For fans of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & 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, 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.
3 Out Of 5 Stars
Genre: Another-World, Royal-Court, Supernatural--
One day the Ala discovered a little girl was living in a library in New York, trying her best to survive when she was not wanted. The Ala made the decision to take the girl back to her nest, a decision that nobody could have predicted would change the course of the war between the Avicen and the Darkharin.
I was not sure what I was reading when I began the book and I was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered. I found the reading style to be engaging, snagging my attention right from the start. The characters were multifaceted and compelling and the plot moved forward at a good pace. I found the book to be incredibly similar to the book Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor with just a few elements of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah Maas sprinkled in here and there. That being said, I liked this title much better than I did the Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I am sure is blasphemy to some who raved about it (I thought it was a unique premise and interesting, but I was not invested in the characters and I was super confused by half of the story, making it hard to follow). The two books are unmistakably the same kind of book with a human girl caught in the middle of a war she does not belong in, with two otherworld species, magic, and a romance based on past lives. So if you loved DOSAB, maybe don’t read this title because there exists a big chunk of the same here. I have not continued on in DOSAB since I was not super motivated, but I would like to read the obviously coming sequel to this story to see how everything plays out.
The book is told from a few different perspectives, alternating as the author saw fit, but not in a choppy distracting way. Echo was my favorite character, very quirky and resilient. She is a human raised among the Avicen, who are a bird like race. She is by nature a thief, yet even though she makes a hobby of stealing, which is no secret, she still tries to champion the little guy. She had so much personality, spunk and a compelling dash of integrity. Caius is the leader of the Darkharin, or the dragons, and he is being pulled in multiple directions. He wants the war between the races to be over and peace to come, but his sister wants the destruction of the Avicen. He hid most of his true self from others, but he was a decent guy behind the layers of ruthless leader. I like Echo and Caius individually, but I don’t know if I really liked them together as a couple, especially with Echo’s boyfriend in the picture and the voice of Rose as an influencing source. (I found the nap in the woods scene during the quest to be awkward, unnecessary, and strange- why would Echo not sleep near her best friend? Why did they go off alone all night? ) The story is also told from Ivy the Avicen healer and Echo’s best friend, Jasper the selfish master thief, and Dorian the captain of Caius’ guard who has been in love with Caius forever. Each character has their own voice and unique traits making them very different entities. I like the dynamic between the main characters as well as the side characters, and the shifting of the relationship was interesting to watch unfold.
I enjoyed this story, and I love the idea of these magical races living under human noses, none the wiser of a massive battle raging. I found it to be well written and engaging, even if it was not a totally new idea. I would recommend this to any epic fantasy fans out there who like a hint of romance to fill in the story. I look forward to more in this series as well as more from the author in general.
I received this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.