Join the Library. Raise Hell!
Stories are powerful things. As such, they must be contained. All unfinished stories go to the Library of the Unwritten, a neutral space in Hell overseen by a Head Librarian. The Head Librarian is responsible for organizing and repairing the books, keeping them safe, and most importantly, keeping restless stories from manifesting into their characters and escaping!
Claire, a human soul doing penance for her life on earth and the current Head Librarian, is very good at her job. She’s cool, works well under pressure, and has a no-nonsense attitude when it comes to rebellious stories. When Leto, a courier demon, visits the library to inform Claire of an escaped character, Claire, Leto, and her Muse assistant Brevity go to modern day Seattle to retrieve the wayward book.
Meanwhile, Ramiel, a disgraced angel has been tasked with a mission in order to re-enter Heaven. He is searching Earth for a book written by Lucifer and, mistaking the escaped character for Lucifer’s book, attempts to reclaim the book by force. After barely escaping with their lives, Claire, Brevity, and Leto must figure out how to retrieve the actual copy of Lucifer’s book before the angels get to it in order to prevent Armageddon.
What proceeds is a wonderful adventure through the underworlds of different mythologies with a gaggle of interesting, complex characters. Claire, Leto, and Brevity, are accompanied by a disgraced demon archivist, and an unwritten book in character form. All these characters fit into the world Hackwith has created and add context to the main concept of the novel – stories have power.
I am a sucker for stories about books or libraries; however, this one felt particularly unique. I absolutely love the idea that unwritten and unfinished stories have power. The entire world in which this story is set is by far the best thing about it. While I will say the main plot can be a bit shaky at times, I loved the concept and really enjoyed exploring this world Hackwith had created. Tons of fun to read, The Library of the Unwritten is a great armchair adventure into a magical world adjacent to our own!