Review of ‘The Archive of the Forgotten’

An excellent sequel, The Archive of the Forgotten delves deeper into the mysteries of Hells Library.

A Good Story Fueled by Excellent Characters

The Archive of the Forgotten
A.J. Hackwith

The Archive of the Forgotten takes place shortly after The Library of the Unwritten and the demon Andras’ failed coup. Still reeling from the events and consequences of their adventures in the previous novel, the character dynamics have changed. Brevity, the muse who stole inspiration and Claire’s former apprentice, is now the Head Librarian while Claire has been removed and made the Arcanist. 

Hackwith jumps right into her storytelling as she picks up the pieces of the previous novel and explores the tension between them. Hero, formerly of a book, is now Brevity’s assistant, and the fallen angel Ramiel who had been working to earn his place in Heaven, is now Claire’s assistant in Hell. This shows the reader just how much the previous novel changed them and how they continue to grow in this novel.

The tension between the characters leaks off the pages and into the reader, much like the novel’s ink. It pulls the reader in, allowing the reader to connect to the characters. There are times when the characters, notably Brevity and Claire, are unlikeable, but the reader understands them. There is a struggle between the characters and pain between them as they try to understand this new balance between them and their new situation.

Hackwith does an excellent job of bringing these characters to life because the reader feels their pain, guilt, rage, sorrow, and compassion. The emotions flow from the story and into the reader beautifully.

Excellent Expansion

Much like its predecessor, The Archive of the Forgotten continues to take readers on a magical journey. In the first novel, these characters go to Earth and Valhalla. Now they are on their way to Elysium, another expansion of the library.

It is incredible how Hackwith has expanded the scope of the library in Hell. There is the Dust Wing, and the Unsaid Wing heralded by Echo. Following these characters as they embark on a journey to discover the secrets of unwritten books and ink gives the story more range and more magic. Bringing in characters from Greek Mythology gives the story even more dimension as it builds up this library in Hell and its purpose there.

Final Thoughts

Indeed a brilliant sequel, The Archive of the Forgotten, is a captivating novel. It explores the characters’ depth and emotional range, evolving them as their journey continues and gives the reader a story to match its ending. It is both magical and emotional and will make the reader hunger for another.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Product Details:

Pub Date: October 6, 2020Page Count: 368ppAge Range: 18 & Over
ISBN: 978-1-9848-0639-0Publisher: AceList Price: $16.00

The Archive of the Forgotten


Writing Quality


Character Development


"Couldn't Put It Down"-ness


Intellectual Depth





  • Emotional.
  • Magical.
  • Greats storytelling.
  • Relatable and strong characterization.

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