For readers of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo’sShadow 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.
The Girl at Midnight drew me in with that cover (Seriously, have you seen it?) I hadn’t really even read the back before adding it to my TBR. I will admit the back of the book made me nervous, I understand it’s common, especially with debut authors, to compare the books to someone else’s book. It does serve a purpose, but it also serves as an annoyance because they always choosing the largest biggest series to compare it to. But I decided to brave it anyway see where this book got me, and at the end of the day, I was really actually quite pleased with it!
Now I don’t know how old Grey is, judging from her author photo I wouldn’t say she’s much older than myself, which I do let play into the review I give The Girl At Midnight. Because in truth, The Girl At Midnight, is a very simple typical paranormal romance. They weren’t wrong when they compared it to City of Bones (I almost saw a few to many comparisons although I highly doubt it was Grey’s choosing to have her book related to a series that held so many parallels. But more on that later). It got that very urban fantasy, simple straight forward hard core shippable romance.
I love these type books, the feel of them the easy rolling way that the story goes. Even if it’s predictable. I’m not one that every single book I read has to be amazing, and blow me away and keep me on the edge of my seat. I’m not sitting down with every novel to read a book for a thrilling amazing, edge of your seat ride. I’m sitting down with a blanket and tea and sinking into a novel. That’s exactly how I felt with The Girl at Midnight.
As I mentioned before there were a lot of similarities to City of Bones, and several more to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I actually flipped to the back of the book to make sure Grey didn’t pull the same plot twist of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Now I understand most of these are typical tropes of the genera, and Grey really did use most all of them. There were a few moments of complete déjà vu, not just to the tropes of the genera but to specific books. One of the main ones was Jasper and Magnus. I understand the character trope, neither of them break very far out of the box. But I’d really love to see Grey take Jasper in a different direction. I’d really love to see Grey take Jasper and run with his character. She’s got so much she could do.
The other thing that did bother me was the very unnecessary love triangle. It was so completely unnecessary that it almost didn’t feel like a love triangle at all. If the second half of the love triangle had been removed nothing in the story would have been changed what-so ever. It meant that little to the story. It didn’t play in plot wise like I felt A Thousand Pieces of You did, it was just…there. Possibly it will mean more in the future, possibly it will change later books. But as of right now? Unneeded.
Shall we talk again about how much of a sucker I am for opposite sides in love? The Girl at Midnight had this in spades and I loved it. The main couple had such amazing chemistry that I fell in love with them and found myself grinning more often than I should have. They had a very nice way of interacting. It’s rare to see couples that could have a crazy uneven power arrangement work together as equals. Echo never felt small, and in fact, more often than not she felt in complete control and wasn’t told to back off. That I give Grey serious props for.
The ending plot twist was a good twist, again felt a little Daughter of Smoke and Bone-ish to me, and I am worried about how this could go moving forward. I’m gonna be super vague here because we are talking huge spoilers. There are elements that could really mess up a lot of things. But of course sitting here typing this now it wouldn’t be much of a paranormal romance if the couple didn’t hit a major speed bump in the second book, eh? But I’m getting distracted, anyway because of this twist certain elements felt a little brushed over for me. I’d like to see Grey pick those up again in the future. There were some reveals that just felt ignored in favor of the relationship. So we’ll see going forward.
I know I listed a lot of things wrong with this book, but there were a lot of things that went right in this book too. The largest reason for that is because of how simple and classic this book felt. It felt like books I read in my teen years, and it felt like a book that I’d pick up again because I want the simple easy story. Will it become an all-time favorite that I shove in everyone’s hands? Not likely. But will it be a book I’ll pick up again on a lazy Saturday afternoon? Oh absolutely. That is how much I adored the easy going way of The Girl at Midnight.
I hate to sound like the back of the book, but if you do love the easy going way of those aforementioned paranormal romances then yes. Absolutely go pick up The Girl at Midnight this Tuesday, get yourself a cup of tea, curl up in the window seat and enjoy yourself.