Author: Melissa Grey
Pub. Date: July 12, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Everything in Echo's life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace.
The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart.
Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she's already overcome.
She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight.
Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature--or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what's left of her world to the ground?
Welcome to the shadow hour.
I want to thank Delacorte Press for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.
I was super excited to be picked to be on this blog tour. I loved the first book in this series so much and couldn't wait to read the second one. The premise of this series is unique and fantastical and I really love what the author has done with it. Plus, it takes place largely in New York City, my home town, so it was easy for me to relate to the scenery!
If you haven't read the first book in this series, I will warm you there might be some spoilers ahead. It cannot be avoided as this book is a sequel to the first!
This installment picks up right where the first one leaves off. Echo and her band of merry misfits are hiding out after having battled. Echo has become the Firebird. But there are people out to ensure the firebird does not stay around for long! The war has begun and Echo must gather her troops to win the fight.
I don't want to go into huge particulars in this review, as I feel it will ruin things for the reader. I do want to say that we see many of the characters we met in the first book: Rowan, Caius, Jasper, Ivy, The Ala, Altair, Dorian. And we certainly get to know them better. I love the third person point of view this author uses. It really helps me to understand all the intricacies of the characters without having to be in each and every one of their heads. It was easy to see who was the focus of each chapter and the growth and development was simple to follow.
I enjoyed Echo as a character, though I thought some of her choices were hasty. And, as with most protagonists, made in an attempt to keep others safe when really all it did was put her in more danger. But she was loyal and loving and really did have the best interests of her friends and loved ones in mind.
Caius, oh how I loved him. He's so torn by his heart. He doesn't know if he should let it rule him, as he's kept it bound for so long from when it was hurt before. But he really has no choice in the matter because, as I always say, the heart will do what it wants! His internal struggle was palpable.
I have to say there was a huge focus on romance in this book. More so than I would have liked. And it's not just between two characters. There are multiple love stories that happen in this book. I really wanted to see so much more action from this story. After all, the Avicens and Drakhar are supposed to be at odds with each other and basically at war. Not to mention there is love triangle action, as we had witnessed in the first book, but it doesn't just happen between our main characters, it extends to other relationships! Oh how I am not a fan of the love triangle. It really has to be done oh so right and I just wasn't feeling it in this story.
But I can get over the huge romantic hurdles this book presented to me and see the story for what it truly was, magical. I did love how it unfolded. I loved how the characters all kind of broke into groups and came back together in the end, fighting the war together.
There were a few twists and turns in this story I was not initially expecting but then figured out. In my mind I kept yelling at the characters, NO NO NO, DON'T. And then, BOOM, it was done and I was mad! But then the story would not have gone in the right direction had the characters not made some "wrong" choices to help move it along, now, would it? And overall, I was truly happy with how things played out. That is, until the end...
The ending, well, I'll be honest, it's a cliffhanger. I am not a fan of those. I hate that I have to wait to see what happens. To see how Echo fights this battles, and ultimately wins (because I know she will!).
I'm really biting my nails as I wait for the final installment of this book. I love the author's writing. Pretty sure I would read just about anything she chose to write. I love the fantasy nature of the book written in current times. And I love the wonderful characters, each with such a unique personality, and each lovable in their own way. Definitely a read for those who love fantasy a la Harry Potter!
Title: THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT
Author: Melissa Grey
Pub. Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
For readers of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.
Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.
Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants … and how to take it.
But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.
Praise for THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT:
"Grey’s energetic debut offers a strong protagonist…[and the] well-built world, vivid characters, and perfect blend of action and amour should have readers eagerly seeking the sequel." — Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"Sparks fly...This first novel will please fans of Cassandra Clare and Game of Thrones watchers with its remarkable world building; richly developed characters...[and] a breathtaking climax that...cannot come soon enough!""—Booklist starred review
"Inventive, gorgeous, and epic—Grey dazzles in her debut." — Danielle Paige, New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die
“A stunning debut. Equal parts atmosphere and adventure … positively divine.” – Victoria Schwab, author of A Darker Shade of MagicMelissa Grey was born and raised in New York City. She wrote her first short story at the age of twelve and hasn't stopped writing since. After earning a degree in fine arts at Yale University, she traveled the world, then returned to New York City where she currently works as a freelance journalist. To learn more about Melissa, visit melissa-grey.com and follow @meligrey on Twitter.
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