Title: The Girl At Midnight
Author: Melissa Grey
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Excerpt from Goodreads:
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.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
Echo has been raised by the Ala since she was a young girl, after Echo ran away from home. The Ala is part of a race known as the Avicen, in which has feathers for hair. The Avicen have been at war with the Drakharin for as long as anyone can remember. The Darkharin are part dragon with scales and fire (legend has it they once could fly many years ago). Both races have been on the hunt for a creature known as the firebird, a creature that could end the war. Cue Echo. Echo has been asked by the Ala to hunt down the firebird. Along the way we meet Caius, Dorian, Jaspar, and many others. Echo learns that it isn’t always about the destination, but the journey and who you become along the way.
I have heard many comparing this book to Shadow and Bone. I have never read Shadow and Bone so this type of world is new and refreshing for me. The story is told through many point of views, but all centering around Echo’s. I enjoyed the multiple perspectives, although they could be confusing at the beginning.
Like I said earlier, the Avicen is a race in which their hair is replaced with feathers. The description of these creatures was stunning. Each Avicen has different colored feathers that make them look like a different species of bird. We have hawks, doves, and even a Avicen that resembles a peacock. Grey’s use of adjectives was incredible. Oh, and the food. Apparently the Avicen have a very big sweet tooth which would lead to describing all sorts of yummy goodness! I have never read a book that wasn’t a cookbook that made me so hungry for an éclair!
I wish I could say that the rest of the story left me as hungry as that éclair did, but I’m afraid it did not. It wasn’t until I had about twenty-five pages left of the book, that the story caught my attention. The first eighty percent of the book felt like filler. It wasn’t extremely dull, it just wasn’t all that exciting. And the love triangle and instalove burns so brightly in this book that my head hurt at times. I mean, there are bad love triangles and then good triangles that could make sense, but this love triangle? It’s the worst of all love triangle. Purely hormonal driven and zero thought and consideration for the ones being betrayed.
Now don’t get me wrong, the ending slightly redeemed the story’s’ earlier flaws. The ending leaves you with just the right amount of strings left undone to carry into the second installment. We see the beginning of a relationship for a couple I was silently rooting for (no, not the main character). I will be reading the second installment and I am interested to see how Echo’s actions carry over from the first installment.
3 out of 5 stars
Meet The Author
Her debut novel, The Girl At Midnight, will be published by Delacorte/Random House in spring 2015.