The Girl at Midnight (Girl at Midnight Series #1)

The Girl at Midnight (Girl at Midnight Series #1)

by Melissa Grey

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385744652
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/28/2015
Series: Girl at Midnight Series , #1
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 772,323
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.50(d)
Lexile: HL820L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

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 embarked on an adventure of global proportions and discovered a secret talent for navigating subway systems in just about any language. She works as a freelance writer in New York City. She is the author of the Girl at Midnight series: The Girl at Midnight, The Shadow Hour, and The Savage Dawn. To learn more about Melissa, visit melissa-grey.com, follow @meligrey on Twitter, and look for melissagrey_ on Instagram.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

10 YEARS LATER

E

cho lived her life according to two rules, the first of which was simple: don’t get caught.

She stepped gingerly into the antiques shop nestled deep in a back alley of Taipei’s Shilin Night Market. Magic shimmered around the entrance like waves of air rising from hot cement on a sizzling summer’s day. If Echo looked at it dead-on, she saw nothing but an unmarked metal door, but when she angled her head just right, she caught the faint gleam of protective wards, the kind that made the shop all but invisible, except to those who knew what they were looking for.

The neon light that filtered in from the market was the only illumination in the shop. Shelves lined the walls, packed with antiques in varied states of disrepair. A dis­mantled cuckoo clock lay on the table in the center of the room, its bird dangling from a sad, limp spring. The warlock that owned the shop specialized in enchanting mundane objects, some of which had more nefarious purposes than others. The darkest spells left behind a residue, though Echo had been around magic long enough to be able to sense it, like a chill up her spine. As long as she avoided those objects, she’d be fine.

Most of the items on the table were either too rusty or too broken to be an option. A silver hand mirror was marred by a crack that divided its face in two. A rusted clock ticked away the seconds in reverse. Two halves of a heart-shaped locket lay in pieces, as if someone had smashed it with a hammer. The only object that appeared to be in working order was a music box. Its enamel paint was chipped and worn, but the flock of birds that graced its lid was drawn in lovely, elegant lines. Echo flipped the top open and a familiar tune drifted from the box as a tiny black bird rotated on its stand.

The magpie’s lullaby, she thought, slipping her backpack off her shoulders. The Ala would love it, even if the concept of birthdays and the presents that accompanied them was all but lost on her.

Echo’s hand was inches from the music box when the lights flared on. She snapped her head around to find a warlock standing in the shop’s doorway. His chalky white eyes, the only thing that marked him as not quite human, zeroed in on Echo’s hand.

“Caught you.”

Crap. Some rules, it would seem, were meant to be broken.

“It’s not what it looks like,” Echo said. It wasn’t her finest explanation, but it would have to do.

The warlock lifted a single eyebrow. “Really? Because it looks like you were planning on stealing from me.”

“Okay, so I guess it’s exactly what it looks like.” Echo’s eyes darted to a point behind the warlock. “Holy— What is that?”

For just a second, the warlock glanced over his shoulder, but it was all Echo needed. She grabbed the music box and shoved it in her bag, slinging the pack over her shoulder as she rushed forward, slamming into the warlock. He crashed to the floor with a shout as Echo bolted into the market square.

Rule number two, Echo thought, snagging a pork bun from a food stall as she sailed past it. If you do get caught, run.

The pavement was slick with the day’s drizzle, and her boots skidded as she turned a corner. The market was teeming with shoppers packed in shoulder to shoulder, and the rich odors of street cuisine mixed in the balmy air. Echo bit into the bun, wincing at the steam that burned her tongue. Hot, but delicious. It was a universal truth that stolen food tasted better than food that wasn’t stolen. Echo hopped over a murky puddle and nearly choked on a mouthful of sticky bread and roasted pork. Eating while running was harder than it looked.

She squeezed through the crowd, dodging rickety carts and gawking pedestrians. Sometimes being small paid off. The warlock on her tail was having a tougher time of it. Tourist-grade china clattered to the ground as he crashed into the pork bun stall and let loose a flurry of curses. Echo’s Mandarin was sparse, but she was pretty sure he’d just lobbed a barrage of colorful insults at her and her parentage. People got so touchy when their things were stolen. Especially warlocks.

Echo ducked beneath a low-hanging awning and glanced over her shoulder. The warlock had fallen behind, and there was a respectable amount of distance between them now. She took another bite of pork bun, crumbs flying. A magic-wielding psycho with a grudge might have been hot on her heels, but she hadn’t eaten since the slice of cold pizza she’d had for breakfast. Hunger waited for no woman. The warlock shouted for a pair of policemen to stop her as she blew past them. Fingers glanced against her sleeve, but she was gone before they found purchase.

Fan-flipping-tastic, Echo thought, fighting the ache building in her muscles. Almost there.

