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A librarian in charge of unwritten books gets pulled into a dispute between heaven and hell in Hackwith’s debut.

Claire is the librarian of hell’s Unwritten Wing, meaning she's in charge of books that either haven’t been written yet or, if their author has died, will never be written at all. Claire’s soul is human, unlike that of her assistant, Brevity, who's a failed muse. There’s nothing an unwritten book wants more than to be written, and sometimes a book is able to manifest itself in the form of one of its characters. When a young demon named Leto gives Claire the news that one such book has escaped, she knows it’ll be looking for its author on Earth, hoping to convince her to sit down and write that book she’s been thinking about. But when Claire, Brevity, and Leto go to retrieve the book, they are confronted by the angel Ramiel, who is convinced they have pages of the Devil’s Bible. Suddenly Claire and her friends are on the run from realm to realm, trying to get to those pages before Ramiel and prevent a war between heaven and hell. There’s a lot going on here, and the first in any new series has plenty of worldbuilding to cover, but it would have been nice if this sprawling first installment had been a bit more contained. The scenes with Ramiel and the other angels are particularly interesting, as are hints of political tensions between the demons of hell. Hackwith is a strong writer, and there’s plenty to build a series on here, so hopefully future novels will have a narrower focus.

A somewhat overstuffed first entry in a promising new series.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-9848-0637-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Ace/Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2019