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.
This excellent debut sends Claire Hadley, the Librarian of the Unwritten Wing in Hell, on a quest across realms to find a book of power. Claire, along with her apprentice librarian, former muse Brevity, and a young demon, Leto, have gone to Seattle, where they hope to recover a character who has escaped from one of the unwritten volumes in their charge. While there, Claire and Leto are accosted by the angel Ramiel, who demands that they return an unnamed book. Once they get back to the Library, they discover that the book in question is the Codex Gigas, a repository for Lucifer's power and no one knows where it is. But if they don't find it, Hell and Heaven will go to war. Claire gathers allies, including the escaped character, now called "Hero," and a duke of Hell who is the Librarian from the Arcane Wing. Their hunt for the Codex takes them to Valhalla, Earth, and beyond. Hackwith builds her world and characters with loving detail, creating a delightful addition to the corpus of library-based and heaven vs. hell fantasies. This novel and its promised sequels will find a wide audience.
What a good read
Good read. Sometimes we think that the best books are complicated. They don’t have to be. A book like this one, built on a creative premise, with relatable characters- even if they don’t dwell in literary self-examination, can be entertaining and engaging. I enjoyed it.
A creative idea executed beautifully, depth in all characters, coexisting afterlives, AND lgbt inclusion that's not even questioned? This treat is too sweet. I adore it. 10/10 would hug author forever