Series: The Girl at Midnight #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Delacorte (4.28.2015)
eARC, 368 pages
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.
Holy wow, this book was amazing! It’s been a very long time since I’ve read something that I got so much sheer enjoyment from! There were so many times where the WWE chant “this is awesome” was running through my head. (And probably no one is going to know what I’m talking about.) Because it was – freaking awesome, that is! I was grinning like an idiot and laughing out loud throughout the whole book. That high of an enjoyment level doesn’t happen very often for me. I may crack a smile, but that’s usually all. I’m sure I got some weird looks while I was reading this at the gym!
In the Goodreads synopsis this book is compared to Shadow and Bone and The Mortal Instruments series. First of all, it is NOTHING like Shadow and Bone other than the fact that it’s a fantasy. This may piss a lot of people off, but I think that the world and imagination in this book blows Shadow and Bone out of the water (I wasn’t a big fan of that series, by the way). Second, it’s almost nothing like TMI series except the fact that Jasper and Dorian reminded me a lot of Alec and Magnus. That is IT. Really, if you want a comparison, this book had a very strong Daughter of Smoke and Bone feel to it. Not because it’s similar, really – this book has a uniqueness all of its own – but because it was deliciously magical like DoS&B was. It just feels the same. I don’t know how else to describe it! This book also reminded me a bit of Hellboy 2 in the market scene! But seriously, this book is 100% unique. I’ve never read anything like it!
I also really enjoyed Melissa Grey’s prose. It was beautiful! Her imagery was especially gorgeous. Oh, and did I mention that there’s scenes from places like Japan, Scotland, France, and Germany? Winning. I loooved the world! Um, two words: Shadow Dust. SO COOL!! The magical feel of this book made me want to crawl into the pages and live there! I knew from the very first chapter that this book was going to be a new favorite. I already want to re-read it!
ECHO. I loved Echo so, so much! I wish she was real so that we could be besties. Her sarcasm cracked me up! I loved that she collected weird words and randomly recited the meanings:
Tsudonku. It was the Japanese word for letting books pile up without reading them all.
Callipygian. The quality of having a nice butt.
Kalverliefde. The euphoria you experience when you fall in love for the first time.
Backpfeifengesicht. It was one of her favorite words. German. A face made for punching.
Petrichor. The smell of dirt after rain.
I loved Caius, too! He was very stoic, though, and the literal way he viewed everything was hilarious! Sometimes Echo would use sarcasm and the fact that he didn’t get it at all made it even funnier.
The idea of Avicen and Drakharin was SO FREAKING AWESOME. Seriously, it was brilliant! The Avicen had feathers for hair, and the Drakharin had scales. They also despised each other. I could really feel the deep-seated hatred that the two races had going on. Well done, Melissa!
Soo I totally ship Caius and Echo. I SHIP THEM HARD. I loved them together! Actually, I loved all of the relationships. I even kind of loved Jasper and Dorian together because they were so freaking adorable! By the way, there is NOT a love triangle in this book. There’s kind of a hint of one for two reasons: first, because Echo has a “boyfriend” at the beginning. He doesn’t last long, don’t worry. And he doesn’t matter after Caius comes into the story. The second reason is kind of spoilery: View Spoiler »Because of Echo being a reincarnation of Caius’s old flame. He loved her when she died, so he wasn’t really over her. But he doesn’t dwell on her after he meets Echo, and doesn’t compare Echo to her. There’s just a few snippets of memories that hint that he’s not over her (which makes sense, hellooo she was killed and they were in love). « Hide Spoiler
I really liked how everything played out in the end and I am DYING for a sequel!
“Sometimes, when I’m feeling sad, I like to be around all these books. They’re very good at making you forget your troubles. It’s like having a million friends, wrapped in paper and scrawled in ink.”
The library was her home. Books didn’t give her dirty looks or whisper snide comments under their breath. Books didn’t judge.
Writing style: 5/5
Overall rating: 5+/5