Title: The Girl of Hawthorne and Glass
Author: Adan Jerreat-Poole
Published: 6 October 2020
Quote: “[Eli] understood that creators have strings embedded in our hearts” (17).
Eli is an assassin. A made assassin. She was made by a witch to be nothing more than a tool to kill ghosts in the human world. But something goes wrong and she’s brought into a group of people who know about her world. Eli along with two humans, Cam and Tav, go back to her world to steel the heart of the coven. But is everything as it seems? Or are there more sinister motives afoot?
I received an advanced copy of this book from Edelweiss+ and Dundurn in exchange for an honest review.
To start off, I really loved the diversity in this book. The main character is queer, there’s a secondary gay characters, and a black non–binary character. Which I truly loved, so more please.
I really wanted to like this book. I mean the summary sounds amazing: assassins, witches, queer characters. What’s not to like?
Well, quite a bit. Unfortunately. As I stated above, I truly wanted to like this book, and I do love, love, love the LGBTQ+ and black representation. Yet, the story just fell flat for me.
First, the world building. I am a sucker for anything that has witches. Seriously, I am willing to read anything that has witches in it. In this story, Eli comes from the City of Eyes. The City of Eyes is run by the witches coven….maybe. There’s also the Labyrinth, which is run by a young girl, Clytemnestra, who reminded me of one of these Angels…
(Ten points to Ravenclaw for anyone who knows this reference).
Clytemnestra is young but apparently way older and has vampire like teeth; I don’t really know what’s going on with her. Then there’s Kite. She became friends with Eli when they were young. Spoiler alert: Kite is a witch. But not only that, she’s the heir to the Witch Lord. Whoever that is. The world building was confusing and not explained well enough, at least for me to understand.
Second, while the characters being diverse were great. I never felt any attachment to any of them. I didn’t care if they survived or completed their mission. The characters backstories and motives felt lackluster or rushed over, so it was hard to root for them or believe in their conflicts or mission.
I know this is the author’s debut novel, so I don’t want to say that it was all bad. I think the storyline, world, and characters were great, but think there could be great improvements to all of this.