Friday, April 24, 2015

Me on The Girl at Midnight

Title: The Girl at Midnight
Author: Melissa Grey
Release Date: April 18, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House imprint)

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.

The Girl at Midnight is mysterious and magical, the story of a human girl caught up in a neverending war and a near-impossible search for the mythical being that could put a stop to it all. But it's never that easy.

Echo is a lonely girl. Abandoned by parents who didn't care about her, hiding when she was a child until discovered by one of the Avicen who took her in. As a seventeen-year-old, she's still lonely. Out of place among those with feathers for hear and control over a number of magical things. But she's also loyal to the one who saved her. Now she's daring, passionate, and compassionate, and maybe a little stubborn about some things. She's not perfect, which is fine. She doesn't have to be. She's allowed to be normal, human, pickpocketing Echo.

The real world and a fantasy world come together in this book. There are the sights and smells of the human world, the crowds of New York, the markets of Taipei, the cherry blossoms in Kyoto. But there's also the hidden home of the Avicen, the feathers that cover them, the magic that runs through them. The enemy they've battled for centuries. Magic and reality collide in Echo.

This reads like a mixture of City of Bones and Daughter of Smoke & Bone. The real world mixed with the fantastical, lonely girls and broken boys. The magical, the dangerous and the destructive. The secrets some keep and the hidden that push those searching to move faster harder straight for the end. The consequences that will inevitably confront them when the time is right, or wrong. I won't deny what I've seen in other reviews, that some moments were predictable, and I won't deny the comparisons to the two books previously mentioned, because I still enjoyed this book. It was a race around the world, a race through magical doorways, a race towards fate. I'll be sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next book, because I have no idea what could happen next.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Random House through NetGalley.)

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