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The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass

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Even teenage assassins have dreams.

Eli isn’t just a teenage girl — she’s a made-thing the witches created to hunt down ghosts in the human world. Trained to kill with her seven magical blades, Eli is a flawless machine, a deadly assassin. But when an assignment goes wrong, Eli starts to question everything she was taught about both worlds, the Coven, and her tyrannical witch-mother.

Worried that she’ll be unmade for her mistake, Eli gets caught up with a group of human and witch renegades, and is given the most difficult and dangerous task in the worlds: capture the Heart of the Coven. With the help of two humans, one motorcycle, and a girl who smells like the sea, Eli is going to get answers — and earn her freedom.

320 pages, Paperback

First published October 6, 2020

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Adan Jerreat-Poole

4 books92 followers

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5 stars
78 (11%)
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122 (17%)
3 stars
220 (32%)
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187 (27%)
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72 (10%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 379 reviews
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews154k followers
March 30, 2021

"Eventually she would turn back into the parts that the witch had used to make her - a girl stitched together out of beetle shells and cranberries and a witch's greed."
Eli spent her entire life in under the thumb of the witches.

Through the help of her seven magical blades, she's made countless ghost kills in the name of her witch-mother.
"Your glory is my glory," said Eli dutifully. "My victory is your victory. I are a tool and I have value."
Desperation drives her - she needs to please her witch "mother" and the council because there's the ever-living threat of being "unmade" - which means she'd be returned to her original parts (aka plants).

Her latest target supposed to be a cinch...but for the first time, she's feeling a conscious wear up.
Eli had always known that she was a monster.
Conflicted and worried, she's forced to accept a new target. She begins the hunt but the more she delves into this mission, the more she finds herself pulling away.

But without her role as a witch-assassin, what could she possibly be?
She was a star, a soul, a creature, and she wanted to drink the entire world.
Ultimately, this book started well - like incredibly well.

My initial impression was 5-stars all the way and it was only until the second half that things took a downturn for me.

It began to get confusing and weird.

The world building started fraying and I'm still confused over what happened even when reading it twice.

Which is a huge shame cause...wow...it was incredible to start with. Like a Holly-Black-Meets-Melissa-Albert kind of amazing.

I think, this book needed to be firmer on the basics- the world rules, the plot and the characters needed a stronger, more focused hand.

With thanks to Netgalley, Dundurn Press and Adan Jerreat-Poole for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,123 reviews39.1k followers
March 22, 2021
Nope. Sorry. The fantasy book I was hoping to read cannot be found at this moment. Please try again later. Bippp!

I pushed myself too hard to like this book but it was exhausting and tormenting experience. I was so hopeful after seeing the fantastic artsy, beautiful cover and promising plot about teenage assassin chasing the ghosts in the human world. But… yes… I try to be soft grader when it comes to debut novels. I tried to be patient that at some part, the story will turn into something meaningful and riveting journey. But I’m so sorry even though writing style is different and interesting, there is no moving storyline. I couldn’t resonate with any of the characters but the development, their motives and their background stories were missing. You cannot root any of them because you don’t believe in their mission, conflicts or struggles.

Eli is being set up during her mission and now she cannot handle her failure so well and she finds herself aligned with a group, after without questioning further she joins them. I didn’t actually care Eli’s confused mind about real world and the Coven or her reasoning to join renegades and the other characters we’re introduced didn’t get my interest.

And the world building is also weak. So I couldn’t find anything concrete to enjoy. I got lost about the witches’ hierarchy dynamics and political orders.

So overall: I tried. I really did. I even thought to give 2.5 stars. But instead of cover and original story telling, there is nothing intriguing about this book so unfortunately I stick with 2 solid stars.

Special thanks to NetGalley and DunDurn for sharing this ARC in exchange my honest review. I wish I could love this one but unfortunately it didn’t work with me.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,398 reviews9,520 followers
September 27, 2020
Wow! I’m sad I didn’t love this book! I thought I might be different from the majority of my friends and really love it.

I love the idea of this book. I loved the main character and a few others. I loved that this was a weird book. I love that it made me feel like it could have been a crazy teen version of Bladerunner in its own weird way. I never go by what any synopsis says a book is like; comparing it to other books. I find, in my opinion, that is generally crap and nothing like any other book. This book has its own uniqueness, but there was something missing. And I might give this book another shot someday just to make sure it’s not my mood.

I would love for people to give this book a chance as it could be your jam as it was right on the edge for me.

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a digital copy of this book.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

Profile Image for NAT.orious reads ☾.
832 reviews331 followers
April 29, 2020
2 STARS at best ★★✩✩✩
This book is for you if… you fall in love first and foremost with the characters. It wasn't for me but I feel this might be exactly what some readers might need.

Ugh. What is going ONNNNah.

You know when you didn't enjoy a book and don't care although you feel like you should? Well, I didn't really enjoy this book but am honestly livid that I don't. I had high hopes, fueled by the cover and the powerful preface Adan gave their readers.

