Welcome to Hell. To the Library of Hell. To the Unwritten Wing of the Library of Hell to be precise. The space where the unfinished books live. They are under the supervision of librarian Claire and her blue-haired assistant, and former muse, Brevity. When a hero escapes from a novel, Claire and Brevity, with a nervous youngling called Leto in tow, journey to Seattle to find him.
Unfortunately the retrieval goes slightly (!) wrong and the group collide with the angel Ramiel, who mistakenly assumes that like him, they are hunting for the Devil’s Bible. What ensues is a fabulous hunt through the worlds as good battles evil battles evil battles good. The lines are blurred, friend and foe are confused and everything is at risk.
But this book isn’t a light fantasy to pass a few hours with. Instead it is a beautifully written play on all the emotions as you read along with the fast moving plot. You will laugh, you will be eye-rolling constantly, and if you love books you’ll be marking every other page. And it will bring you close to, if not fully, to tears. It explores love, desire, friendship, betrayal, destiny, anxiety, identity, and belief, yet it is never preachy. Instead it is perfection wrapped up in a beautiful cover. The first in a new series, and I eagerly await Hackwith’s sequel.
— Hannah Reidell
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.
Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing-- 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.
About the Author
A. J. Hackwith is (almost) certainly not an ink witch in a hoodie. She's a queer writer of fantasy and science fiction living in Seattle, and writes sci-fi romance as Ada Harper. She is a graduate of the Viable Paradise writer's workshop and her work appears in Uncanny Magazine and assorted anthologies. Summon A.J. at your own peril with an arcane circle of fountain pens and classic RPGs, or you can find her on Twitter and other dark corners of the Internet.
"It's like The Good Place meets Law & Order: Bibliophile Crime Unit. Highly recommended. This book is so much fun, and you should be reading it. Trust me. Stories about story are some of my favorite kinds. This book definitely makes the list. I am so glad I read this."—Seanan McGuire, author of In an Absent Dream
“Clever, charming, full of intricate worldbuilding and delightful characters, The Library of the Unwritten is the first book in your new favorite series.”—Christina Henry, author of The Girl in Red “The Library of the Unwrittenis a tiered dark chocolate cake of a book. The read is rich and robust, the prose has layers upon layers, and the characters melt like ganache upon the tongue.”—Meg Elison, Philip K. Dick Award Winner
"A delightful romp through heaven, hell, and everything in between which reveals itself in layers."—Caitlin Starling, author of The Luminous Dead
"A muse, an undead librarian, a demon, and a ghost walk into Valhalla... what follows is a delightful and poignant fantasy adventure that delivers a metric ton of found family feels, and reminds us that the hardest stories to face can be the ones we tell about ourselves." –New York Times bestselling author Kit Rocha
"Hackwith has artfully penned a love letter to books and readers alike and filled it with lush, gorgeous prose, delightfully real characters, a nonstop, twisty, and heart-wrenching plot, and an explosive ending that gave me chills.”-- K. A. Doore, author of The Perfect Assassin “A wry, high-flying, heartfelt fantasy, told with sublime prose and sheer joy even at its darkest moments (and there are many). I want this entire series on my shelf yesterday.”—Tyler Hayes, author of The Imaginary Corpse
“The only book I’ve ever read that made the writing process look like fun. A delight for readers and writers alike!”—Hugo Award Finalist Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
"Elaborate worldbuilding, poignant and smart characters, and a layered plot...An ode to books, writing, and found families."—Library Journal (starred review)
"Hackwith writes a fast-paced, suspenseful story set in an intriguing world where storytellers can duel with words and souls are not what they seem."—Booklist
"Wow! A.J. Hackwith puts a whole new spin on libraries and librarians in The Library of the Unwritten! The imaginative plotline coupled with lots of phenomenal action and a solid dose of humor keep the reader engaged even as we wonder what twisted turn of events will happen next.”--Fresh Fiction