Every book left unfinished by its author is filed away in the Unwritten Wing, a neutral space in Hell presided over by Claire, its head librarian. Along with repairing and organizing books, her job consists of keeping an eye on restless stories whose characters risk materialising 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, in a chase that threatens to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell… and Earth.
Author: A. J. Hackwith
Series: Hell’s Library #1
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: 11/02/2020
My Chosen Format: Paperback
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ordinarily, I hate to agree with the one-line endorsements plastered onto a book’s cover or rear cover. They seem so … meh, usually. But yea, this may well be the first book in my new favourite series.
The Unwritten Wing of Hell’s Library is the place where all unfinished works of art are housed. And, like a child not given enough attention, the books within often cause a bit of trouble. One of these books has taken to the idea of getting up, in the form of a character, and hot-footing it off to Earth to find its author in the hopes of inspiring her to finish the book.
There is so much more depth to this novel than what the blurb suggests. So, so much. The story is rich and fun in ways that no other books has been able to match for me in quite some time. The characters are colourful and vibrant (everything from angels to muses, there’s certainly something to grab your attention and keep it hooked) and are filled with so much life and passion that they positively leap of the page (just not in the way that they do in the book, sadly).
I challenge anyone who thinks Libraries to be a dull place to read this book and not want to become a librarian. There’s certainly a part of me that wants to …
Anyway, back to the book. The book is set out in different POV chapters (I think there are four POVs in total) and each is written in such a way that I can’t decide who I like the most. They all have their brilliance and each was written in such a fun, fast-moving way that I had to force myself to put the book down for sleep. This was the first book in a long time that, if I had a spare five minutes I had to dash towards it to cram another couple of pages in.
For those still worrying about the possible boredom of libraries, don’t worry, the book doesn’t take place solely within Hell’s Library (not that any place titled ‘Hell’s Library’ is at any risk of being boring) it actually has a far more expansive setting than probably any fantasy/sci-fi novel I have read this year.
This is normally the part where I say something negative, but I genuinely don’t think there was anything in this book that I did not enjoy. A solid 5 stars all round from me.
At it’s most basic, The Library of the Unwritten is a fun romp through many different realms, populated by an array of interesting and incredible characters. It goes a bit deeper and has a more complex story than I just gave it credit for and it also has some incredibly touching and heart-warming moments as well as some major points that I didn’t see coming. Any book that can keep surprising me is certainly likely to be in with a chance of being ‘the first book in my new favourite series’ … now all I have to do is wait for the next one.