I really, really, really, realllyyy wanted to love this but I just didn't feel the suspense at all. The characters are amazing, lovely, adorable, all of them. Tav, omg if I just had a fraction of their spit. And the way Cam cares is just too much for anybody with not above average emotional capacities. They were somehow crystal clear to me, interesting and very distinct from each other.

The world-building, on the other hand, lacked in so many places that I had an extremely hard time settling into the book. I suppose the plot of A Girl of Hawthorn and Glass might be described as original but I wouldn’t know because the aids to help imagine the universe of this book are thin as paper mâché. I couldn't picture Eli's homeworld at all, much less the people and creature inhabiting it, didn't get the faintest idea of the dynamics despite the introduction of the council and her maker/mother. It was rough and I had the hardest time pushing through.

Some of Adan's prose is also quite irritating. It's challenging to get behind ‘she was like an ant on a giant pile of black sand’. What does that even mean?

Does it make any sense at all that I love all the characters but felt 98% detached from the story?

What’s happening.
‘What’s the magic word?’ ‘I was trained to kill?’ ‘Good enough for me.'

Eli belongs in the human world like fish belong in the desert. Or at least that's what everyone tells her. The more time she spends in the City of Ghosts - the more contact she has with humans - the less certain she is of those words and her life as an assassin. And then she meets Tav who are badass and strong but also soft in all the right ways, and Cam who cares in a way few people care. And then Eli questions her alliances ... again.
writing quality + easy of reading = 2.5*

pace = 1*

plot/story in general = 3*

plot development = 1*

characters = 5*

enjoyability = 2*

insightfulness = 3*
Many thanks to the author Adan Jerreat-Poole and Dundurn Press for providing me with this eArc in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Joshita ❤.
170 reviews361 followers
August 12, 2022
*Thankyou Netgalley and Dundurn Press for providing me with the arc in exchange for a review*

My rating: 2...which translates to~it was OK.
"Your glory is my glory. My victory is your victory. I am a tool and I have value. The coven will honour us for our services."
If I were to describe this book in a sentence it would be: It had potential!

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass is a story of Eli, who a made-thing build by the witches. She is a tool used to eradicate the world of ghosts. She is an assassin. But when an assignment goes wrong, she gets a new insight on the Coven, she devotedly followed. But with the help of her new human friends and a few witches, it is time to try something new. Which the coven may not like.

Honestly, now as I read the description I just wrote for the book—it sounds fucking amazing but the book is far from it! Please just don't see this awesome and breathtaking cover and assume that the book will be even as half as good as the cover. This book was especially for the fans of nevernight and The Hazel Wood, and guess who had read Nevernight just a month ago.
I, in no way, wanted to compare it to Nevernight and I didn't but it was still not good.

The writing seemed very strange and confusing. If you see my annotations, all I comment on is how nothing makes sense. As I said the story that potential...it really did. The fight sequences weren't written properly and neither were the characters. I had to read a few pages again to make sense of the surroundings. Every time I got invested in the plot, that particular arc just vanished. Every time something was happening that might make me feel for the characters, it ended abruptly.

If the author wanted the book as a standalone, adding 200 pages more worth description of everything would have been a better way to work around the story. Or in my case, I believe that with the current storyline, the author could have split the book into two and should have taken time to write the scenes and characters. Everything felt rushed. It was a fast-paced story and just very overwhelming to read. This could have gone the other way around with just improved writing and worldbuilding.
She wasn't used to being stared at. She was a shadow, a nightmare, death in dark corners.

The worldbuilding isn't very good. I could read a 1000 page book if things make sense and the worldbuilding is done perfectly rather than reading a book that does everything in its power to confuse you. Worldbuilding is definitely not one of the key features to judge a story. I have loved so many books with pathetic worldbuilding but amazingly written characters. I have continued series with idiotic storylines just because I was so in love with the characters but I couldn't even like the main character here, let alone the side ones.
Eli is introduced as a very strong and feared assassin. With nothing she couldn't face, she is said to be a diva. But there is no such evidence of the above lines in the book! She involves herself in a fight, bragging how she can be very dangerous, only to end up losing and getting her butt kicked and eventually giving up only to be saved by two mortals! That was very very lame and idiotic to depict a character a certain way and then not even trying to prove the theory!

One of the things that I loved was the author trying to bring awareness to the black community as one of the main characters is black and a queer guy. Of course, I would have loved to see that explored more, but you guessed it...NOTHING WAS EVER DESCRIPTIVE!

There were times when I would change the story a little in my head and those times my inexperienced teenage mind created a very interesting plot out of the one in the book. So many things could have gone differently. I can also basically translate my review to—I am disappointed and it had fucking POTENTIAL.

With that i would present to you the one quote that i wasn't wasn't disappointed with:
"I am going to pretend i understood that". said Cam.
Profile Image for Schizanthus Nerd.
1,136 reviews232 followers
August 5, 2020
Eli is a girl of hawthorn and glass. Literally. Her body consists of other substances as well but she’s a made-thing. She’s the perfect assassin, created by a witch to kill ghosts.
Eventually she would turn back into the parts the witch had used to make her - a girl stitched together out of beetle shells and cranberries and a witch’s greed.
Eli and her seven blades have never failed before but something goes wrong this time in the City of Ghosts, and she’s terrified of being unmade.