The brightly lit sign for the Jiantan metro station came into view, and she gasped with relief. Once she was in the station, all she had to do was find a door, any door, and she would be gone in a puff of smoke. Or rather, a puff of sooty black powder.

Echo dropped the remainder of the pork bun into a nearby bin and rummaged in her pocket for the small pouch she never left home without. She catapulted herself over the turnstile, tossing a cursory “Sorry!” at the flummoxed station attendant as the stampede of booted feet closed in.

There was a utility closet on the platform less than fifty yards ahead that Echo knew would do nicely. She dug her fingers into the pouch to capture a handful of powder. Shadow dust. It was a generous amount, but the leap from Taipei to Paris was hardly a modest one. Better to be safe than sorry, even if it meant running perilously low for the trip back to New York.

Echo smeared the dust against the doorjamb and hurtled through it. The warlock shouted at her, but his cry, along with the sound of trains pulling into the station and the buzz of conversation on the platform, died as soon as the door shut behind her. For a brief moment, all was darkness. It wasn’t nearly as disorienting as it had been the first time she’d traveled through the in-between places of the world, but it never stopped being strange. In the empty space between all the heres and all the theres, there was no up, down, left, or right. With every step, the ground shifted and warped beneath her feet. Echo swallowed the bile rising in her throat and thrust her hand out, deaf and blind in the vacuum of darkness. When her palm connected with the peeling paint of a door beneath the Arc de Triomphe, she sighed with relief.

The Arc was a popular way station for travelers of the in-between. With any luck, the warlock would have a hell of a time tracking her. Tracing a person’s progress through the in-between was difficult but not impossible, and the warlock’s dark magic would make it that much easier for him. As much as Echo loved Paris in the spring, she wouldn’t be able to stay for long. It was a shame, she thought. The parks were lovely this time of year.

She made her way to the opposite end of the Arc, scanning the crowd for the familiar sight of a cap pulled low to hide a shock of vibrant feathers coupled with a pair of aviators worth more than her entire wardrobe. Jasper was one of her more mercurial contacts, but he was usually true to his word. She was about to give up and pick a door to ferry her back to New York when she saw it: a flash of bronze skin and the glare of sunglasses. Jasper waved, and Echo broke into a grin before cutting through the crowd at a brisk clip.

Her voice was breathy with exertion when she reached him. “You got the stuff?” she asked.

Jasper slid a small turquoise box out of his messenger bag, and Echo noticed that the door beside him already had a smear of shadow dust on its frame. Jasper could be thoughtful when he tried, which wasn’t very often.

“Have I ever let you down?” he said.

Echo smiled. “Constantly.”

Jasper’s grin was equal parts dazzling and feral. He tossed the box to Echo with a wink strong enough to penetrate the reflective glass of his aviators. Echo popped up onto her toes to press a quick kiss to his cheek. She was through the door and into the in-between before he could summon a witty retort. She’d once told Jasper that he could have the last word when he pried it from her cold dead hands, and she meant it.

Crossing the threshold into the in-between was less jarring the second time around, but the contents of Echo’s stomach still gave a mighty heave. She groped through the black, grimacing when her hands made contact with something solid. The doors leading to Grand Central Station were always grimy, even on this side of the in-between.

New York, she thought. The city that never cleans.

Echo exited into one of the corridors branching out from the main concourse. She paced around the information booth at its center, weaving between gaggles of tourists taking pictures of the constellations on the ceiling and commuters awaiting their trains. Not one of them knew there was an entire world beneath their feet, invisible to human eyes. Well, to most human eyes. As in the warlock’s shop, one had to know what one was looking for. She’d give the warlock a handful of minutes to make an appearance. If he’d managed to follow her from the Arc, she wanted to make sure she didn’t lead him to her front door. Echo had no proof, but she was certain that warlocks made for terrible houseguests.

Her stomach rumbled. A few bites of pork bun wasn’t going to cut it. She spared a thought for the hidden room in the New York Public Library that she called home, and the half-eaten burrito she’d left sitting on her desk. Earlier that day, she’d swiped it from an unsuspecting college student as he napped, head pillowed on a battered copy of Les Misérables. There had been poetry to that minor act of thievery. It was the only reason she’d done it. She didn’t need to steal food to survive, as she had when she was a child, but some opportunities were too good to pass up.

Echo rolled her neck, letting the tension that had built up in her muscles work its way down her arms and out her fingers. Inch by inch, she let herself relax, listening to the rumble of trains in and out of the station. It was as soothing as a lullaby. With a final glance around the concourse, she hefted her bag over her shoulder and headed toward the Vanderbilt Avenue exit. Home was a scant few blocks west of Grand Central, and there was a stolen burrito with her name on it.

