Thursday, 16 April 2015

Review: The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

Publication Date: 28th April 2015
Publisher: Atom
Length: 361 pages

Huge thanks to Netgalley for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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.

I have heard a huge amount of buzz for this book since January, so when it came up on Netgalley I jumped at the chance to read it. After all, that blurb just screams read me and it had me intrigued in all the right ways. Let’s start with the superficial – that blurb and that cover. (Both the US and UK covers are gorgeous for this one.) Admittedly some of the most gorgeous covers hide terrible books, but this one lived up to all the promise the exterior provides. And then some.

This is a stunning debut novel from Grey, weaving a fast paced and brilliant story with a fantastic heroine at its heart. I fell in love with Echo; her sass, her vulnerability, her determination, and her independence. I felt a fierce need to love and protect her that I haven’t felt since reading ‘Scarlet’ by A. C. Gaughen.

The writing is beautiful. At times quiet and haunting and others fast paced and filled with wit. The dialogue is fantastic and the way the characters banter with each other is brilliant. I felt like I was sitting eating pastries with old friends and drinking tea – there is a feeling of being allowed into an exclusive gang of awesome people and I loved watching Rowan, Echo and Ivy interact with each other.

The romances were deftly handled. There is a tendency to sigh and roll your eyes when you see another eons old being falling for a teenage girl, but whilst that frustrates me in most books I felt that here it was handled well. I believed the attraction and the feelings and I got goosebumps right along with Echo. There are also some intriguing secondary romances which I cheered about and am eagerly waiting to see how they unfold in the second book.

There are comparisons that can be made to any number of YA novels, but particularly the ‘Daughter of Smoke & Bone’ trilogy by Laini Taylor. However Grey takes those similarities and puts her own mark on the story and makes it entirely her own. If you went down a checklist and marked them off then they would sound similar in some ways, but I really recommend reading the book before passing judgement. I adored Taylor’s series and I adore Grey’s – there is no either or, and it is definitely not so similar as to be frustrating. I saw a couple of the twists coming, but then Grey puts her own spin on it and suddenly you’re back in unfamiliar territory and I love being surprised by a book.

This is an incredible debut. It more than deserves all the attention it has garnered so far and I cannot wait to see it take off fully when it is released at the end of the month. It is a beautiful story full of action and daring, fights and romance, and beautiful quiet moments that force you to slow down and appreciate the still hush of the breath before the plunge. I adored it and I cannot recommend it enough.


  1. This is such a great review to read! I'm definitely excited for this one and becoming more confident that it really will live up to the hype. And I'm super excited to read about some well done secondary romances!

    1. Thank you so much! It's a really gorgeous and well written book - I could not get enough of it. Plus diverse and intriguing romances! ALL THE LOVE!