Series: The Girl at Midnight #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Delacorte (7.12.2016)
ARC, 432 pages
Source: For Tour
Everything in Echo's life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace.
The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart.
Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she's already overcome.
She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight.
Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature--or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what's left of her world to the ground?
Welcome to the shadow hour.
The bird that sings at midnight from within its cage of bone
will rise from blood and ashes, to greet the truth unknown
While I still really enjoyed this book, it didn’t quite have the magic that The Girl at Midnight had. I gave the first book my esteemed Hail to the King Award, and it was one of my favorite books of YEAR. I suppose it’s kind of hard to top that, eh?
The characters felt very real, and I found myself attached to all of them. Echo wasn’t quite as awesome as she was in the first book, but she was still a fierce lead. I think Ivy is my favorite, though. I love her! She’s loyal and full of heart and makes a great best friend figure for Echo.
My main issue with this book was that it had not only one but TWO love triangles. (And actually, one was kind of a love square almost?) That bogged it down a LOT. As someone who is not a fan of romance, and hates love triangles, I would have enjoyed this much more without all the love shapes. Especially since I quite loved the dynamic between Caius and Echo in the first book.
I absolutely hated seeing Echo with Rowan. I was rather confused on their relationship together, because in the first book he wasn’t even an issue. There wasn’t really a love triangle because they were already over. But he comes back in this one, and Echo doesn’t push him away. In fact, she seemed to prefer him toward the end. She lets him kiss her without putting up a fight and seemed to enjoy it. So are her feelings for Caius not that strong?! It was very hot/cold and confusing. In the beginning there were some Caius/Echo feels, but they didn’t last very long. They seemed to drift apart in this book, and it kills me. My ship is sinking :(
I didn’t like that Echo bounced back and forth between Caius and Rowan at ALL. I hope in book 3 she picks someone and sticks with them. There was also a complication in the Jasper/Dorian relationship due to Jasper’s ex, Quinn, coming back. I’m not sure how I felt about this one, either. I will say, though, it was good to see Jasper and Dorian finally making progress! (It was totally epic that Dorian punched Quinn on Jasper’s behalf.)
I loved the darkness vs. light aspect when it came to the Firebird! I thought the kucedra was a very cool concept. And I enjoyed the magic involved!
Melissa’s prose is very engaging and beautiful. I’m glad that the humor I loved so much about the first book was still present in this one! There were quite a few parts that made me giggle. And I love how Echo collects words!
Things were left pretty open in the end, so I’m very curious to see where the story goes in book 3!
“And if you can’t believe in yourself yet, then know that I believe in you. I believe in your goodness and your light, especially when you can’t see it.”
“We never, ever let ourselves forget the things that have happened, good or bad, but that doesn’t mean we’re trapped by them. They inform us. They don’t define us.”
Regret, she thought, was the most nefarious of emotions. It overwhelmed. It strangled. It was utterly useless.
“Oh, I assure you, Walt had it in for me from day one.”
“Or maybe he was just mad you boinked his wife,” Echo mumbled into her mug.
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5
About the author
Melissa Grey penned her first short story at the age of twelve and hasn’t stopped writing since. As an undergrad at Yale, she learned how ride a horse and shoot a bow and arrow at the same time, but hasn’t had much use for that skill since graduating in 2008.
Her debut novel, THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT (Delacorte/Random House), is out now. The second book in the trilogy, THE SHADOW HOUR, will be published July 2016. The third and final book of the series will come out summer 2017.
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