Deep below New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of bird people with magic running through them. They don’t mix with humans (they have feathers for hair) - all except for Echo, that is. Echo was raised by the Avicen and has spent her life trying to gain acceptance in their society so when the Avicen’s enemy, the Dhakarin bring an age-old war to her doorstep then she decides to act. With the help of her foster mother, she sets out on a quest to find the firebird, an entity that legend has it will bring about the end of the war with the Dhakarin.
This was an absolute whirlwind of a book. It grabbed me from the first page and didn’t let go until the explosive end. Echo was a fun protagonist; she’s not one of your ‘Oh, I’m so shy and introverted and not very attractive really’ heroes (you know the books I’m talking about). She’s not afraid to grab life by the balls and she just. Doesn’t. Let. Go. Seriously, I think she slept like once in the entire book.
Some elements of this book could have gone so wrong (*coughs* bird people), but Melissa Grey’s awesome writing and worldbuilding skills were just spot on.
BTW, there’s totally a love triangle forming. I don’t usually go for love triangle storylines, but I’m totally Team Caius.
I found The Girl at Midnight very reminiscent of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (urban fantasy; two ancient races locked in a bitter war that no one wants; mortal girl who hangs out with them gets caught up in the crossfire and finds her Epic Destiny; themes of rebirth). Also, Melissa Grey’s style of writing is very cinematic and very descriptive with sassy dialogue and reminded me of Cassandra Clare’s books. Don’t get me wrong; Ms Grey definitely has her own style, but these are two authors who are similar. This was fine by me, as I really enjoyed Cassandra Clare and Laini Taylor’s books, but if you weren’t keen then you may want to download the first couple of chapters of The Girl at Midnight before buying.
The Girl at Midnight doesn’t end on a cliffhanger; this is a good thing, because damn if the sequel doesn’t come out until June 2016. Can’t wait.