurate. So, my book loving heart was pretty happy with that.

It was also cool that each of the chapters started with reports and inscriptions from current and past librarians, both in training and during their time in the position. It really helped to develop the set-up of Heaven and Hell and all the other afterlife areas, plus the supposedly more neutral library areas.

There’s also a decent amount of …well, I guess it could be called political intrigue. The power struggles between the various belief system afterlife setups, and especially the struggle between Heaven and Hell, is definitely apparent in this book.

I read it so quickly, and was so invested in the story pretty much the whole time. I can absolutely say that I am counting down until the release of the sequel.

Where to Get a Copy

You can pick up your own copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore.

You can also check with your local library.

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