Series: Hell’s Library
Author: A.J. Hackwith
Publisher: Ace Books
Released: October 6, 2020
The Archive of the Forgotten is the second novel in A.J. Hackwith’s Hell’s Library Series, and the more I read, the more hooked I become. I’m fortunate to have The God of Lost Words waiting for me to jump right into.
The Library of the Unwritten has a new librarian, Brevity. Meanwhile, Claire has stepped into running the Arcane Wing in the Library. It’s taking some – well, a lot – of getting used to. This adjustment period would be difficult enough without constant reminders of what was lost hanging over their heads.
Or puddling by their feet. A mysterious puddle has formed in the Arcane Wing, and it appears to be made of ink. More than that, it feels like the Library of the Unwritten. Is this what remains of the books that were so recently destroyed?
“Every book carried a scar, a splinter of psyche, that was essential to its need to exist.”
How does every book in this series (I know I’m only at two – you know what I mean) manage to hit me so hard in the feels? The Archive of the Forgotten was not the sequel I was expecting, but I feel like it’s the sequel we deserved.
The Archive of the Forgotten brings us back to Claire, Brevity, Hero, and Rami, but it does not continue how I might have expected. I’m going to argue that the path written by A.J. Hackwith is far better than anything I could have imagined. Don’t get me wrong – it weighs heavy on the heart, but it is still perfect for the story.
Honestly, the Archive of the Forgotten concept is pretty heartbreaking. The idea of books being left to disintegrate and die is sad, especially when we think about the characters making those books their homes.
There were many surprises in this book, alongside new characters. At least one of them I loved to hate, even though that opinion didn’t feel justified until the end (and then, oh – the satisfaction!). It made for a complex and emotional read, one I wouldn’t change for the world.
“Letting books take you where they might – that was one part of the Library magic.”