Book Reviews

Book Review: The Library of the Unwritten

By A.J. Hackwith

Published October 2019

382 Pages

I’d hit a run of very “meh” books that took the shine off reviewing and, in frustration, vented to my husband, “I NEED a five-star book.  Where the heck are they?”  

Ask and ye shall receive.

“They” were simply waiting for me to get to them because the next day I started not one, but two books that merited a solid five stars from me (The other one is Soulwork – see that review here.)

Obviously, I’m going to have high praise for this novel.  I loved it.  Loved, loved, loved it.  How did it take me over two years to know it existed?  How have I not known about this author, a self-proclaimed “ink witch” (possibly the best description ever)?

Here’s the blurb:  Claire Hadley is Hell’s head librarian in the unwritten wing – the place where stories are shelved that their author’s never wrote.  Claire isn’t a demon, she’s simply waiting for her soul to be absolved so she can move on.  How long that might take is anyone’s guess.  Her job is fairly unexciting; although, more often than she likes, she must subdue a character who wanders out of their book and return them to their story.  When a Hero escapes to pursue his author on earth, Claire must retrieve him before he can change his story.  Simple, right?  It should have been, except that she’s assaulted by an angel who is convinced she’s a demon in possession of the Devil’s Bible.  

With demons and muses in tow, Claire sets out to retrieve the Devil’s Bible before its appearance launches a war between Heaven and Hell, with Earth caught in the middle.

“The Library of the Unwritten” interpreted by Wombo Dream

Lost souls, demons, muses, angry angels, heroes, anti-heroes, redemption, warded cities, and a stop in Valhalla.  And voice.  Voice for miles.  This book didn’t lack anything.  Not. A. Thing.

One reason I’m drawn to fantasy is because sometimes I’m fortunate enough to stumble across an absolutely brilliant story.  One that’s incredibly imaginative, has immersive worldbuilding, and everything ties together in the end, regardless of how random a fact or event seems when it first happens.  That was definitely the case with this read.  I saw a lot of reviews for this book raving how much the reader loved it (I understand the feeling), then gave it four stars or less.  Huh?  There’s a reason this is Amazon’s pick for #1 in Sci Fi and Fantasy.  Because it’s fabulous.  Honestly, I wish I’d written it.  Or something at least half this good.

Thank you for letting me gush for several hundred words.  There’s nothing left to do but stamp this one five stars.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time, thank you for visiting.

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