CHAPTER TWO

T

wo kinds of people camped out in the New York Public Library so late at night. There were the scholars: Caffeine-addled college students. Obsessively meticulous PhD candidates. Ambitious academics angling for tenure. And then there were the people who had nowhere else to go: People who sought solace in the comforting musk of old books and the quiet sounds of other humans breathing, turning pages, and stretching in their creaky wooden chairs. People who wanted to know that they weren’t alone while being left alone. People like Echo.

She moved through the library like a ghost, feet quieter than a whisper over its marble steps. It was late enough that no one bothered to raise their eyes from their books to take notice of a young woman, dressed in head-to-toe black, slinking around where she had no business. Echo had long ago established a route that led around staff members counting the minutes until they got off work. She didn’t need to worry about security cameras. America’s librarians fought valiantly to keep their readers’ privacy protected, and the library was a camera-free zone. It was one of the reasons why she’d chosen to make it her home.

She slipped through the library’s narrow stacks, breathing in the familiar smell of stale books. As she climbed the darkened stairwell leading to her room, the air thickened with magic. The wards that the Ala had helped Echo set up pushed back at her, but the resistance was weak. They were designed to recognize her. Had anyone else stumbled upon the staircase, they would have turned back, remembering that they’d left the stove on or were running late for a meeting, but the spell rebounded off her.

At the top of the stairs was a door, as beige and plain as any other utility closet, but it too had magic all its own. Echo slipped her Swiss Army knife from her back pocket and flicked it open. She pressed the tip of the small knife into the pad of her pinkie and watched a bead of blood well up.

“By my blood,” Echo whispered.

She touched the drop of scarlet to the door, and the air crackled with electricity, raising the fine hairs at the back of her neck. A quiet click sounded, and the door unlocked. Just as she did every time she entered the cramped room overflowing with treasures she’d liberated over the years, she kicked the door shut behind her and said, to no one in particular, “Honey, I’m home.”

The silence that answered was a welcome change from the shrill symphony of Taipei and the cacophonous crowds of New York at rush hour. Echo slung her bag onto the floor beside the writing desk she’d salvaged from the library’s recycling pile and collapsed on her chair. She flicked on the fairy lights strung around the room, casting the cozy space in a warm glow.

Before her lay the burrito she’d been dreaming about, surrounded by the odds and ends that decorated every available surface of her room. There were tiny jade elephants from Phuket. Geodes from amethyst mines in South Korea. An original Fabergé egg, encrusted with rubies and trimmed with gold. Surrounding it all were stacks of books, crammed on every available surface, piled on top of each other in teetering towers. Some Echo had read a dozen times, others not at all. Their presence itself was a comfort. She hoarded them just as eagerly as she hoarded her other treasures. Her seven-year-old self had decided that stealing books was morally bankrupt, but since the books hadn’t actually left the library—they’d merely been relocated—it wasn’t technically stealing. Echo looked around at her sea of tomes, and a single word came to mind: tsundoku.

It was the Japanese word for letting books pile up without reading them all. Words were another thing Echo hoarded. She’d started that collection long before she’d ever come to the library, back when she lived in a house she preferred not to remember, with a family she’d have been happier forgetting. Back then, the only books she’d had belonged to a set of outdated encyclopedias. She’d had few possessions to call her own, but she’d always had her words. And now she had a trove full of stolen treasures, some more edible than others.

She raised the burrito to her lips, poised to take a bite, when the sound of fluttering feathers interrupted her. Only one person had the ability to bypass her wards without raising a single alarm, and she never bothered to knock. Echo sighed. Rude.

“You know, I’ve heard that in some cultures,” Echo began, “people knock. But then, that could just be idle gossip.”

She swiveled in her chair, burrito in hand. The Ala sat on the corner of Echo’s bed, black feathers ruffling gently, as if caught on a breeze. But there was no breeze. There was only the Ala and the slight charge to the air that accompanied her power.

“Don’t be moody,” the Ala said, smoothing her arm feathers. “It makes you sound positively adolescent.”

Echo took an exaggerated bite of the burrito and spoke around a mouthful of rice and beans. “Truth in advertising.” The Ala frowned. Echo swallowed. “I am adolescent.” If Echo had abysmal table manners, the Ala had only herself to blame.

“Only when it suits you,” the Ala said.

Chewing with her mouth open was a perfectly reasonable response as far as Echo was concerned.

“Anyway,” the Ala sighed, surveying the shelves over­flowing with shiny knickknacks of every variety, “I’m glad you’ve returned, my little magpie. Steal anything nice today?”

Echo pushed her backpack toward the Ala with a toe. “As a matter of fact, I did. Happy birthday.”

The Ala tutted, but the sound was more pleased than disappointed. “I don’t understand your obsession with birthdays. I’m far too old to remember mine.”

“I know, and that’s why I assigned one to you,” Echo said. “Now open it. My bacon was almost burned by a warlock getting that thing.”

