The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A great supernatural adventure with a terrific cast of characters
This book is very well written, and has everything I am coming to love in the fantasy genre. It has a wonderful adventure with twists and turns and unpredictable events. It has spectacular characters that are fully developed and none of them turn out to be what they first appear to be. It has an awesomely refreshing and original storyline with plenty of humor, suspense, mystery and stumbling blocks put in the way. There all sorts of supernatural happenings, it is crazy that so many different things are in one book but it all fits so perfectly together.
The library of the unwritten it a library located in Hell. Though it is not technically part of Hell’s domain, it just resides there. This is due to the fact that it contains all the books that are unwritten form authors living, dead and some yet to live. These works are potential, not actual.
Stories want to change, and it is a librarian’s job to preserve them; that’s the natural order of things. The Unwritten Wing of the Library, for all its infinite magic and mystery, is in some ways a futile project. No story, written or unwritten, is static. Left abandoned too long and given the right stimulation, a book goes wrong in the head. It is a story’s natural ambition to wake up and start telling itself to the world.
This, of course, is a buggered pain in the arse.
Librarian Fleur Michel, 1782 CE, Unwritten Wing,
Librarian’s Log entry, Personal Ephemera and Errata
Claire Hadley is the current librarian and takes her job very seriously, she keeps the library in tip top shape, repairing old books and making sure stories stay in their pages. When a book grows restless it can try to escape in the form of one of the characters and she is in charge of corralling them and making sure they get back in their books before any damage is done. One day Claire and her assistant, a former muse named Brevity get a visit from a teenage demon named Leto, who gives them a message that a book has is missing.
When books escapes the library they generally go to meet their author in order to try to get the author to write the story, but that can be detrimental and damaging to the book. So the Claire, Brevity and Leto go off to Earth to find the character/book. In this case it is a Hero and they find him with the author. They end up taking him, but as they are leaving they cross paths with an Angel named Ramiel, looking for the Devil’s Bible. He thinks they are on Earth to retrieve it.
Ramiel had a piece of the Devils Bible (Codex), and in a struggle Leto gets it before they return to the library. When Claire figures out what it is, they realize they have to get it before heaven doe or there will be a war between Heaven and Hell. So along with Claire’s former mentor Andras who was once a Hell Duke of Hell, but now is in charge of another wing of the library, they all set out to find the missing pages of the Codex.
As the journey begins, we have a ragtag group, with Claire being a very prim and proper rule follower, Hero is the handsome romantic fantasy hero from a book, Brevity is a young happy-go-lucky assistant who defers to Claire for everything, Leto is a new demon and a teenager who is more human than demon and is afraid of almost everything, and Andras who is basically a mentor that Claire trusts.
They have to find the pages within a certain timeframe and they have Angels on their tails who are also looking for the same thing. Plus they are doing it on the sly, because Lucifer probably wouldn’t like the embarrassment of knowing this is out there. They get into some very complicated and interesting situations, the book is both fun and impressive. I recommend it to anyone who likes an adventure story especially a paranormal one.
There are Angels, Demons, Humans, Hellhounds, Gargoyles, Hero’s and Damsels from books, Viking warriors, and other monsters from Hell. Somehow it all fits together without being tacky. Like I said earlier, just about every one of the main characters, including the Angels ends up being different than the original impression, or maybe if not difficult, then along the way we find out things about them or we see them act in ways that are surprising. It is nice that not everything is as you think and people or souls can be unpredictable and step up when it counts.
Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.