Seanan McGuire says The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass is a “unique, gripping, engaging book by a voice that the genre has been waiting for.” Anyone who knows me knows Seanan is my favourite author so if they enjoyed it, then logic says I will as well. I loved the concept and this series has so much potential. Amongst other goodies, there’s magic, witches and a labyrinth.
“What’s the magic word?”
“I was trained to kill?”
“Good enough for me.”
You know those photomosaic jigsaw puzzles where each piece is its own tiny picture, but when you finish the puzzle you see the big picture? That’s the image I get when I think about the world building in this book, except the big picture isn’t complete. It’s like I was given a bunch of beautiful, strange little pictures, some that read like poetry. However, I didn’t get enough of them to form an overall picture.

I can see part of the Labyrinth, part of the library and the door of Circinae’s house but I can’t imagine the City of Eyes as a whole. I also couldn’t get a clear picture of what Kite looked like.

I wanted to delve deeper into the history of the City of Eyes. Eli, as a made-thing, wasn’t privy to that information herself so it made sense for the reader to go in blind. We learn a small amount of background information when Eli does. If I’d either been given a history lesson earlier or had the opportunity to interact with more of the Coven, I‘m certain I would have been more invested in the story.

As it was, for most of the book, the Coven’s motivation was unknown. Other than some limited interaction with Circinae, the adult inhabitants of this world remained fairly mysterious. Not an alluring kind of mysterious, though. It was more of an ‘I don’t know who these characters are’ mystery. There were also some scenes where I still don’t really know what happened.

I’m pretty sure I stumbled into a couple of plot holes although, to be fair, there is a forthcoming sequel that could fill them. I’d be interested to see how the story concludes in The Boi of Feather and Steel.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Dundurn Press for the opportunity to read this book.

Blog - https://schizanthusnerd.com
Profile Image for Melanie (mells_view).
1,695 reviews324 followers
March 27, 2020
Magic is meant to be chaos. Chaos is beautiful!

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole caught my eye with that simple yet beautiful cover, and reeled me in with the promise of an intriguing Frankenstein’s monster-esqe teenage assassin main character, and the busting down the Coven’s tyrannical reign over the City of Ghosts and the City of Eyes plot line. I feel like this author has a very lyrical writing style mixed with a young vibe. The City of Eyes gave me a Labyrinth type visual in my kind. That scary beautiful sort of aesthetic. Our lead character Eli is sort of on this journey of self discovery. Finding her strength and the power she has even though she was “created” by the witches to be an assassin, she is more, and she can be more. I liked that base layer of her character, but I did find it a bit hard to connect with her and some of the additional characters, and I blame that on the fact that the transitions were a bit choppy and I did feel like I was playing catch up often in this read.

I even mentioned to a friend that I felt like I was reading an extremely detailed poem. It’s beautiful and entrancing. A poem extensive enough that it’s a story, but since it’s labeled a novel it feels like, for me, that it’s missing something. That being said I enjoyed this read overall. Sort of a coming into oneself type of read. I loved that there is LGBTQ+ representation that feels seamless. That the main character has inner doubts that sort of allude to mental illness in some ways. I liked the imagery of the world that was built. I just wish the transitions had all been smoother and I didn’t feel a step behind the entire story.

I definitely plan to check out what’s to come next from this author.

Profile Image for Fanna.
987 reviews499 followers
November 28, 2020
September 22, 2020: ❋ one of the most disappointing reads of the year ❋

⇾ an interesting set up of a made-and-manipulated assassin realigning her motives and the true purpose of a coven that has created her to tear down the world of ghosts.
⇾ a dissatisfying execution of this idea that has immense potential due to overlapping plot lines and a rushed pacing, not allowing the readers to connect with the characters at any level.
⇾ an attempt at the found family trope but lack of time given to build the bonds lets the reader down.
⇾ appreciable inclusion of sexual diversity through the different LGBTQ+ characters, but unfortunately the only good thing that stood out.

March 12, 2020: It is being called perfect for fans of The Hazel Wood and I did like that book so looking forward to reading this one. Especially since it offers non-binary characters in a queer romance, AND a group of misfits, witches, and ghosts saving the world. Thank you, Dundurn Press for the digital review copy via Netgalley!
Profile Image for Alexia | Right Writing Words .
95 reviews26 followers
May 19, 2020

The description of this book made me so excited for it, not to mention that the cover is beautiful.

One of the strangest things about this book for me is the fact that the title is literal. There is literally a girl made partly of hawthorn and glass. The girl was literally built by using things such as hawthorn, glass, and other stuff. So, this is the first time I’ve read a book where the title is literal.

This story and world have the potential to be amazing. It’s weird, it’s different, it’s fantastical.

So why didn’t I like it?

