Review: Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

Dark of the West

Publisher: Tor Teen
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Released: February 5th
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Dark of the West through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Dark of the West is Joanna Hathaway’s debut novel and the first novel in the Glass Alliance series. I have to say, even after only reading this one novel by her; Hathaway is going to be an author worth keeping an eye on.

Dark of the West is exquisitely written, there are so many details that bring the world to life. The characters feel real, as do the events surrounding them. It’s described as a YA fantasy, but I feel like that doesn’t do the new series justice. It has so much depth to it. There’s politics, war, espionage, familial battles, and even a pair of star crossed lovers. It’s got a little something for everyone, and that’s what truly makes it perfect.

Spoiler Warning

I went into Dark of the West with high expectations. Those expectations were possibly higher than was fair, but I am pleased to say that all of them were met. Dark of the West is as beautifully written as the cover may indicate. Inside there’s a whole world built on the intricacy of human interactions and politics. It’s wonderfully done.

The prologue was what drew me in immediately. I’m not always a fan of having the prologue be an excerpt from a later point in a series, but in this instance, it’s applied well. We started off right into the thick of things, which is smart because it grabs our attention. But it also offered a warning for what was to come, and personally, I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

I’ll confess that it did take me a while to really get to like the two main characters from the series. I was intrigued by the story, thanks to the prologue. But I wasn’t feeling connected to the characters right away. In all it probably took me about five chapters, give or take, to really feel like Aurelia and Athan were coming to life.

I actually really loved the slow build involved there. There was no rush – but over time these characters became more and more real. Their hopes and fears were made clear, as were the ways they were being pulled into the core plot.

There was more than one moment during this novel that I found myself anxiously turning the pages to see what happened next. While I didn’t read it all in one sitting, it was a near thing. And I certainly stayed up past my bedtime thanks to this one.

I love a book that makes me think, and Dark of the West certainly did that. There were so many different plots and schemes going on. I couldn’t help but theorize about the truth of some of them while questioning the veracity of some of the very events seen by the main characters’ own eyes.

I know it’s too soon to even begin hoping for information on the sequel, but I am very much looking forward to any news. So far there’s an untitled book listed on Joanna Hathaway’s Goodreads account. I’m hoping that it’s going to turn into the second Glass Alliance novel.


About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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