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Library of the Unwritten by AJ Hackwith

Each month our staff picks additional recommendations based on our Dandy Roll Book Club pick. We're recommending House on the Cerulean Sea for those of our members who would like to read a novel about morally grey characters based on our March pick, A Tip for the Hangman by Allison Epstein.

Courtney, co-owner and founder of Dandy Roll Book Club, recommended The Library of the Unwritten, the first book in the Hell’s Library series by A. J. Hackwith. The story follows Claire, the head librarian of Hell’s library, a vast collection of unfinished or abandoned novels; Claire’s job is to preside over the volumes and make sure that the characters do not escape their pages. When a Hero does exactly that, Claire has to track down the character before they can reach the author. Along the way, things go very awry, and Claire is sucked into an adventure beyond her wildest imaginings.

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.

  • Paperback, 384 pages
  • Penguin Random House, 2019