The characters were way too flat and underdeveloped, I can barely even remember all their names. We only have descriptions for the world, no history about the place or people at all. The story had no time to settle and was incredibly rushed, which mean that it had terrible pace. The writing was different, and I liked it, but at times it was too metaphorical, and I had no idea what was going on.

The few strong aspects of this book were its diverse cast and unique setting.

Good Underlying Themes/Messages:

-Homophobia is wrong.
-There is always more to a person than meets the eye.
-History is written by the winner.
Half a star for this category.

Interesting Story:

As I mentioned above, this story really does have the potential to become something amazing. Ignoring all the bad things, it was an interesting story. If the author had taken some more time to explain the story and make sure that the pacing wasn’t too fast, I would have loved it.

Half a star for this category.

Fantastic World-Building:

The pacing was too fast for worldbuilding. There were no breaks for the author to build a solid world and I’m disappointed because I would have loved to find out more. The City of Eyes is Coraline-level weird.

And I love Coraline, which says a lot about the comparison.

I want to know the history. I want to know about the hierarchy because at the moment I have absolutely no idea about how it works. I want to know more about the people living in the city; are there many people? I don’t know since it felt like only the children, Eli and her mother lived there.

I can sort of understand why the author left out so much of the world-building. There is lots of advice saying cut out the boring stuff and yes, world-building can sometimes be an effort to read through, but its necessary for a book to have it. I’m not sure what genre this book is, urban fantasy I guess, but fantasy book are supposed to be long. They need substance. At the beginning, I felt that this book was too short and I was right. It barely reaches 300 pages, which is definitely too small for a fantasy.

But once again, it does have the potential.

Half a star for this category.

Realistic Characters and Growth:

The main character is called Eli. She’s a made-thing belonging to the witches and is employed by the witch council to hunt down rogue ghosts. She’s supposed to be tough, merciless and focused. Pretty cool.

Instead, she’s bland and boring. When she’s around her mother, her narrative is written in ‘formal’ way, but when she speaks to Cam, she’s uncharacteristically witty. It just comes out of nowhere and doesn’t fit her character.

Tav, at least, is pretty consistent. They are cool and calm, and toughened by the world. If anything, I would have liked to find out some more about them. Cam was the comic-relief, and he reminded me of Chubs from The Darkest Minds. He was sweet and awkwardly funny, which I appreciated.

There is definitely something to be said for diversity and LGBT+ representation in this book. Nothing is forced, but rather everyone feels like they fit well into the story.

Half a star for this category.


Since there were no pauses in the story and the characters were flat, there was no one I could become attached to. I didn’t really care about the story or where it went, or whether these characters would make it to the end.

The writing was different from anything I’ve ever read, and the descriptions were weird, which fit with the weird setting but at times it was too metaphorical so I couldn’t really understand what was going on.

0,25 stars for this category.

That’s it!

This book was definitely a disappointment for me, but I’m sure my next read will be better!

Have you read The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass? What did you think?

Till we meet again!

Xx Alexia
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,075 reviews215 followers
May 21, 2020
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass was an okay book. Not going to lie, I was really excited to dive into this because so many people were reading this on GR. Plus, I've had some friends say they like it or dislike it so I really wanted to form my opinion.

Okay, so, this book started off slow for me. Really really slow. I wont even say it picks up because the entire book just dragged for me. Which, again.. honestly, disappoints the living hell out of me. First off, you meet Eli and she is kind of an interesting assassin. She is probably the only reason I kept reading because I just wanted to know more about her and her little missions. Then there's the whole LGBTQ+ representation which intrigued me as well. I wont lie to you about it one bit - this book did a great job with all of that love. Yet, I was still so bored. Beyond bored maybe.

Besides her, we got to meet some side characters. They were okay and kind of interesting but nothing could redeem this book for me. If I could give you some suggestions as to how this book could be better - my brain just couldn't give you the answer. It's complete mush right now and I'm just so sad. I really wanted to like this book and I'm sad that I couldn't.

In the end, it had so much potential but just crashed and burned for me.
Profile Image for Angela Staudt.
373 reviews107 followers
March 25, 2020
I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

1.5 stars.

I don’t really know what I just read. So many aspects didn’t make sense, and the story was just kind of all over the place. From the synopsis I thought this was going to be an incredible story about this assassin who was made by witches to go into the human world and kill ghosts. It wasn’t really that, but I couldn’t tell you what it was either.

I love fantasy books because of the world building and descriptions. This book could have had such a unique plot, but there weren’t any descriptions on how this world worked. To get from the human side, to the witches’ side of the world sounded super cool, but it’s just explained as a vortex?? I need more than that. I wanted to know how this world worked and why it was the way it was.

Another thing that bothered me was how so much was going on, but yet nothing was really going on. The main character is an assassin made by witches and the descriptions of how she was made and with what made no sense. Her dialogue with the other characters was just annoying, weird, and I didn’t care for anyone. Honestly, this book just did not make sense as a whole. Clever and unique plotline, but it did not follow through.
Profile Image for Kelly.
1,310 reviews501 followers
March 23, 2020
1.5 stars

I'm sorry. I wanted to like this book but while this book has a great cover and a lot of LGBTQ+ representation, sadly, it failed to deliver a good fantasy plot (in my opinion). The world-building was lacking if non-existent. The idea of having a world of witches above our own with a vortex to go from one to the other was interesting but it wasn't enough for me. I needed to know more and things happened but it felt weird and not a lot were explained.