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Girl at Midnight"
by .
Copyright © 2015 Melissa Grey.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Children's Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Girl at Midnight 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
When a novel is pitched as something that fans of Cassandra Clare and Leigh Bardugo will eat right up, you’ll know right away that I’ll have my interest piqued. Author Melissa Grey’s The Girl at Midnight sounded like an imaginative read that would hook me with ease. Urban fantasy with a protagonist sent on a quest to find some all-powerful object? Sign me right up. The Girl at Midnight was a read that I zipped right through. The world that Grey has crafted is unique in its own way and will immerse any and all readers who enter it. Taken in by the Ala, Echo has been living as a thief beneath New York City as a human among the Avicen. The Avicen are an ancient group of people who have magical abilities and feathers for hair. Prince Caius is a member of the Drakharin, another tribe of people who have been warring against the Avicen for centuries. When Caius seeks out the Firebird, Echo is forced to throw herself into the midst of a war that isn’t hers to fight. Her pursuit of the Firebird—an entity powerful beyond belief—pushes her into the path of danger and romance. There’s no telling who will make it out of this battle alive. I fell in love with The Girl at Midnight right after reading the opening chapter. I knew that this would be a novel that would keep me eager to find out more. Grey does an amazing job at creating a vivid image of just what the world of the Avicen and Drakharin looks like through stunning imagery and heart-pounding action sequences. Readers who enter the world of the Avicen will be compelled by the magic introduced in the novel as well as the Avicen and Drakharin themselves. The Avicen are unique—powerful beings who have feathers for hair, while the Drakharin are beautiful and scaled. The plot for The Girl at Midnight kept me guessing and constantly on my toes. There are so many instances of betrayal and deception and light-hearted romantic moments. The novel is told from alternating third-person point of views. My favorite happened to be from Caius’s point of view because we got some flashbacks of his time with Rose—an Avicen woman who he fell in love with and who was murdered by a person close to him. Getting to see these close moments to not just Caius’s character but to the many others in the novel made it easy to get into their heads and empathize with them. Grey’s writing is smooth and detailed. Personally, I really enjoyed her prose. The way that the characters were presented and how their internal thoughts were written was absolutely wonderful. She has easily brought the character in The Girl at Midnight to life. I also really enjoyed the evolution of a romantic relationship between two of the novel’s male characters (it was super cute and a total case of opposites attract) as well as the tension between Caius and Echo. Throughout reading The Girl at Midnight I was caught in the ‘Will They or Won’t They’ chemistry going on between Echo and Caius while also dismissing Rowan’s character. Rowan was the only character whose placement felt unnecessary. He paves the way for a love triangle that I personally felt had no place being in the story. I would recommend The Girl at Midnight to readers who are avid fans of the urban fantasy genre and want to glimpse a world that doesn’t revolve around the ‘normal’ realm of the supernatural. Readers who are looking for a novel with the perfect balance between romance and action should also give The Girl at Midnight a shot. Anyone looking for a fast-paced read that you could go through in one sitting should also give it a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great. It's one of the ones you can't put down. A little warning for those who care: there's a same gender romance at the end of the series, (after this book). I think there should be warnings about that kind of stuff in case it is not something you're into. Have fun reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a well written fun read. I was surprised to enjoy it as much as I did because this is her first novel. Go ahead and take the plunge and read this book...you won't regret it!
TAWNEYBLAND1 More than 1 year ago
I had been wanting to read this book for a while now. The book cover was gorgeous and the story sounded so uniquely intriguing. I wasn't disappointed! This book blew me away.  Echo is a runaway thief taken in by a powerful Avicen, an accent race of feathered beings who live under the city. She's content with her life with her best friend Ivy and a somewhat boyfriend Rowan. But she has always been the human outcast. However, the war bruin between the Avicen and the dragon race Drakharin has gone on for centuries and now Echo is on a mission to find the firebird, a mythical being who can bring peace and end the fighting. With the help of unlikely allies, Echo hunts for the firebird before it falls into the wrong hands. There were multiple characters but the two main ones were Echo and Caius. Echo was a refreshing protagonist with great humor and spunk. I laughed out loud a couple of times at the movie references and retorts she had. She could stand up on her own among all the non-humans. Her attitude was refreshing and I instantly connected with her. Caius is Drakharin but he had a heart. He's strong and caring, only wanting what's best for his people. Not to mention he's pretty hot.  There was one secondary character I really liked. Dorian is second in command to Caius and he's secretly in love with him. Poor guy. He started off as the bad guy but as the book progressed you start to like him. He really cared for his prince and would do anything to help him. Kudos to Melissa for weaving such magic into her characters.  The world Melissa created was vividly grand with lush description, wonderful characters and an engaging storyline. Melissa weaves a fantastic story together with great world building! The characters are able to move throughout the in-between, a place between our world, they harness power, so the magic was a great element to the book. The mythology of the races was wonderfully explained and I just found this book to be magical. I highly recommend it because this fantasy world is not to be missed. I do have a thing for feathers now. I love the Avicen and their awesomely colorful feathers. Such an intriguing race. Thanks Melissa! I blame you for my new obsession. LOL.
