This review I’m doing something a bit different, instead of looking at a single book, I’ll be looking at the Hell’s Library series by A.J. Hackwith.
This series consists of three books, The Library of the Unwritten, The Archive of the Forgotten and The God of Lost Words, and follows the turmoil of Head Librarian Claire and her assistant, ex muse Brevity, as they attempt to retrieve a character who has escaped his book and left the Library, a Library which just happens to be located in hell.
This is the overarching plot of the trio of books, and I will admit I picked up the first based solely on the cover and this concept, and I regretted it almost immediately.
This book took a lot of warming up to, the plot was very laboured for the first 150 pages and then in one chapter it all changed. Everything fell into place and I charged through the remaining books like a greyhound chasing a hare.
So, you may be wondering why I’m reviewing this series when I found it so lacklustre initially, and this is where it gets interesting.
At the conclusion of the last book there is a notation from the author, and it kind of explained everything. It seems that the first novel, The Library of the Unwritten, was actually written for NaNoWriMo, yes, a successful book, a successful series, a successful author, and that got me thinking.
I completed NaNoWriMo, and even though I was really happy to have written my book, it all got too hard at that point, but it appears that doesn’t have to be the case. A.J. Hackwith took her manuscript and she flew for the stars, and that reason alone is enough for me to encourage you to read her series.
But it doesn’t end there of course, these books are remarkable well plotted, there’s a bit of everything, character growth, action, double … triple twists and underlying it all a really important message.
I recommend this book to anyone who has ever had an idea for a book, who has ever considered NaNoWriMo, who has ever completed their book and asked what now? A.J. Hackwith isn’t a success story because she wrote a great series, she’s a success story because she had faith to stick with her dreams.
Perhaps there’s a lesson in that for all of us.