Title: The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1)
Author: Melissa Grey
Genre: Young Adult | Romance | Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
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, though 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 (goodreads).
The Girl at Midnight promises to be a great action-packed series!
Plot: The one word that reviewers won't be using for this book is 'slow.' The Girl at Midnight goes from 0 to 60 and doesn't take any breaks! As a girl who prefers slower-paced books, The Girl at Midnight took me by surprise. For me, things happened too quickly, but I'm sure that won't be a problem for most readers. The Girl at Midnight hit all the notes that a young adult novel is supposed to hit, but it was the writing and the characters that kept me from getting bored.
Characters: From the first page I knew I would like Echo. She speaks her mind and she lives in a library for god's sake! As an oprhan, Echo spent her time rifling through books and encyclopedias and Melissa Grey did something pretty neat with Echo being a bookworm. Throughout the book, Melissa Grey will sprinkle words (in other languages) to describe a situation; for example "Tsundoku. It was the Japanese word for letting books pile up without reading them all." As a language fanatic, I loved those little moments and respect that Melissa Grey actually found these words.
So as you know, there are bird people and dragon people in The Girl at Midnight. I had a difficult time imagining what the Avicen (bird people) looked like. They would sneak around the real world by wearing a lot of layers, but I didn't understand what they were hiding. Did they not have beaks (if not, how awkward does that sound?), are they covered from head to foot in feathers? I got so many questions! While it frustrated me to no end that I had no idea what this race of people looked like, I'm happy that it didn't detract from me actually enjoying the secondary characters. There is something special about the relationship between Dorian and Ivy. I liked it because it wasn't a romantic relationship, but it was important all the same. The other relationships, while sweet, didn't grab my attention. Echo already has a boyfriend but of course a handsome stranger catches her eye. There is a bout of insta-love, but I believe that it'll be more fleshed out in the second novel.
Wolrd Building: The Girl at Midngiht takes place all over the place! Echo has the ability to jump to different cities all over the world with some help from a magical powder. Echo's country-jumping reminded me a lot Daughter of Smoke and Bone and had to have been one of my favorite aspects.
Short N Sweet: While a bit too fast for me, The GIrl at Midnight is a strong debut and sets the bar pretty high for its sequel!