Review: The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith … In BUZZWORDS πŸ˜ˆ

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.

Published: October 1st 2019 by Ace Books

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Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wingβ€”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.


CW’s: Anxiety & Panic Attacks, Gore, Violence, Death, Mentions of Suicide

Representation 🌷 Social Anxiety, Pan MC




Books & Libraries πŸ“š

β€œWar has always followed libraries, my apprentice. History has made no effort to hide that truth from us. Look at Rome; look at the Crusades. Vanquishing an enemy and taking his books was just as strategic as taking his cannons. Books are knowledge weaponized. And what weapons you cannot steal, you must burn.”

If you love books about books, you’ll love this! ➽ The setting is a library … but it’s in Hell and only houses all the unfinished stories – hence why it’s called The Unwritten Wing πŸ‘€ Claire is the Head Librarian in charge of making sure no characters escape from the books … and go in search of their authors. The entire concept is so unique and fascinating, as we find out what happens to all the stories that authors leave behind and maybe never finish. The fact that they occupy a space in Hell that needs to be managed is a cool idea that’s explored really well here! Each chapter opens with a small passage by a librarian of Hell that talks about the impact of stories and the function of the library.


Angels & Demons πŸ˜ˆπŸ˜‡

β€œWe have a choice, all of us, in seeing the world and system we participate in. At some point, we are confronted with the cost. What suffers for happiness. What dies for life. You have a choice. You can choose to close your eyes and enjoy your lucky position on the good earth. You can choose to walk away. Or you can choose to rebel.”

I loved how Heaven & Hell and Demons & Angels came into play here. ➽ The Devil’s Bible is missing. It’s powerful, but it’s also a book and Claire’s a librarian, so she’s determined to find it. If she doesn’t succeed and it falls into wrong hands, Hell could quite literally be raised and her library is at stake as collateral. We also get the perspective of a fallen angel called Ramiel, who has been guarding the gates of Heaven as punishment for ages. He’s getting involved in the search and as a former Shepherd of humans, he’s got a complicated relationship with them. It was interesting learning more about the angels and the demons that Claire is already familiar with. Her library being located in Hell means that she’s got some demon associates. I cannot wait to find out more in the sequel, as there is still a lot left to be explored!


Found Family ❀️

β€œHow much easier it would be if everyone knew their role: the hero, the sidekick, the villain. Our books would be neater and our souls less frayed. But whether you have blood or ink, no one’s story is that simple.”

All of the characters are fantastic and I love them very much! βž½ Claire is the Head Librarian and can come across as grumpy and cold-hearted. However, she’s dedicated to her work and dealing with the demons of her past. She might look mean, but Claire had got a hidden soft spot for those she cares about. Her assistant is called Brevity and she’s a former muse who’s trying to be helpful to the library, despite having doubts about her competence. She’s charming and much more outgoing than Claire. Leto is a new demon who’s got social anxiety and no idea what’s going on half of the time, which was very relatable. He doesn’t remember much about his past, but something isn’t adding up. Even Hero, an escaped protagonist from an unfinished book has hidden depths. He’s kind of annoying but strangely fun and lovable at the same time. I loved the fact that they formed an unlikely alliance and even friendship over the course of the book πŸ’•

β€œNo story is insignificant. That’s what the existence of the Unwritten Wing teaches us. No escapist fantasy, no far-off dream, no remembered suffering. Every story has meaning, has power. Every story has the power to sustain, the power to destroy, the power to create.”

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Did you read The Library of the Unwritten? What is your favorite book that features libraries or demons/angels? πŸ“š


9 thoughts on “Review: The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith … In BUZZWORDS πŸ˜ˆ

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