It’s been a long time since I planned to make a review of this. Like, five decades ago, probably. And the reason I haven’t been able to is because I’m studying…or as near to studying as I could possibly do (aka 70% sleeping like the dead). But I have now, so… let’s get to it.
The Girl At Midnight is a story about a human girl who grows up amongst an ancient race living beneath the bustling city of New York. The Avicen has feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. And they are the only family the human girl, Echo, has ever known. Echo lives off as a pickpocket selling stolen treasures in the black market. But underneath her mischievousness and brash personality is a fiercely loyal girl willing to act for the betterment of her family–even when it means getting in the middle of a centuries-old war and finding a mythical entity that possesses a power so great that it will end the conflict once and for all. However, some jobs just aren’t as easy as pick-and-run and this one might be able to set the world on fire.
I once made a Looking Forward To Books list sometime ago and The Girl At Midnight was a part of that list. Funny how it’s the only one so far that I have read.
The Girl At Midnight started out shy. We are introduced to the heroine of the story and how she lives her life living in a library. (“5 Points for Gryffindor for that wonderful alliteration,” says Professor McGonagall. Why, thank you, Professor.) The first half of the story is merely an introduction to the characters and the world in which the characters live. It was during the second half when things start to heat up and is, in my opinion, the better part of the story.
I love Echo; she’s clever and sassy and I usually like my YA girls that way.The pacing was good, not so fast nor too dragging. And I love how one could travel to different parts of the world through thresholds because it reminds me of the leylines in Michael Scott’s Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel and the obelisks used as portal in The Kane Chronicles. The unlikely five-person company who embarks on the journey to find the Firebird was incredibly fun. I love the whole thing going on with Jasper (the second gay character of the name that I’ve read in a YA novel) and Dorian. What I don’t like is how the author seems to squeeze Ruby into that whole situation. I don’t need anymore half-hearted love triangles in a YA novel.
There’s also the issue of the insta-love that happened with Caius on Echo and a few other predictable plotlines somewhere around the climax of the story. I mean, the rising anticipation as Echo gradually discovers the Firebird was wonderful and all but it was too predictable for my taste. The battle between Echo and Tanith would have been a grand more exhilarating to read but that part fell short.
Regarding the similarities between this and Daughter of Smoke & Bone, I decided that reading the first book published and posting my review of it was the best move I could do. Unlike those who have read DOSAB first, I was unconsciously comparing Laini Taylor’s book to Melissa Grey’s. Reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone, my thoughts were constantly, “This or that is similar to that scene in The Girl At Midnight…” instead of the other way around. The thing is, while both books have seriously a heck of a lot of sameness, I want to treat each book differently as one should treat each twin. I am confident, though, that somewhere towards the end of this novel, the likeness have parted and I have high hopes that the second book of the series will start out differently.
Nevertheless, The Girl At Midnight was a wondrous story and painted in such vivid colors with words that are exquisitely crafted to do just that. I genuinely enjoyed this book and will be anticipating for the next installment of the series.