About the characters : Eli is a girl being created by witch magic to perform assassinations. When she ends up killing a human instead of what she thought was a ghost, we're left wondering why she would be sent to kill him. Tav is non-binary and I liked them. Cam as well but I didn't care for them enough to enjoy reading this book.

Overall, while I appreciate the efforts put into writing this story, not a lot made sense to me and unfortunately around 30-40% I was ready for it to end. I wanted to like it but it was all over the place.
Profile Image for Miranda.
144 reviews49 followers
April 1, 2020
I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole immediately caught my eye because of its cover. However, it is also described as a book fans of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert would enjoy, so I was drawn to it even more. I went in only knowing that the book was set in a fantasy world with witches and assassins.

The novel follows Eli, a teenaged assassin that was created by witches in the City of Eyes to hunt ghosts. She accepts her fate as a “made-thing” and obediently does as she is told. She becomes a machine, traveling to and from the City of Ghosts, or the human world, using her trusted blades to do the bidding of others. However, Eli begins to question herself and her duties when a mission goes wrong.

While in the human world, Eli meets and later befriends Cam and Tav. They introduce her to humans and witch renegades who are working against the powerful witch Coven. They plan to harness magic to help save the Earth by stealing the Heart of the Coven. For Eli, this serves as a way to find answers and her own freedom.

I really liked Eli’s character, and I found myself even more intrigued to see how she changed as she developed a closer relationship to Cam and Tav. I appreciated that all three helped each other grow, so I became invested in their stories. I also thought it was great that the author incorporated a lot of representation and LGBTQ+ characters - Eli seems to be queer, Cam is gay, and Tav is non-binary.

While I enjoyed some aspects, this book did not completely work for me. It seemed like a very unique story at first, but it lacked proper world-building. I wished for more detail about the City of Eyes and its magic. Plus, the writing style and language were not my favorite at times. I also felt like there was a lot happening, but some of it did not seem purposeful. The plot branches off in so many directions, but in this case, less is more. A few things seemed distracting or irrelevant because of everything else that was happening, so I felt as though the book was not following a central idea or story anymore.

The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass is entertaining, and I can see why people would enjoy it. Adan Jerreat-Poole creates an intriguing story with wonderful characters, but it did not quite live up to my expectations. However, I would still be tempted to check out this book’s sequel solely because of the characters.

Thank you to the publisher, Dundurn, and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this novel before its release.
February 16, 2020
The cover art and premise are amazing, but unfortunately the story itself fell short due to lack of substance and heart. It felt like the plot was having an identity crisis, trifled by misdirection and confusion. For the most part the writing style was interesting and original. Character development and world building were very close to being finely polished. Due to the storyline having an excruciating flawed execution, I had to give this 2 stars.

Thank you to netgalley for providing a copy for review.
Profile Image for Courtney.
260 reviews27 followers
March 15, 2020
On the struggle bus with this one.

I feel like this reading this book was like eating a half baked cake. The ingredients are there but the author did not stir the batter long enough and lumpy bits were left throughout. I liked the premise of the two worlds but time was not taken in the development of the City of Eyes World. At times, I was left thoroughly confused. Additionally, characters seemed to appear one minute and are gone the next. Overall, I felt like some more ironing out was needed.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Aly.
2,518 reviews
March 19, 2020
Huge shout out to this book for having great LGBTQ representation! Non-binary, gay, and queer main characters really added to the story and made me personally happy.
The plot has a lot of potential and I like the idea of it. A girl made out of objects and brought to life by a witch's magic to be an assassin is a cool concept. I felt like the story stayed on the surface and things went by so quickly. I would love to see this dive deeper into the City of Eyes, the Coven, and the Children. Get more world building and some deeper emotions.
Cam is my favorite character, he's funny and sweet and isn't deterred by a scary assassin girl lol. Tav was a great non binary lead and I'd love to know more about them. Of course Eli is badass and the most complex character in the story. She's been through a lot and is capable of more than she knows.

I was surprised at the ending. I guess it's a cliffhanger but the stakes feel low. There wasn't a lot of buildup, so I'm not sure how the next book will play out. Hopefully we'll explore everything a bit deeper and develop Cam and Tav more. I did enjoy this and it reads really quickly.

