Monday, 25 February 2019

Weekly Recap: 1/28 - 2/25

Weekly recap is where I update you on my life, reading and watching. Plus any posts I have done or will do.

I haven't done a recap in so long because I haven't read much since my winter break ended.

Now, let's get into recapping.

New Books



Received for Review: 

In Case You Missed It
This Week I Read

This Week I Watched

This Week I Listened To 

Mamma Mia Here We Go Again Soundtrack
The Phantom of the Opera Soundtrack
thank you next album by Ariana Grande
The Struggle by Grizfolk
Go by Meg Myers
Mercy by Hurts
No Scrubs Cover by Unlike Pluto

Next Week I'm Reading

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Upcoming Posts

Monday: TBD

Tuesday: TBD

Wednesday: TBD

Thursday: TBD

Friday: TBD

Saturday: TBD

Sunday: Weekly Recap

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Sunday, 24 February 2019

Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway Book Review

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is a spoiler free review.

Dark of the West
Written by Joanna Hathaway
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Pages: 480
Source: eARC from the publisher
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!


He was raised in revolution. She was raised in a palace. Can their love stop a war? Code Name Verity meets The Winner's Cursein Joanna Hathaway's Dark of the West, a breathtaking YA fantasy debut.

Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

(Summary from Goodreads)


Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway is a Fantasy novel inspired by World War II era Europe. It's bittersweet, and dramatic with a beautiful star-crossed lovers romance. This is Joanna Hathaway's debut novel and it is so unique. Though it is pitched as Code Name Verity meets The Winner's Curse, it is very much its own story, though it may borrow elements from other sources.


I don't really like the cover which is basically the only thing I don't like about this book. I feel like it doesn't have enough to do with the plot or the book overall.


Dark of the West is set in a fantasy world, though it feels like a World War II or 1940s type setting with war planes, guns, cars and other technology items you'd see in that time period. The world was very complex and takes a little time to get used to and learn about.

Then there are the characters.


The story is told in dual POV and one of the perspectives is Aurelia who is the daughter of a queen. Aurelia has grown up with a life of privilege though she is much more than what her title suggests. Aurelia is a little overshadowed in the book but I loved her. I liked her strength and how she broke away from her role as a princess.


Athan is the son of the General as well as a soldier himself He's grown up surrounded by war and been pressured to become a fighter pilot by his father. In most senses he's the opposite of Aurelia. They include scenes with his brothers and his relationship with them changes several times throughout the book. He is a great character with an honest nature, desire for love, and a snarky personality that make his voice refreshing and such an enjoyment to read.


Family is a huge part of this book due to Athan having two brothers and his father being the General. The book talks a lot about family and what people will do for their family no matter what crimes they may have committed.


Dark of the West is a debut that blends history and fantasy together to create an interesting new story and world. Without giving away too much, this book is set in a world on the brink of war, with soldiers training in fighter planes and royalty figuring out what to do. It was filled with politics and political maneuvers. Another thing that this book is filled with is men which was a little disappointing as I'd like to have seen a couple more women but I guess she was trying to show that there are more men involved in war.


Aurelia and Athan fall in love despite being on the brink of war which leads them to be in a stressful situation as their lives could fall apart at any moment. People have compared it to Atonement and that's a love story that's doomed practically from the start. Both Aurelia and Athan have to hide their affections and create deceptions in order to see each other and confront their world's problem's head-on.


I liked the writing style of this book. As Joanna Hathaway is a debut author, I didn't have any other books of hers to see what her writing style was like but I enjoyed it.


Dark of the West was a debut that despite the slower start, really packed in the action in the second half. The characters are complex and the romance is intriguing. It's a story that is about the desperation of war and love and a story that should always be written. And prepare yourselves for the ending and the next book because in a world on the brink of war, dark things are sure to come.

Quotes from the Book:

None Yet.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns