Series: The Girl at Midnight #2
Published by Delacorte Press on July 12, 2016
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A battle has been won. But the war has only just begun.
Everything in Echo' s life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace.
The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart.
Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she' s already overcome.
She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight.
Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true natureâor will it prove too strong for her, and burn what' s left of her world to the ground?
Welcome to the shadow hour.
The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey
Author:Â Melissa Grey
Pub. Date:Â July 12, 2016
Publisher:Â Delacorte Press
Format:Â Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Everything in Echo’s life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is theÂ firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace.
The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and oppositeÂ reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten toÂ tear the world apart.
Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filledÂ with even greater dangers than the ones she’s already overcome.
She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight.
Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature– or will it prove too strong for her, andÂ burn what’s left of her world to the ground?
Welcome to the shadow hour.Â
Welcome to the bad-ass sequel of the friggin’ century. The Shadow Hour outshines The Girl at Midnight with the power of a thousand firebirds. It’s the norm for sequels to kind of suck, but I am officially wooed beak over wings for this series because of book two. I alternately had urges to watch vintage X-Men cartoons and the filmÂ Willow while reading The Shadow Hour BECAUSE THAT’S HOW EPIC IT WAS.
The seeds of greatness that were planted in The Girl at Midnight fully bloomed in The Shadow Hour. The story world, wherever it went, was vivid and intoxicating in description. I marked so many pages in this book because I was buzzed on its descriptive power and the potency of the emotions it evoked. Reading The Shadow Hour made me feel powerful. And that’s all I really ever want from a book. For it to make me feel awesome and swept away by its awesomeness.
Echo, the female protagonist, comes into herself and her newly acquired firebird powers in this book, and she owns it. The author captures the transition and emotional turmoil Echo experiences with such poetic beauty. There is literary magic in the way Grey tortures and empowers her characters on the page.
Light, bright and vengeful, seared Echo’s eyes as she fell out of the void, her knees landing on packed dirt and dry grass with a painful thud. Her fingers dug into the earth, capturing fistfuls of pebbles and dead leaves, as she heaved in deep, shaking breaths. The world spun and her eyes burned.
Power surged within her, fueled by anxiety. She couldn’t hold it back. It was like trying to close floodgates after a wave had already rushed through. Fire flowed from her hands, scorching the earth and rushing around her, forming a circle.
The complex relationship between Echo, Caius, and Rowan were worked out just right. I am so for love triangles, but I love how it didn’t distract from the powerful women at the center of the story.
The pacing of the story was just right for this action and mythical information packed tale. I enjoyed getting intimate views of all of the characters and their relationships from the third-person storytelling.
And I just might have fallen for a new character named Helios. His description and characterization is like liquid gold that tastes like honey. I can’t wait to get more of him in the third book.
There are more serious themes that can be teased out of this masterpiece that seem strangely relevant to the current social and political climate. Exploring the root of the hate between the Avacen and Drakharin peoples and the loss of innocent lives that result from war and the corruption of power for example.
Overall, this book was magical beyond the plot. The writing was exquisite and the humour was on point. It was a great balance between light and darkness. I think Melissa Grey crafted a rich and fantastic story that appeals to those of us who crush hard on literary fiction and geek-out on intellectual and philosophical name dropping/quoting. Thank you Melissa Grey for appealing to my emotions, my intellect, my love of pop/sub-culture, and my humanity.
And I’m sorry I’m including this “Just for Fun” tidbit in my post, but my mind is saying no, and my bodaaay is saying yesss:
DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE AWESOME GIVEAWAY AT THE END OF THIS POST!
Check out this luscious Prologue Excerpt from The Shadow Hour:
Rowan could pinpoint the exact moment he fell in love. It would take him ten years to
admit it to himself, to gather the vocabulary necessary to encompass the complexity of
his emotion, but he experienced the first stirrings of affection the second Echo stepped
into his life.
That day, Rowan’ s mother had sent him, armed with a basketful of freshly baked
cupcakes, to play with the Ala’ s orphans. The cupcakes had gone fast, and Rowan was
lucky to have been able to snag the last one, a fluffy concoction of red velvet cake and
cream cheese frosting.
When the human girl entered the room a hush fell over the children. Her uncombed
brown hair made her look like a wild thing, and she clung to the Ala like an anchor. She
had no feathers. Her bare arms looked almost obscene compared with the down that
covered Rowan’ s skin. Her big brown eyes zeroed in on the cupcake in his hand as if she
were a hawk hunting for her next kill. She was so skinny, so pale.
He extended his hand, the half-eaten cupcake cradled in his palm as if it were something
precious. And to the girl, it was. Even if he had licked off most of the frosting already.
She took it from him with a look of such awestruck gratitude that Rowan had promised
himself, at the tender age of seven, that he would devote the rest of his life to conjuring
forth that smile.
Melissa Grey was born and raised in New York City. She wrote her first short story at the age of twelve
and hasn’t stopped writing since. After earning a degree in fine arts at Yale University, she traveled the
world, then returned to New York City where she currently works as a freelance journalist. To learn
more about Melissa, visit melissa-grey.com and follow @meligrey on Twitter.
Don’t forget to check out the entertaining first book in the series, The Girl at Midnight!
Book 1 Info:
Title:Â THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT
Author: Melissa Grey
Pub. Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
For readers of Cassandra Clare’ sÂ City of BonesÂ and Leigh Bardugo’ sÂ Shadow and Bone,Â The Girl at
MidnightÂ 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 â¦ 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.
Praise for THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT:
“Grey’ s energetic debut offers a strong protagonistâ¦[and the] well-built world, vivid characters, and
perfect blend of action and amour should have readers eagerly seeking the sequel.” âÂ Kirkus Reviews,
“Sparks fly…This first novel will please fans of Cassandra Clare andÂ Game of Thrones watchers with its
remarkable world building; richly developed characters…[and] a breathtaking climax that…cannot come
soon enough!”âBooklistÂ starred review
“Inventive, gorgeous, and epicâGrey dazzles in her debut.” âÂ Danielle Paige, New York Times
bestselling author ofÂ Dorothy Must Die
âA stunning debut. Equal parts atmosphere and adventure â¦ positively divine.â â Victoria Schwab,
author of A Darker Shade of Magic
7/18/2016-Â a GREAT read–Â Interview
7/19/2016-Â MEREADALOT–Â Review
7/20/2016-Literary Meanderings–Â Excerpt
7/21/2016-Â Zach’s YA Reviews–Â Review
7/22/2016-Â Fiction Fare–Â Interviewhttp://exlibriskate.com/
7/25/2016-Â The Eater of Books–Â Review
7/26/2016-Â YA Book Madness–Â Excerpt
7/27/2016-Â Ex Libris–Â Review
7/28/2016-Â BookHounds YA–Â Interview
7/29/2016-Â The Cover Contessa–Â Review
ENTER TO WIN A PAPER BACK COPY OF THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT. 1 WINNER. US ONLY.
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