Thank you to NetGalley and Dundurn for the advanced copy. These opinions are honest and completely my own.
Profile Image for Taylor.
767 reviews424 followers
March 10, 2020
I was so excited for this book, I wanted to like it, I gave it so many chances. But this book, in my opinion, is not even close to be ready to be published. This reads like a first draft. I like the overall concept, which is why I gave it two stars, but everything else needs work. The plot is confusing, not completely thought out, lacks any kind of direction. Even after finishing this book, I don't know what actually happened. I couldn’t explain the storyline at all.
I really appreciated the non-binary characters (overall good LBGTQ+ representation), but none of the characters seemed complete. I couldn’t connect or relate to any of them and they lacked character building. No one seemed to have their own personality.
Overall, I didn't like this one at all. I feel like this book is far from being ready to publish, regardless that I read this as an ARC. With some editing, I think this book could be good.
Profile Image for Julia.
544 reviews107 followers
May 17, 2020
I received The Girl of Hawthorn a Glass as an eARC, so thank you to #NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review it.

I was excited at the concept of the story - a girl who wasn’t totally human, created by her witch ‘mother’ from granite and blood and hawthorn and glass and human bones, as a weapon essentially, an assassin who can travel between worlds, and also between the creases in each world. Along the way she finds a soul and a conscience and makes some human (or maybe not so human) friends, in an attempt to save the human world from the witches.

So....an exciting and novel concept, but some of the world building was lacking and rather confusing, and I feel there’s a lot more for the reader to discover still. Some of which would have been helpful in this book😋. There is a second instalment coming out, so hopefully more will be revealed then.

Lots of LGBTQIA representation which was great, and I liked the characters enough that I would probably read the next in the series - The Boi of Feather and Steel - probably.

3 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Rozanne Visagie.
449 reviews66 followers
December 22, 2022
The debut novel of Adan Jerreat-Poole is the first book in the Metamorphosis Series and focuses on Eli who isn't a normal teenage girl, but a being created by witches. Eli is made of hawthorn and glass, a being created to kill ghosts. After making a huge discovery, her only worry is being unmade and she now questions everything she knows. Trained as a teenage assassin, Eli is faced with challenges that test not only her durability but also her loyalty.

The world-building can be overwhelming at times and at some point I felt I missed something due to all the details, but I quickly got back on track and was able to follow the plot. I found the seven magical blades intriguing and was invested in Eli's journey. There is so much more to the story but to avoid spoilers, you can expect the following:

☆ Witches
☆ Covens
☆ Magical blades
☆ Threat of destroying a planet
☆ Ghost hunting

Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for gifting me an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Stories of Storm.
81 reviews38 followers
August 22, 2020
The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass had so much potential to it. The synopsis immediately hooked us in and requesting a chance to read the full novel. Unfortunately, we did not enjoy the reading experience. Eli did not really seem consistent throughout the story and was very hard to connect with as a reader. Additionally, the level of violence in this story felt unnecessary and only used as a means of increasing the impactful events within the story rather than being true to the plot and as a means for progressing the story realistically. We did not enjoy this book but hope others might have found it easier to connect with Eli than we did.
Author 3 books6 followers
February 18, 2020
Highly recommend! Eli, a witch's assassin, is such a compelling character that I had trouble putting the book down. The stakes are high right from the start, the world building is super-imaginative and the setting is richly described ("The Vortex shifted, the core growing darker, as black as dead eyes and the hole in the head of a needle. The darkness threaded Eli through the fabric between the human city and the witch city.").

This is a wonderful novel that walks the line between fantasy and horror, and also makes subtle commentary on our own society without being heavy-handed. I also really appreciated that the book had a range of LGBTQ+ representation without being exploitive. If you're a fan of Nnedi Okorafor's Akata Witch series, this book would likely appeal to you too. Can't wait for the next instalment!
Profile Image for Becky.
369 reviews65 followers
August 25, 2020
This was alright. I definitely wouldn't say it was a bad book, but it wasn't a great one either. A solid 2.5 stars.

I was super interested going into this book; the premise sounded incredible, and I did enjoy it to an extent. Unfortunately the plot just didn't work for me. It started out pretty slow, and it never fully picked up. We got snippets of excitement and parts that had me reading intently, but they never lasted long enough to turn around the overall pacing of the book.

The characters were pretty likeable, and I appreciated the lgbt+ rep, but it wasn't enough to carry the story to that next level.

A decent read overall, but not likely to be something I'll remember for very long.

Big thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the review copy!
Profile Image for Jack.
155 reviews14 followers
March 9, 2021
I love assassins, purple prose, and weird non-corporeal planes of existence. So, I kinda expected to like this book. But instead of a curious plot, all I got was a non-binary neon-haired queer boi, a half-Vietnamese gay driver, and a reptiloid protagonist in glasses. No plot whatsoever.

So, naturally, I got confused. Not because of all the queerness (that I approve of greatly since I honestly think fantasy is exactly the genre for this kind of representation, everything can be done so beautifully) but because of how it was given to us. The book is written like a chopped-up salad made from everything that met the eye. Nothing is included and written in well, it all looks like a chaotic mess, and it does no good for the atmosphere.

