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.
Rating: 4 Stars
Book Title: Girl at Midnight
Author: Melissa Grey
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
While the beautiful cover inspired me to pick it up (it also helped that purple is my favorite color :)), the writing itself kept me reading it all the way to the end. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey is an impressive debut novel. As a huge fan of YA fantasy, I recognize the competitive nature of this genre specifically and how hard readers can be on these types of books. That being said, I am a very selective person when it comes to choosing any novel from this genre and if the book doesn’t hold my attention after a few chapters, I have no dilemma putting it down right then and there. The Girl at Midnight posed no such issue for me though and I flew through its pages much like the legendary firebird from the story.
For Fans Of:
o The Shadowhunter books by Cassandra Clare: Although the world-building and magic itself was faintly reminiscent of Cassandra Clare’s books, I thought one character in particular was similar to one in The Mortal Instruments. Jasper, who is described as being redolent of a peacock on more than one occasion in the book, reminded me of Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments. Like Magnus, Jasper is downright hilarious and sassy all at once, and he has no problem flirting with anyone attractive that crosses his path. His playfulness with Dorian brought back memories of Magnus and Alec when they first met and I absolutely loved it.
o The Magonia Series by Maria Dahvana Headley: The concept of the Avicen and Drakharin reminded me a lot of the Magonians and I loved this new spin on magical races/species. After reading so much YA fantasy over the course of the last two years, the concept of magical species has become tiresome to me, but I loved the bird-like people in Magonia and the two ancient races of magical people in The Girl at Midnight.
o THE WORDS: Found by the Ala in the library where she had taken up residence after fleeing from her crummy home life, Echo loved to be surrounded by printed pages and towering bookshelves. One of my favorite bits about The Girl at Midnight was the words Echo was constantly dwelling on/thinking about when a situation reminded her of them. Whether it was German, English, or Portugese, Echo was a living dictionary and lived for the written word. A girl of my own heart and I couldn’t NOT love her character from the start!
o The construct of magic: Magic wasn’t ingrained in all of the Avicen and Drakharin the same, which was what I loved. Some of them, like Caius, were able to travel the in-between without the use of powders, because of their magic. For others, like Echo, the only way to travel required powder and the right gateway. I’ve never understood fantasy books where everyone has the same amount of magic and no one has the upper hand at any point. We’re all born in real life with different strengths and weaknesses, so why wouldn’t magic be the same?