The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) by Melissa Grey

For readers of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, 20345202The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.

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. – Goodreads.com

An ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins, another ancient race of people with the characteristics of dragons, an intelligent MC with a quick wit, an unlikely group of people on a quest for a mythical entity – what’s not to like?  This book was such an enjoyable and gripping read.

Although this author’s writing wasn’t the best I’ve come across, I really liked the style.   The dialogue between the characters allowed their individual personalities to shine through – an excellent job of showing and not telling – and at times was very humorous and entertaining.  Most chapters were from Echo’s POV, but some of the other characters had their turns also, and I appreciated seeing things from a different perspective.

The group dynamics were especially enjoyable for me.  The Avicen and Drakharin are taught from birth that they’re enemies – and yet some of them had to put those feelings and prejudices aside, learn to trust each other, and work together.

I was disappointed to see yet another love triangle, but that almost seems to be a prerequisite in YA books anymore.  Echo seemed to lose her ability to reason when she was around the two guys in the triangle, which I thought seemed a little inconsistent with her character because she has such a strong sense of self.  I found it especially difficult to swallow that one of these characters, roughly 250 years old and supposedly much more mature, behaved more like a teenager than someone who had led troops into battle for decades.  On the flip side of that, I was pleased to see the beginning of a possible relationship between two gay characters, the diversity a welcome change from most YA reads.

If you like urban fantasy with some adventure thrown in and a healthy dose of humor, this is your book.  The Girl at Midnight is scheduled for publication April 28th, 2015.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.

 

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