Book Review: The Library of the Unwritten

Genre: Fiction / Fantasy

Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: 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.

The premise for this book sounded really intriguing – a library of unwritten/unfinished books with a librarian to manage any escaped characters – but this one fell flat for me.

I liked the characters of Claire (the head librarian), her assistant Brevity, who happens to be a Muse, the young demon courier Leto, and the escaped book character who puts the chain of events into motion, Hero. This found family of unique and realistically flawed characters was diverse and creative. Claire presents a prickly face to the world, but inside, she is carrying her own personal demons and beating herself up for mistakes she’s made in the past. Brevity struggles with unsecurity and always feeling “not good enough”. Leto is a newly formed demon, who gradually begins to remember parts of his previous human life and realizes it wasn’t a good one. Hero… well… Hero isn’t who he seems to be, even if he is the hero of his own story.

My problem with the book is that the plot was convoluted and despite what should have been an interesting epic quest to track down the Codex (the Devil’s Bible) through various literary-influenced landscapes, I just couldn’t engage with it. I’m not sure if it was just scattered, or if the addition of the angel characters drew too much attention from the main group, (or maybe just a whole bunch of little things that didn’t quite mesh together for me), but I had a hard time being interested in the main point of the storyline.

This is the first in a series and sadly, I don’t think I will pick up the other ones as I didn’t enjoy this one enough to continue with these characters. A shame, really, as the basic concept is one I could have potentially really enjoyed.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Library of the Unwritten

  1. I really like the premise for this one too. Based on reviews I’ve seen, it either really works for you, or really doesn’t. I’m hoping that when I get around to it, I discover that it works for me… but we’ll have to see. I’m hesitant to find out.

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