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April 24, 2015

Shelley Loved It: The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

Series: The Girl at Midnight 1 
Format: E-Book | 368 pages 
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Netgalley
Genre: YA | Urban Fantasy
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.



THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT was one of the most anticipated reads that I had scheduled for the month of April. Set in a real world setting that takes place around the globe and under New York City, Grey tells her story via multiple characters. But, it is with 17-year old runaway thief/pickpocket and very human Echo, that Grey really excels. Echo's very being puts her in direct odds with every other character that makes an appearance in this book. But, she's not one to stand on the sidelines while everyone has all the fun.

"To know the truth, you must first want the truth."

At a young age, Echo was taken in by a race of supernaturals called the Avicen after running away from home. The Avicen (Avian) are a race of people with feathers for hair and magical abilities that live under the streets of New York City. Now, some of you are already saying, HEY, that sounds like Daughter of Smoke and Bone! But, let's move past that for a moment. Especially since there are no angel's or devils in THIS story, and even though Echo was raised by them, she knew who her parents were. 

For centuries, the Avicens under Ala and Drakharin (Dragons) under Casius, have been searching for the mythical Firebird which is said to be able to bring peace between the supernatural enemies. Peace is what both Ala and Casius wants and desires, but not everyone is on the same wavelength. It is with that in mind that Ala sends Echo on a mind blowing journey that is filled with adventure, romance, betrayal, and an awakening of sorts for Echo.

Echo is a character that loves to use bravado (sarcasm & humor) when she gets into tight places. Echo has doesn't have any of her own magic, but she can travel the in-between to get where she's going. She loves reading, and can quote from almost any book that she's read. She hoards her stolen goodies, and has a best friend in Ivy, an Avicen who is also a healer. She does have a "boyfriend" in Rowan, but perhaps her match really belongs with someone else ::wink wink:: Echo is more than determined to prove her worth to the Avicens who have been her only true family. 

THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT's other main characters are Caius, Ala, Ivy, Jasper, and Dorian. Put them together and you have an unlikely team willing to put away their differences in order to find a common cause. Caius's own sister Tanith stands in his way of finding the Firebird, while Ala'a nemesis Altair, stands in hers. Jasper is a peacock, of sorts, who is in the same business as Echo. Dorian has been by Caius's side as his guard since being saved. Ivy, Echo's best friend, really goes through a lot in this story, and I feel kind of like she's the 5th wheel at this point. Hopefully, that will change.

I do believe this is the first time I am saying that multiple character storylines actually work. I don't remember at any point, saying that I had no clue who the author was talking about. The breaks were clear, and almost always, Grey hinted at who she was writing about. Apparently, Multiple POV's can be done efficiently. 

I suck at keeping my promises of not comparing books. But, since the synopsis makes such a glaring and triumphant comparison between this book, City of Bones, & Shadow and Bone, let's go there for a moment. Because the Avicens are a race of supernaturals with feathers for hair, readers will fall back to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I don't quite see where Shadow and Bone comes in, and I do encourage you to read THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT on your own, and see if this comparison is worth its merits. I supposed seeing as the Avicen use magic to hid themselves from humans, there goes the City of Bones likeness. 

THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT is a book that I would recommend to other readers. I am understandably weary of sequels, but in this case, I am definitely eager to see where Grey takes Echo and her crew from here. I won't speak all that much on the romance angle. It kind of is what it is, and you can take it from there how you feel about it after reading the book.




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24 comments:

  1. I am very excited about this one, especially because of the multiple POVs and because, as you determined, this is one example where they work. I find this to be a rare occurrence in YA fiction (sadly), hence my excitement :) Wonderful review, thank you!

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  2. This sounds quite good! If I wasn't already behind on the fantasy books I have I would probably pick it up right away!

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    1. Being behind is kind of fun. I've actually decided to read things at my own pace rather than be pushed into finishing something quickly.

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  3. I am reading some terrific reviews for this one, and I luckily I have a copy. I need to make some time for it right away. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  4. I have a heard a few DoSaB comparisons and have read great reviews for this one so far.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. Hope you get a chance to read the book Karen!

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  5. This wasn't even on my radar..but I love this secret race and the premise. Echo sounds fantastic. Awesome review my friend!

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    1. Why, thank you very much! ::courtesies:

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  6. I'm so excited, I just received this one for review and the mythology and everything behind it, plus it's obvious similarities to DOSAB make me really excited to read it! Thanks for the review Shelley.

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  7. Sarcasm and bravado are the best weapons during scary situations, well in books anyway lol.

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    1. I use sarcasm in my every day life because, well...the last 6 years have sucked really badly. Got have sarcasm and bravado to survive this idiotic world.

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  8. Oh yes I saw a few great reviews about this one and I confess that it made me really curious. Echo sounds like a wonderful caracter to discover too! great review!

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  9. Sometimes it just seems like the compare to books that makes no sense, and then sometimes they do get it right

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    1. I think that if enough people agree with the comparison, then that's perfectly acceptable. Just not as a marketing tool

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  10. This is coming out on audio tomorrow, and I'm getting it. Thanks for your review :)
    Looking forward to listening!

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  11. I cannot wait to read this book! I know it's annoying to compare a book to another, but man, if it's the slightest bit as good as DoSaB as everyone claims, I'm sold.

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  12. I read about this earlier today and wondered-now you have me wanting to read it! Thanks for the great review :)

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