Title: The Girl at Midnight
Series: The Girl at Midnight, #1
Author: Melissa Grey
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Length: 357 pages | 9 hours 58 minutes
Source: Won from The Book Rat
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.
The Girl at Midnight is an urban fantasy young adult novel with elements of Celtic/Norse mythology. I’ve seen it compared to Laini Taylor’s work, which I think is an unfair comparison (it has elements from a number of urban fantasy YA books I’m familiar with, but it’s still its own thing). It was good, but not great. As a story, the premise is not entirely original, although well executed. Largely, it’s driven by the MC.
As a main character, Echo was fun. She’s a sassy thief with a shady but tragic backstory, and the story revolves consistently around her. There is a love triangle, but neither suitor is vilified to make the other a better choice (thank goodness). It’s a bit predictable, or it was for me anyway, but it’s still a fun, quick read. I only wish it explored the underground city more, as I was left with a lot of questions about side characters.
In all, it reminded me of several RPG sessions I’ve played back in my college days (most notable Amber diceless). It was a fun, shallow, action-filled romp, like a summer blockbuster movie. I recommend it for fans of YA urban fantasy who are in the mood for that sort of quick read. Personally, I wasn’t invested in the characters enough to continue the series.