TheLiteraryPhoenix 3 months ago
This one was... just okay. The concept of the Avicen is interesting, but I didn’t click with any of the characters. There was a lot of running around, but not a lot of depth. I can see why other people really liked this one, but it’s not for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters and plot were fantastic. It was longer than I had expected which was good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read with interesting characters and a solid story. I really enjoyed myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Our heroine, Echo, is relatable, strong yet fragile Very intriguing The story draws you in making you want to keep turning pages! Have already bought the next book -
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was exceptionally well written. The author paints anew uniquely intriguing world without going to far. The characters were well developed with plenty of room to grow in future series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could't put it down. Going to start the second one now...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
I want to read the girl at midnight because I follow several good reviews of it and finally had time in my library had it available. The book is in third person which is not what I'm used to but it was in dual narrative if that's possible In that perspective. It's told from echo a human and Caius who is a drakharin. Echo is definitely an interesting character she basically grew up in the library and she was taken under the wings of a pretty powerful avi cen it's a race of people who are similar to birds they have feathers and plumage, that sort of thing. The two races have been at war for a very long time. Caius as well as an Avicen have been looking for the Firebird which is prophesied to bring an end to the war. The world building was good, off had a lot of detail but it didn't drown me in it right.at the beginning. It let me get a sense of Echo as a character and them figure out even more about the fantasy which I like. Echo is pretty much a master thief and sneak because of how she grew up. She steals food and not only sneaks into the library, she has her own bedroom there. The Avicen world in unseen Echo describes part of it as under the new York train station. Echo is human but The Ala brought her into th their world when she found five year old Echo alone and homeless at the library. Because of her upbringing she uses a magic dust that gets her in the inbetween and lets her quickly travel around the world.and also a gate to Avicen world. Echo is popular with the Avicen kids because she gives them attention and often candy comes egg that attention. I love seeing characters who treat children well and respect and notice them. I like that friendship is a theme on this one as well. Her and ivy have been friends since echo arrived. the middle of the story slowed down a lot and I think part of it for me at least was because it started introducing too many points of view. I told you chu had you are in but I just kinda lost track of the voices and the different circumstances and wish it would have just kept to one or maybe two. I got through it though because I like the beginning and the setup and I hope that the ending of this one would bring someone closer instead of being a cliffhanger cuz I'm not sure when or if I would have a chance to continue on with the series. It did pick back up and I was satisfied with the ending and the wrap up that it gave me. Bottom Line: Beginning and very end was good. Liked Echo, but too many POV for me.
COBauer More than 1 year ago
Received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT by Melissa Grey is a coming-of-age story about a human girl caught in the middle of an ancient underground war. The book is nicely paced with a surprisingly enjoyable & unexpected (sort of) romance. I could not put it down (seriously—took me less than 24 hours). It’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure to read Urban Fantasy, and Grey does not disappoint. She hits all the right marks for the genre and builds a fresh, fascinating, fully fleshed-out world—it’s perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare or Leigh Bardugo. I was impressed with the development of the history of the Avicen & Drakharin races and the glimpses of the racial tensions sprinkled throughout (definitely hits close to home). What truly puts this book above others in the genre is the character development. Echo is one of the more interesting protagonists in YA Fantasy. She’s smart, snarky (so many great one-liners), and fiercely loyal—a person worth truly worth rooting for. She's not without her flaws--there are times when you're reminded she's a teenage girl... Let's just say the raging hormones definitely clouds her judgment. ;) However, Caius wins the award for most transformational journey (after all—he is supposed to be the villain). The author does a nice job at hinting at what lies beneath from the very beginning, but still manages to pack in some fun surprises. THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT is a well rounded 1st book in a series. Readers are left with the perfect opening for a sequel or two, but I still feel this book easily stands on its own. Definitely recommend!
BoundWithWords More than 1 year ago