So, what this book is about?
We have Eli, a girl who’s literally wade of hawthorn, glad, bone, and blood of her witch-mother. This witch is ambitious, craving a high place in the witch council of this world and main city (City of Eyes). So Eli was created for a reason – she’s a tool, wielding seven knives that are a part of her, to kill ghosts who can be impersonating humans in the human world. Only creatures such as Eli can cross the border between worlds.
However, Eli encounters a problem during one of her missions, when a ghost target turns out to be a human instead. Afraid of becoming “a flawed tool”, Eli hurries back to her world but gets just another mission. So she starts to have her doubts.
This is when all went to shit.

The world of witches is unusual, and the characters are presented in a pretty curious way. Lots of synesthesia, purplish comparisons, everything is weird and nothing’s explained. Usually, I like such weirdness. Here, however, it served no purpose but to be there and confuse the hell out of the reader. It looked like nonsense. The ideas and visuals switch constantly, leading nowhere, short rushed actions are randomly mixed with weak-written emotions, everything rushed somewhere so it’s nearly impossible to focus on anything.

The plot is rushed, too. It’s actually so chaotic that it seems like you’re being constantly dragged somewhere with a mad horse carriage. Like, imagine asking a passenger what time it is, and he suddenly grabs you and starts running, and you run, run, run for hours, bumping into people, shouting, screaming, listening to disconnected pieces of dialogues, and you can’t even open your mouth to ask what the hell is happening. This leads to the point that, when the romance line emerges, it looks like it appears out of the blue, and that it’s not even needed. You run, hit, fall, cut, fly, open, bite, close, dig, “oh they kissed me”, run, attack, betray, are betrayed, witches, city, chair horse 28, the world is dying!!!1!
So you simply can’t see the charm in the plot twists. You can’t distinguish the reasons for most decisions made. It’s like someone ate this plot and then vomited it back, half-digested. Honestly, author, I’m not a little bird, I could’ve consumed the plot myself.

Overall, it looks like a mix of a first rough draft and a detailed plan for a book. The world of witches made everything slightly more intriguing, but I was still feeling a strong wish to shout, “WAIT WHERE ARE WE RUNNING?”

The motivations are all mixed up as well. There’s one, then another. Like, with Tav: suddenly we find out that he’s come into the world of witches to steal a thing that can give him the power to end racial and other oppression. So he immediately stands out in this LSD world with his social problems, since the texts just continues on with weirdness like “she fell face-first into the sand that tasted like yellow and sun’s tears”. And these social problems disappear as suddenly as they’ve emerged, and are never addressed again like they were not even there, or are left as un-important third-grade plot bits. It makes you feel like these things are there… just for the sake of being there. To make the book “diverse” and “inclusive”. Which makes all these problems seem… irrelevant, forgettable.

Overall, I’m confused. I would not recommend this book to anyone. Maybe, only for those who desperately need a black non-binary queer lead.

Read if: you want a weird urban fantasy with lots of dramatic twists; you like purple prose, mystical comparisons; you need something heavily LGBTQ+
Do not read if: you need a plot; you need time to process what happens in a book; you want something easy to follow.
Profile Image for Tamera.
111 reviews10 followers
March 30, 2020
I was incredibly excited to be selected to receive an ARC of The Girl of Hawthorne and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole- queer inclusive fantasy with a strong female lead and lots of magic? Yes,. please. Sign me up! And this book certainly did not disappoint when it comes to inclusivity, gayness, strong women, or magic. Those boxes were all checked and wrapped in some of the best prose I have read in quite some time.

While I really enjoyed the book and storytelling as a whole, there were times when I felt like I was missing something and had to back pedal a few pages to make sure I hadn't glazed over an important detail. Sometimes the story was very clear and precise, making sure you picked up what it put down, though usually with minor character details (like hair)... but other times it was just vague enough to be frustrating. I wanted the world to be built out more, particularly The City of Eyes. I wanted to understand better, have a clear picture. I sat on writing this review for nearly a week for that reason- I couldn't decide on a rating. I just wanted more. But my rating ultimately is in place because I enjoyed the book, I enjoyed the characters (I just want to understand the motivation behind everyone except the main). It's not perfect, but it was enjoyable. And it was weird.I like weird.

Eli is a made thing, a witch's daughter, a witch's creation. She was made with a purpose, to serve the Coven without question. She is their assassin, and the Coven expects perfection from their assassin. Creations that don't serve their purpose are unmade, and while Eli may have been created of hawthorn and glass (and a few other things), she is very much alive and would rather keep it that way. I love the thought behind the character creation, not just for Eli, but for all the characters. They're unique and colorful and.... alive.

The witches and their Coven reside in a magic realm that is entered through seams between our human world and theirs. These are the seams Eli uses to travel and carry out the assassinations entrusted to her by the Coven. She kills ghosts. Not the bed sheet kind, not ghosts like we may think of them. Threats. Ghosts that consume life. But when one of her missions is very much not what she expected it to be, Eli finds out that she cannot simply return to the Coven. Failure is not an option.

Enter Cam and Tav, bringing some wonderful diversity and a whole lot of much needed queerness into the world of fantasy reading. I really loved both of these characters but I want to understand more about what drives them. Because they're interesting, they play off each other in a wonderful way, and I want to see where their stories go. Cam is a gay boy with a deep appreciation for quality coffee, a quality that I can really get behind. And Tav is a non-binary person of color with spiked purple hair that rides a motorcycle that gave me some character-crush moments. They interested me. Especially as their story played out.

