Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dragons and Birds: The Girl at Midnight Review

Title: The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)
Author: Melissa Grey
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: April 28th, 2015!
*eARC kindly provided by Random House Children's via NetGalley*

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 Review!
I devoured The Girl at Midnight. I use this term a lot, but it's never quite fit a book until this one. I read most of this in one entire afternoon. I didn't want to stop. The writing was gorgeous, and I loved that this was told in 3rd person. Everything flowed together, and it was easy to connect with all of the characters. There are so many characters in this book. So many who play important roles, others that are underdeveloped but still make an impression (it's a series, so we'll definitely know them better later on). They are all complex, complicated, and bring something different to the story. 

There is Echo, orphaned human who was exposed to the supernatural at an early age. The Ala took her under her wing when she was a child, scrounging for scraps and living in the library. Someone who has never belonged anywhere since she was born, but who longs to be part of the Avicens, to be one of them. She's part of both their world and the human one, but she doesn't truly belong to either. I loved Echo's character. I loved her sass, her strength. I loved that she wasn’t perfect. She was fighting an inner battle constantly, especially concerning her feelings for a certain guy, and also dealing with a sense of loneliness and rejection from the Avicen. 

And then we have Caius, the Dragon Prince. A character who, at first glance, seems to be this ruthless leader, someone who would do whatever it takes to help his people (no matter the cost). But he is so much more than his title and past. He’s got hope, a blinding faith in a quest that could be his undoing. He wants to end the wars between the Avicen and the Drakharin. He wants peace. Caius was a multifaceted character, one who tries so hard to do better, to be better. But he’s also fighting against the need to hate the enemy. He’s more open-minded than his sister and people, but it’s hard to give up what you’ve been taught your whole life.

Another character (secondary) I loved was Doriaaaaaan. I'm convinced Dorian is a pirate. He's an excellent swordsman, he has an affinity for water, and he's a captain. And, the dude even has an eyepatch. PIRATE, I'm tellin' ya. Also, he is just so adorable, I love him so much. His character is harder to like, though, because of his beliefs and a certain situation that happened in the book (I am not condoning ANYTHING, okay). But he had such growth, and his character was so complex. I love multifaceted characters, because I find them believable and real. He made mistakes, but he owned up to them. His whole world had been turned upside down, and he was forced to face a lot of truths. Both inside and out. More secondary characters, such as Jasper, Ivy, and Tanith all had major roles in the story. Tanith, especially, was a great villain-type. 

I was shipping all of the relationships in this book. I've never shipped an OT3 (threesomes, baby) before in a book, but there's a first time for everything. THAT is how much I liked the idea of every single romance in this book. Speaking of romances, they were all so very interesting. The way Dorian stared at Caius was interesting, the way Jasper lingered too long on Dorian was interesting, the quick aversion of gazes between Caius and Echo were interesting, the subtle sexual banter and flirting was interesting. (Yes, I am being sarcastic and playing on the constant use of the word in the story). It wasn't an annoyance though, because the author took great care to show the characters' sexualities without making it into a huge deal. Sometimes I am kind of clueless as to how the characters in books appear on the sexuality spectrum, so that was extremely nice and it also made me have so many shippy feels that I ended up loving all of the hints of romances.

But what I especially appreciated aside from the romance, were the relationships between the women in the story. Echo and the Ala. Echo and Ivy. These bonds were not sacrificed for love, like it is in way too many YA books. Echo had no one, but with these two women, she found a place to belong. She found love and respect and companionship. She found people who had her back through everything. They were important to her, and her to them. It was wonderful to see.

The Drakharin and the Avicen, two races that have been enemies for centuries, are not all what they seem. Together, through their slowly developing trust and respect for each other, the characters help shatter the prejudices of their kinds. And they unleash a series of events that will (hopefully) end this war between the two races. The plot is fairly predictable, but I think it's so unique and I can't wait to see where the author takes this series!

The characters, and their relationships with each other, were definitely my favorite parts of this story. It’s as much character-driven as it is plot-driven. The Girl at Midnight was a wonderful, unique book that had me shipping everything possible and loving the story-line.



  1. HAHAHAH LOOK AT THIS Here is one book we slightly disagree on!

    But you're review points out something very INTERESTING, and that is the subtle hints of relationship. Nothing was ever explicitly said to us regarding sexuality, but the author did an amazing job SHOWING us what was going on regarding said sexuality. THAT IS SO COOL.

    I think you know my thoughts on the book overall though hahah

    1. IT WAS BOUND TO HAPPEN AT SOME POINT, RIGHT? although you gave it 3.5 stars, and we were only 1 off, so I don't count that as a big disagreement.

      And riiiight? It was very cool and helpful TO ME. Haha.

      I do know your thoughts, and I agree to a certain degree. (Hehe that rhymed). But I didn't much care about the plot, clearly. I was all about the characters. :)


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