I started this book with very few expectations, I already lost the count of books comparing themselves to "City of Bones" (for those who don't know TMI is one of my favorite series) and end up being disappointed but on this case I was gladly surprised that "The Girl at Midnight" did lived up to it's praise and also created a new space for itself. Let's talk about the comparisons, I did not read "Shadow and Bone" so can't testify for this book but I found some elements of this book really similar with "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" (which isn't on the summary but still), first Echo starts being adopted by one of the Avicen (people with feathers for hair) and runs errands for them and create portals to go from our world to the Avicen world, this reminded me a lot of Karou and them *something* at the end happened that bothered me by how close it was with DoSaB - like, I already knew what was gonna happen because I had read the other book and this is a little too close for my taste, also some of the amazingness of the ending was lost with that ending. But on the other side I loved the similar parts of "The Girl at Midnight" with "City of Bones", for me, the thing that makes these two close are their characters a lot of them and their personalities reminded me of characters from the other series and I absolutely loved the characters on this one, and loved even more their interactions. Echo is trying to save the world she loves while not knowing what she needs to do, but still fighting with all her strength, Caius is also trying to save his world and these two end up doing a unthinkably alliance to survive and they do end up on a romance. At first I didn't enjoyed because Echo has already a boyfriend but seems pretty quickly to forget him once she starts to knowing Caius, so I was kind of happy (because yes for less melodrama) but also weirded out that she never thought about her boyfriend (or ex I guess?) but they won me over along the book mostly because there wasn't instalove, also the ending left a open page for their relationship on the next book that could led to a lot of drama and I just don't want that to happen. So for me the best and most memorable characters were the secondary ones, specially the participants of the gay couple (is that a spoiler if I say their names? Idk) and had such funny scenes and a great banter together, also the final scene of them was just *swoon* is fair to say that I was head over heels for them (also please more scenes with them on the rest of the series). But not only their interactions were fun to read, all the group scenes were funny and a lot of those made me laugh out loud - and this was what made this book a win for me, I completely lost myself reading it and would always come back because I wanted more and more of this characters. I super recommend this book to lovers of fantasy and fans of The Mortal Instruments series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh man I could not put this one down. I have been on such a fantasy/magic/witches binge that this just hit the spot. The book follows a girl named Echo (a name that I love by the way) an orphan thief who lives inside a Library (Um other than a bookstore that would be my dream place to live). One night she meets The ALA, a mystical woman with feathers for hair (I mean they have FEATHERS for HAIR) and her life as she knows it will never be the same. Soon she finds her self immersed in an age old battle between the Avicen and Drakharin, a magical group of people said to be able to transform in to dragons and control fire. With her best friend Ivy, Jasper, resident thief, and two unlikely allies Caius, the former Dragon Prince, and his best friend Dorian. They will race against Altair, a man with his own agenda and Tanith, the new Dragon Prince, to find the Firebird before it falls into the wrong hands. What I liked: Echo! I thought she was such an amazingly written character. She wasn’t whiny, she didn’t complain why it had to be her, and she didn’t act like she couldn’t handle something. She didn’t wait for the guy to come to save her and more often she was the one to take the lead and make decisions. Which I liked greatly! She was loyal to those she loved and to the Avicen people as whole, even though most looked at her like she didn’t belong. She had this need to prove to the Avicen that she did in fact belong and that even though she was human she could be useful. Caius. I’m going to be honest here I felt like my focus was so much on Echo that I didn’t really invest myself in many of the other characters. And while I like Caius, I am in love with Echo. That being said I did like Caius quite a bit. He also is loyal to his people the Drakharin but he is open to friendships with the Avicen. As proven by a certain relationship… I don’t want to give to much away. Despite the fact that he was taught to hate the Avicen he can’t find it in himself to hate them. Caius is not impulsive. I liked that he thought things through. He plans and he comes up with a strategy, he doesn’t just jump and hope things work out. Which is something I like better in characters. Echo and Caius. I thought that they worked well together. I want them to be together more than I want her and Rowan. I thought they worked well together. Although both relationships were really well written. They weren’t childish and annoying. In both relationships they treat Echo as an equal. They know she’s a fighter and they know that she knows how to handle herself. But still I’m rooting for Caius and Echo! What I didn’t like: Rowan and Echo. Despite being well written, I still had a problem believing that Echo and Rowan should be together. For some reason I don’t trust Rowan. In the book it’s mentioned that they’ve known each other since childhood but I didn’t feel like there was any spark between them. They just didn’t do it for me and I couldn’t shake the feeling that Rowan isn’t to be trusted. Ivy and Echo. I loved both Ivy and Echo. I liked that Ivy was willing, despite the risk to her, to stay with Echo through the whole mission. And I loved that Echo wanted to protect her. I just wished I had more of them. And I can only hope that we see more of a back story for Ivy and more of the kind of relationship Ivy and Echo have. I love Melissa’s writing and I would love to see the kind of friendship that they share. There is not a whole lot of good girl friendship in YA
LovinLosLibros More than 1 year ago