Eli, Cam, and Tav's become entangled in multiple ways that lead them on an adventure through the magical world that tests hearts, motivations, and the bonds they're forming. The City of Eyes and the realm in which it dwells could not be farther from the pastel and glitter coated fairy realms of popular fantasy. Danger lies everywhere, in every object, in every stone of this living and breathing world and the witches? Well, they're not exactly Glenda the Good.

I am looking forward to seeing where this story goes. I really WANT this book to succeed. The writing is beautifully done and our fantasy worlds need to be filled with more than just white, conventionally attractive, able bodied, straight characters.

Side note: The Children and the maze were awesome and I need to know everything about them.

3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 because of a truly original story and unique characters.

Major thanks to Dundurn, Adan Jerreat-Poole, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book. My opinions (as always) are my own.
Profile Image for Melissa.
551 reviews799 followers
September 8, 2020
I really tried. Everything about this book seemed fabulous. But I DNF it @ 75%. It's a whole lot of nonsense, like fantasy on drugs or something. I was sooo confused... I really tried to like it, but all I was was lost. There is a lot of information at the beginning of the story to settle this incredible word-building, but details keep adding up and this whirlwind left me dizzy and confused. Everything is weird. You can love the book if you like reading something that is 500% fantasy (I mean... walls have feelings). I realized I like some realism in mine.

Many thanks to DunDurn Press for the complimentary e-copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Bex.
1,287 reviews50 followers
March 29, 2020
Eli is an assassin, designed at the moment of her making to be able to peel back the veil between the human world and that of the witches who created her. Her primary role, as with any assassin, is to murder her mark but this is tricky since her marks are already dead. When Eli fails to kill a ghost in the human world, she is trapped there by her vicious mother until she is able to complete her task, and almost accidentally seeks refuge with a group of renegades.

The plot is quite broken up, but should be appreciated more as an exploration of self. Eli has spent almost all of her life following orders, almost blind to the reason for her existence otherwise, and shedding her true form to blend in to the human world. I really loved how the author captured what that feels like - hiding behind a body, whereby a body really has no meaning anymore; Eli comes to take control of who she is and wants to be, taking ownership of herself and re-appropriating that meaning to her body, and I thought that was probably the largest success of this book.

The characters are each quite interesting, with many varying representations throughout; I think the characterisation is really strong overall actually. Diverse representation isn't discussed much, which was great; rather, these preferences just simply "are", without description or explanation. I wish more authors included their diverse characters in this way, without the deliberate intention to be waving a flag to say they've included them; it feels like a box ticking exercise which completely misses the point of seamlessly including diverse representation in the first place. That's not the case here at all, non-binary characters, for example, are not introduced with a label, they just automatically are, "they". This author just gets it.

I didn't really enjoy the plot that much. I think there's a really good foundation here for an interesting magic-based world, but I couldn't really connect with it. I think the narrative voice is great, and the author has a dry humour throughout which I really liked, but the concept wasn't really developed enough or big enough for me to become invested in it even though I liked all of the characters.

This did detract from my enjoyment of the book, but I really appreciate some of the things that are within The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass which show so much potential and are things which we don't get to see handled so expertly very often. I will definitely read future work by this author, set in a different world perhaps, to see what they create next!

ARC provided from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Adrianne.
200 reviews6 followers
February 28, 2020

What a shame, I really wanted to enjoy this story, but if anyone asked me what this was about I would have nothing to say! The story was chaotic and I could not get into it at all. The only thing I liked was the fact there were non-binary characters within the story, which was a first for me. The premise was quite exciting, and the reason why I picked it up in the first place.
However, at some point I found myself confused to the point that I did not know if I was reading about something from the past or present, it seemed to intertwine, and which characters were actually there and which were a memory, or in the main character's mind. Just a chaotic mess overall I'm afraid. Unfortunately, I will not continue with this series.
Profile Image for Vignesh Kumar.
419 reviews42 followers
April 20, 2020
I got this e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oh. My. God! This book dragged me so bloody much. I really really wanted to like this book but couldn't get myself enough to like it. What caught my eye initially was that gorgeous cover and word witches but alas, what they say is true. Do NOT judge a book by its cover.

Our main character is made by a witch as an assassin to hunt down things and ghosts but when an assignment goes wrong, she questions everything around her. The thing I liked is the queerness and some of the magical world. The seven magical blades that Eli has. That was awesome. But that's where my likeness ends. I really really did not like the writing style. And it's somewhat hard to follow through the writing as well.

I had to drag myself from the bottom to finish this book. Sorry Adan, but this book is not for me!
Profile Image for Charlie Marie.
169 reviews66 followers
Shelved as 'tbr-fiction'
April 26, 2020
me: does an awkwardly enthusiastic dance! I got an arc!!

Also, there are teen assassins and witch renegades! Also also, look at the cover! Sooo good!
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