by Melissa Grey
Published on April 28, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
My take: This book was on my radar this spring. I didn't get a review copy, but I began to read a lot of positive reviews, so I put it on my list to check out. I'm glad I did.
My first impression of Girl at Midnight was that a lot of this book felt familiar to me. There's the protagonist who seems ordinary but obviously has something special going on (Harry Potter, Grisha trilogy); bitter enmity between two groups (think Daughter of Smoke and Bone), travel around the world using gateways and a mysterious powder (more Harry Potter), creatures with feathers (Daughter of Smoke and Bone), a secret world beneath/behind New York City and other cities (City of Bones, Harry Potter.) However, I thought all these familiar tropes and ideas were mixed with skill, and I liked the writing
Pros for me: Good writing and pacing. Loved the travelogue. Nice use of multiple points of view.
Cons for me: I didn't feel the strongest connection with Echo. (I wonder if that was because of the fact that the point of view shifts around quite a bit, giving me a chance to bond with some other characters. My favorites were some secondary characters who were members of Echo's motley crew, like Ivy and Dorian.) I guessed the big reveal pretty early on. And the romance caused some eye-rolling on my part: the book features star-crossed lovers, a fair amount of insta-love AND an arrangement that smells a whole lot like the classic YA love triangle between the heroine, the nice guy and the bad boy. Given the whole "centuries-old war" aspect, I was hoping for a really powerful hate-to-love story, but the book set up a bunch of obstacles between Echo and her forbidden love interest and then just knocked them all down. Humph.
I wish Girl at Midnight had offered up a few more surprises, but I also freely admit to being really picky about YA fantasy. If you're a fan of the books referenced above and are looking for something with a similar feel, definitely give Girl at Midnight a try!
Instalove AND love triangle? I was looking forward to getting to this but I think I may push it back on my list :( Multi POV sounds interesting though!ReplyDelete
There's been some debate about how to characterize the romance on GR, but here's the situation as I see it: MC has a guy who likes her and there's some mild romantic involvement. Then she meets the forbidden guy (he has green eyes, so I know he's meant to be a love interest) and definitely seems drawn to him and makes some choices that I don't think she'd make if she didn't have a thing for him.Delete
So I'd characterize it as some insta-love with a high possibility for triangle.
I'm afraid I'm not ready to read a book with insta-love or love triangle and if this one has both... I don't know.ReplyDelete
It's sounds good though. I might give it a try when I can.
Great review, Jen!
Not 100% sure there will be a triangle, but there's high potential!Delete
Great review Jen! I am definitely intrigued by the the plot line sounds amazing, glad you gave this one a shot!ReplyDelete
Patrick @ The Bookshelves
Hope you try it soon!Delete
I found it quite predictable as well, but the pacing was absolutely superb. I will, undoubtedly, read the sequel :)ReplyDelete
I agree -- pacing and also really vivid descriptions.Delete
I'm so happy I found your review Jen, especially because this was going to be my next read! These savior characters are always so predictable which is so disappointing. I think that's why I fall moreso in love with the ~grey~ and villain characters.ReplyDelete
Is the world modern day?
Yes, modern day world with fantasy elements, like a Harry Potter.Delete
And you make such a good point about the "savior" characters. It's a lot of pressure and does tend to make the character a little less relatable ... to me, at least.
I'm so glad you liked this one!! I loved it!! I hope it will become a popular series because I think it deserves it. Sure, it does have similarities to a couple of other series, but, like you said, the mix of those make such an amazing new thing. And the writing is, indeed, SPLENDID.ReplyDelete
Loved the writing too. Hope the second one has a few more surprises (and less triangle!)Delete
I really enjoyed this book so much. I'm looking forward to the next one. Great review!ReplyDelete
Glad you loved it!Delete
I quite enjoyed this book. Sorry it didn't click with you. I hope you'll enjoy the next one!ReplyDelete
It didn't click with me 100% but I did see a lot to like in it...Delete
Sorry that the book didn't work for you :/ while most people are not fans of love triangles, I like them myself! I think it makes the book much more intriguing lol but anyways great review and I'm still interested in picking this one up and reading it myself :)ReplyDelete
I don't mind all triangles, but this struck me as the kind I've seen many times before. But you never know what will happen in the next installment!Delete
I admit, I had no plans of reading this until the hype started. Instalove is a big turn off for me, but I've read all the books you've referenced above- HP, CoB, DoSaB, Grisha trilogy- and loved them all, so I know I'm still definitely gonna read this one, especially since I love a good fantasy!ReplyDelete
I'm sad you didn't love this one more. I really enjoyed it but I can see where you're coming from. I didn't really think of this one as love triangle, but I've learned that different people have different definitions of what a love triangle isReplyDelete
I hope you'll enjoy your next read better.
Yeah, I liked Echo, but I wasn't totally invested in her. However, I liked the pacing and the story, AND the other characters, so I think I'll be up for reading the next book....ReplyDelete
Kate @ Ex Libris