After being rec'd this one by a few trusty blogger friends, I knew I needed to give it a read. I'm so glad I did because I really enjoyed it. It did take a bit to get into, as most fantasies do for me, but once I found my groove I could not put it down. I was a little confused initially as to the races, the conflict between them, and what purpose the Firebird would hold. However, as I read, things became clearer and I understood what at first I did not. I did have a hard time picturing the Avicen and the Drakharin in my mind though. It was surreal to think these two races of creatures lived in modern times and even wore normal clothes you and I would wear, but obviously having to cover some of their features. I liked the characters for the most part and was pleasantly surprised by some of the relationships that developed. My only issue was that I had a hard time getting a grasp of how Echo truly felt for Caius. I ship those two 100%, but things between them are complicated. For one, Echo technically has a boyfriend and Caius has never really gotten over his true love, Rose. Still, I loved the scenes these two flirted with one another and their first kiss... so much swooning. Grey ended this book in a pretty good place. There's no cliffhanger, but things are definitely going to be difficult from here on out, considering the revelations in this book. I am really looking forward to seeing the direction the second book goes!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The concept for the story was interesting, but the writing itself was lacking in some places. It was either too fast paced, or too slow, and some characters seemed only to exist for the purpose of either being killed, disliked, or for dramatic effect. It felt as though the author was trying a little too hard to fit everything into one book. The beginning started out well, and got me interested, but faded out a bit towards the end and felt a little too chaotic. Not a bad read, but not quite what I was expecting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
The Avicen have lived beneath New York City for years. Bird-like creatures with feathers for hair, the Avicen can use scarves and sunglasses to blend in when they have to. The rest of the time magical wards make sure they remain hidden from prying human eyes. Except for Echo--the human pickpocket who considers the Avicen, at least some of them, her family. Echo is used to fending for herself and she has the fierce, brusque persona to prove it. When she isn't busy being reckless and stealing things around the world for the thrill of it, she is also extremely loyal. When word surfaces of a way to end the centuries-long war between the Avicen and their dragon-like enemies the Drakharin, Echo jumps at the chance to help. Legend suggests that the Firebird is the only thing with the power to end the war. The only problem is no one knows what the Firebird is or where to find it. But if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to enjoy a challenge in The Girl at Midnight (2015) by Melissa Grey. The Girl at Midnight is Grey's debut novel and the start to a trilogy. The Girl at Midnight starts strong with a fantastically intricate world complete with magic, mythical creatures and a conflict that has lasted centuries. Both the Avicen and Drakharin make sense within the story and have complex cultures to match. In fact, the only thing that doesn't make sense is trying to picture them while reading as imagining feathers as hair continues to be a sticking point. Unfortunately the characters who populate The Girl at Midnight pale in comparison to the world within the novel. Most of the characters are defined by one carefully chosen trait and little else. Echo is slightly more developed although she too often comes across as a collection of eccentricities and behaviors (between her preoccupation with food, collecting words, hoarding books and throwing out pop culture references with zero context) that never quite rang true. The logistics of Echo's living unnoticed in a library also begins to fall apart under any kind of scrutiny. The Girl at Midnight is a decent urban fantasy in places but it also one that will immediately feel familiar to anyone well-read in the genre. Grey's admirable world building only serves to underscore the predictable, lackluster plot and weak characters. Recommended for readers looking to discover new places (both real and imagined) rather than find their next engrossing read. Possible Pairings: Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, The Archived by Victoria Schwab, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Melissa Grey introduces us to a new and unique world of the Avicen in The Girl at Midnight. The run away, Echo (human) is adopted by an ancient, magical and secretive race that lives under New York City. Someone who excels at pick pocketing, Echo's world erupts when she steals a gift that will start her on a fated journey. She must find the mythical firebird before the smoldering war between the ancients escalates.  Can the human girl save the magical people she's come to love? You are going to have to read The Girl at Midnight to find out. I enjoyed The Girl at Midnight. It had an intriguing plot with lots of potential, but I wasn't riveted. I would like to explore more of this world. Most of all, I really loved the team that grew behind Echo; I am looking forward to seeing what dynamics evolve within that group. 3.5 stars. I received this ARC copy of The Girl at Midnight from Random House Children's - Delacorte Press in exchange for a honest review. 
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Girl At Midnight by Melissa Grey Book One of The Girl At Midnight series Publisher: Delacorte Press Publication Date: April 28, 2015 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley Summary (from Goodreads): For readers of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, The 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. What I Liked: This book was BEAUTIFUL. Inside and out. I loved the feel of this story, the amazing world-building, the likable characters, the story itself. So many things worked in this book. So many things worked for me, and I really, really enjoyed this one. Echo is human, but she lives with the Avicen, creatures with feathers for hair, basically humans with bird-like qualities. They can do magic easily, whereas it takes a lot out of Echo to do magic (she's human). Echo is a thief, and she enjoys thieving. One day, Echo is sent to steal something that will help lead to the Firebird, a mythical thing that contains great power, and