Early Review: The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) by Melissa Grey
For some reason, I didn't have too high hopes for this book, and at the beginning, it definitely seemed that I had good reason for it. The first thirty percent of the book didn't hook me, and it was more an introduction to the characters than anything else. It was only after that point that the various characters finally meet, and the plot really gets underway. After that, the book zoomed by so fast that I can't even understand how I finished it so quickly. On the bright side, the fast pace of the novel made it anything but boring.
One of my problems with the book was that I think the characters could have had more depth. However, with how short the novel felt and how fast-paced it was, as well as considering the relatively large number of central characters, I can totally understand why Grey focused more on the plot than the characters. Even though we don't get a close up look at all the characters, and I didn't get to know them all as well as I'd like to - maybe the next book will expand on that? - it didn't detract from the novel, and in fact, makes me even more excited to learn more about them and their quirks in the next book.
The world building was quite well done; in fact, it reminded me a bit of A Darker Shade of Magic with the ability to travel through "portals". It would have been great if it didn't take about a third of the book to introduce readers to the world of The Girl at Midnight, but alas, it did. Like I said before, it's at that point that the storyline actually begins. This wasn't the most original story I've read, but it was still fun to experience. I predicted everything that was going to happen, yet it was the unique dynamic between the characters that made the book so interesting. I highlighted so many quotes in this novel, and my favorite lines include the cute banter between the two I consider to be the main characters: Echo and Caius. This, of course, brings me to the multiple romances in the novel.
What I enjoyed about this book is that none of the characters had a clear cut romance set up for them - even at the end of the book, it's left open ended enough that several people could end up with, well, several people. Funnily enough, I actually enjoyed the side romances more than the expected Echo-Caius romance (can we all just take a moment to swoon over Jasper and Dorian). Even so, I actually can't wait to see how their relationship develops compared to that between Echo and Rowan. I haven't picked any sides yet, but I'm leaning more toward one than the other. One of the possible romances is more set-up than the other, so I'm more than likely rooting for that one XD
Anyways, after reading this book, I believe that I was right in being conflicted about reading this novel. It wasn't the original, mind-blowing story I was hoping for, but at the same time, it wasn't disappointing in the least, despite what the beginning led me to believe. I would have liked to dig deeper into the characters, but even without that depth, I was still invested in them. The plot wasn't surprising in the least, and yet neither was it boring either. I don't think that this is a book I'd recall after a while, or even reread, but it was quite interesting while I was reading it. I'm excited for the sequel, at any rate, and I hope that it's better than this book in that the characters begin to find themselves, and honestly, that the relationships developed have a deeper base behind them.
Overall, this was a good read. It just wasn't great.
Book Synopsis: 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.
Source: A copy was received from the publisher for review.