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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
Series: The Girl at Midnight #1
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 368
Genre: Fantasy

    buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
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.

*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

Echo lives by two rules: 1. Don't get caught, and 2. If you get caught, run.

A runaway and a thief, Echo is crafty and fast. And when Echo meets the mysterious Ala, an ancient birdlike woman, she becomes adopted to a world of magic, in-betweens, and the true meaning of home. She blends in well despite her physical differences to the Avicen people. But war is brewing, and one of the trinkets Echo swipes from a warlock's shop holds a map with a riddle. A riddle leading to the Firebird. Now Echo is in pursuit of the mythical creature that could be the only hope of stopping an all out war, but she's not the only one.

The Girl at Midnight is a good story. The prose is flowery and enchanting, and most definitely fun. Echo has enough snark and sensibility to hold me over for days. But the treasure hunt for the Firebird . . . it was rather hard to enjoy the mystery of it when I'd already pieced everything together from square one. And that made the book hard to get through. Why read it when I already knew the ending? For the middle, the romance, the suave dialogue, of course, Courtney! And that would be a good enough reason to keep me engaged! But the anticipation was gone, and so was my undivided attention. I read The Girl at Midnight for the sake of reading, and to see if my hunch was correct, and it was. 

Fantastically speaking, the two species centered in this never-ending war were described beautifully that I wish I had plumage or dragon scales around my cheekbones. But the reason why the Avicen and the Drakhain are at each others throats is because . . . well, that's a good question! And, dear reader, it is never answered! It is there for the sake of being there. Plot hole alert! Someone needs to go back and pave over that one because it's a doozy.

Another thing that came out bland was the mystery, it was very cut and dry. Echo is scouring the world for these mysterious objects that hold riddles pertaining to finding the Firebird, the mythical creature that can stop the unexplained feud between the Avicen and the Drakhain. But where was the fun in figuring out the riddles when the characters knew too much for their own good? Echo and Ciaus only needed to breathe and they figured out the riddles. Rather than worrying about OTPs, and there is a whole gaggle of them in this book, perhaps the author should've put more thought into carefully crafting the plot devices.

Final Summation: The Girl at Midnight is tailored to fans of The Mortal Instruments and Shadow and Bone. A spunky heroine, a chipper and diverse cast of characters, and magic, there is much to enjoy from this book. Alas, I am too good at predictions that I spoiled the read for myself. That, and there were some plot holes that need addressing. While The Girl at Midnight is elegant in writing and packs a punch with characters, I wavered throughout the story waiting to see if my foresight was correct. Predictability is a downfall for a novel, and I literally read this like a open book (really bad pun, but it's true). Hopefully book two can pull the wool over my eyes.

 Three targets slayed for Echo's bacon waffles & dragon scales