Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Girl at Midnight

The Girl at Midnight is a YA urban fantasy by Melissa Grey.

When young Echo is discovered living in the library by a feathered being who calls herself the Ala, her life changes forever.

Becoming an adopted member of an ancient race called the Avicen living beneath the streets of New York City, she grows up among them and her best friend and boyfriend are both Avicen.

Surviving through utilizing her pickpocket skills to sell stolen treasures to the black market, Echo knows that despite the Avicen being the only family she’s ever known – not all of them accept her as one of their own. She is human.

However, an opportunity arises to help the Avicen pursue a legend that may end a centuries-old war between the Avicen and a draconic race – finding the firebird. It’s dangerous and quite possibly nothing but a myth.

But it’s a chance to prove herself…

The Girl at Midnight has a lovely cover. It also presents a vivid race with the feathered, non-human Avicen that are described very well.

Unfortunately, The Girl at Midnight never really took off for me. And I really, really wanted it to.

Far too similar to Daughter of Smoke and Bone - yet less gritty, original and memorable – The Girl at Midnight throws us into a war that is not explained and expects us to be immediately invested. There are only so many times we can be told that “no one remembers why the fighting started” before that gets to be a weak explanation.

Echo as a character is also perplexing. The fact that she continues to steal and pickpocket when she no longer needs to does not make me like her – it’s just wrong. And she didn’t have enough redeeming qualities that came across as genuine for me to forgive her of this vice and accept it as a flaw. She just… came across as flat for me, sadly.

Then once the firebird quest begins, the plot got murkier. Nothing was very clear and I got the impression, possibly wrongly so, that the author may not entirely know where she is going with this plot. That there may be some crater like holes in it.

Whether or not I am right, the romance aspect felt forced and all too familiar – and again just had too many shades of the far superior, in my opinion, Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Hopefully you will enjoy The Girl at Midnight better than I – as I had to start skimming the novel to get it completed. Unfortunately, there was nothing to keep me hooked when I was over halfway into it. And I won't be seeking the sequels. Sad.

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