could lead to the end of the war between the Avicen and the Drakharin (dragon-like creatures that appear to look like humans; they can't fly, but they are skilled warriors and magic-wielders). She succeeds in obtaining the object, only to be thrown into the path of a powerful Drakharin who is unwelcome in Drakharin lands. Echo, Caius (the Drakharin), Dorian (Caius's loyal guard), Ivy (Echo's best friend), and Jasper (a guy who owes Echo a favor) must find the Firebird before the Drakharin - or the Avicen - find it first. For the most part, I liked Echo. She's snarky and a bit sarcastic, and turns everything into a joke. I like her humor. I'm not like that, but I could definitely be around her in small or large doses, and enjoy her company. Echo is hilarious, but she's also dedicated and pretty clever. Caius is extremely intelligent, astute, hardworking, selfless, loyal, fierce... and sweet. He's the Dragon Prince, recently usurped by his twin sister, Tanith. She's cruel and heartless, and doesn't want the war to end. Caius wants the war to end. When Tanith takes his seat of power from under him, he fleees, and works with Echo to find the Firebird. An unlikely team of two Avicen, two Drakharin, and a human. Caius is my favorite character of the book, because of his strength of character and personality. He is hundreds of years old, but unlike some people (*cough* Edward Cullen *cough*), Caius possesses a timeless quality, maturity and intelligence that I respected and liked a lot. The secondary characters were a joy to follow. Seriously, the secondary characters add additional humor to the book. Jasper is always teasing Dorian, making him blush or look away gruffly. Dorian is very conflicted about a lot of things, including how he treated Ivy, who was a prisoner of the Drakharin, under Tanith's orders. Ivy is a sweet character, a healer in training, which coming in handy several times throughout the book. The story definitely has a Daughter of Smoke and Bone vibe to it. I've seen some people complain about this, and others praise it. I personally think it's great; the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is so distinctive, and I don't think anything could come close to it, in terms of story and style. This book has the same feel to it, which I think is a very good thing. The world-building is wonderful! This book is fantasy set in the modern world. There are bird people! There are dragons who can no longer fly! There is a war that has been going on for centuries! There is a mythical thing that could end it all (I was thinking "the one ring to rule them all", and Echo took the words out of my mouth at one point! Maybe we're more similar than I previously thought). Bits and pieces aren't super original, but put together, the entire story is really imaginative and fun and exhilarating.  I loved the story - there are many layers to it, with many characters and many subplots. But not so many that you get lost, or certain subplots get underdeveloped. The story is told in third person, usually from Echo's point-of-view, but also at times from Caius's, Ivy's, Dorian's, and I think Jasper's too (though I'm not certain). I like third person, so I didn't mind so many points-of-view at all. It wasn't overwhelming, because most of the time, it was limited to Echo, anyway. There IS romance in this book! I actually wasn't expecting that, so I was pleasantly surprised. Not sure why I wasn't expecting romance. I've seen some people complain about a love triangle. Personally, I don't see one. There is one guy, and one girl, and one guy who is sort of there but has no chance. Echo never wavers, in terms of who she feels for, in her soul and heart. One is like, a long-time infatuation. The other is a mature, deep desire and emotion and affection. If that makes sense. There's also a twisted part to the romance, which I'm wary of, but it doesn't necessarily have to do with the pair that I want to end up together. IT'S COMPLICATED, OKAY? But no love triangle. Also, no insta-love. I LOVE the romance. The banter and chemistry is slow-burn and lovely. There is a ton of action in this book, and it doesn't stop until the very end, when the whole story is over. So much fighting and killing and escaping and swords and maps and fun things like that! The ending is satisfying, and not quite a cliffhanger, but it will leave you wanting more. Especially in terms of the romance (not in a bad way). Good thing there are two books to follow! What I Did Not Like: There is something about the romance that is bothering me a bit, and it's bothering Echo too (and the love interest, though I must say - he is MUCH more than a love interest). I can't say what it is without giving things away, but I really want to be sure of Echo and the guy. I want to know 100% that it's the two of them, in a budding relationship, with no past, present, or future weighing them down. It's kind of complicated, but if you read this book, you'll know what I mean. It's nothing terrible or bad, per say, but it's something that's in the back of mind, tickling my subconsciousness. In any case, The Thing is why this book is getting 4 stars, versus 5 stars. Not the worst Thing in the world, but I'd prefer otherwise. Of course, I'm not writing the book, so I have no say in Things, but it's a preference, you know? Would I Recommend It: I would sooooo recommend this book, so much! Fantasy fans, fantasy non-fans, basically anyone, give this book a chance! It's got a gorgeous cover, so, if anything, at least your bookshelf will look great! But in all seriousness, this book is awesome. I don't think you'd regret reading this book, even if you absolutely hated it (which you won't, hopefully). It's worth the read, and even if this book gets super popular and over-hyped, I'd still recommend it! Rating: 4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars. It will still probably be a year-end favorite, because it was so good! Like, reread-worthy good. I can't wait to read the sequel!
tpolen More than 1 year ago
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.   This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great first novle. A heroine to cheer for, love intrigue and more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book