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

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Book cover The Library of the Unwritten


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

In the beginning, I didn’t think I was going to like this at all. The main character, Claire, came off as a bit of a snob. Someone I really did not want to be following along and rooting for. The story though, is more plot driven than character so I found myself continuing to read so I could see what the heck was going on.

This story gets rolling fairly quickly. Then you will find yourself asking some of the same questions the characters are, and reading to find out the answers. There is also a battle of wits between the team for the Library, and a duo for team Heaven. They are in battle of a race to find missing pages from a Codex written by Lucifer, and is somehow still on Earth. With humans. Which any book lover will surely know usually leads to something bad. Very bad, happening. But where should those Codex pages rest outside of Earth? Should they be with Heaven, or Hell?

One positive with this story, is it is meant to challenges some of the character archetypes we expect as readers. I did enjoy some of the play with that, and the changes a character may go through after leaving their book, but also while sticking to some other traits we would believe to be basic with their character. I can’t say too much more on this without spoiling some key things; so that’s enough of that.

All in all, I gave this a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Which isn’t bad. There was a bit of humor, and some things that made me smile a little. Really though, I didn’t feel much connection to the story. It was a somewhat entertaining read, with interesting characters, and what I feel is an original story idea with the whole unwritten books thing. There are so many other books and series though that I am more interested in trying or continuing though that I really don’t think I’ll be continuing this one; even though I am curious to see what more trouble these characters can get into.