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The Girl at Midnight

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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 all but one human: Echo, a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market.

The Avicen are the only family Echo has ever known, so when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act. Legend has it that to end the conflict once and for all, Echo must 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.

357 pages, Hardcover

First published April 28, 2015

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About the author

Melissa Grey

65 books1,128 followers
Melissa Grey penned her first short story at the age of twelve and hasn't stopped writing since. As an undergrad at Yale, she learned how ride a horse and shoot a bow and arrow at the same time. She also has a Masters in Art History but that's a much less useful skill.

She is the author of The Girl at Midnight trilogy, Rated, and the forthcoming The Valiant Ladies of Potosi.

To learn more about Melissa, visit melissa-grey.com and follow her on Twitter @meligrey.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,863 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
April 21, 2015
“He was sickeningly handsome, verging on beautiful... his eyes were the kind of green that would make emeralds weep with envy.”

2 1/2 stars.

The Girl at Midnight was easily one of my most anticipated reads of 2015. I know many others feel the same. After reading it, I can feel myself inwardly bristling at the praise that is certain to come - beautiful, magical, unique - I can see it now. How unique does this world sound? A race of creatures with feathers for hair; an MC raised by supernatural beings that have become like her family; magical portals that open all over the world; two breeds of creatures who are at war and a romance between a girl from one side and a guy from the other.

Except... this isn't unique. I've read it before in a wonderful book called Daughter of Smoke & Bone. The first half of this book is shockingly similar to DOSAB, but the writing is not as beautiful, the story isn't as compelling, and Echo is far too caught up in a flurry of hormones to realize there's an actual war going on.

I'm starting to wonder if you get to a point where you've read so much YA fantasy that you can hardly ever find something original and interesting. I'm experiencing it a lot lately - the same old recycled plots popping up again and again. I'm sure this book will be fine to fans of romance-heavy fantasy who haven't already read Daughter of Smoke & Bone... but if you're going to only read one, then DOSAB gets my recommendation every time.

Despite the blurb's comparisons with Shadow and Bone, this is actually urban fantasy set in an alternate version of our world (as DOSAB was). The Drakharin and Avicen are at war with one another and the key to winning the war is the mysterious "firebird". Needless to say, both sides want to find it. Enter Echo - a snarky heroine who goes zipping about through the magic portals, determined to find the firebird for the Avicen. She spends a lot of time waxing poetic about boys along the way. That's BOYS, plural (*cough* love triangle *cough*).

“When he pulled away, Echo felt as though he were taking little bits of her heart with him.”

And she also has a completely unnecessary rivalry with a bitchy girl who has a crush on Rowan and gets partnered with him for training:

“Echo turned back, meeting Ruby’s steady gaze. Her eyes were the sickly pale blue of a vulture’s. Echo hated them. She hated her stupid eyes and her stupid black feathers and her stupid milk-white skin. She hated everything about her.”

There were some good things about this book, hence the 2.5 star rating (and I almost convinced myself to round up). For one thing, some of the dialogue is genuinely funny, especially when Echo is whipping out her snark in dire situations instead of looking into either Rowan's or Caius' eyes. For another thing, the author occasionally writes some wonderfully atmospheric descriptions.

I especially liked the way she painted a picture of the exciting (to me) places visited in the novel. This is Kyoto:

“Temples sat beside glass skyscrapers, while certain streets, like the one she currently stood on in the Pontocho district, were so well preserved that they were like portals back in time. A hundred years had passed, and still the teahouse to which the map had pointed stood, exactly where Echo had expected it to be.”

And the author's descriptions of eclairs, whoopie pies and coconut macaroons were delicious to the point of being evil. I got progressively more hungry as I read on. I should also mention that I liked the inclusion of gay characters and I'm glad that more sexual diversity seems to be making its way into mainstream YA.

However, these things alone were not enough to make this a book I want to pick up the sequel for. The first half was significantly dulled by my inevitable comparisons to a better book, and by the time it picked up in the second half, I wasn't fully invested in the characters and all the romancing going on.

But, whether you read this or not, everyone deserves this gif:

Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
August 3, 2015
Actual rating: Strong 3.5 stars

Listen up, Fantasy nerds. I'm going to give you six very good reasons why you should make The Girl at Midnight a priority on your TBR list.

1. Do you like snarky dialogue? Yes or yes?

Echo's snark game is on point. I personally love a main character who can pull her own weight and let her snark flag fly free. There were several times where I legit laughed out loud. Considering I am a robot, that was impressive. Well played, Grey.

2. Are you on the market for a new book boyfriend? Yes or yes?

Who doesn't enjoy a troubled, brooding, howt dragon-humanoid type guy? Amirite? Even though The Girl at Midnight isn't exactly centered on the love life of Echo, she does have moments where there's noticeable romantic tension with Caius, the Drakharin prince. Honestly, I ship it like Fedex.

3. Do you enjoy vivid descriptions in your novels? Yes or yes?

One of the best parts of The Girl at Midnight is the writing. Grey takes her characters to various parts of the real world and the fantasy world, allowing plenty of opportunities for her to show you her way with words. From artifacts, food and architecture, I always felt like I could easily picture the scenes.

4. Do you enjoy stories with great friendships? Yes or yes?

I was surprised that The Girl at Midnight took care to include other relationships that were not romantic. In a lot of YA there is special emphasis placed on the love interest, and I'm cool with that. But it's always really great to see the same about of attention applied to friendships, specifically between two female characters. The friendship between Echo and Ivy is prominent from the start and remains a big part of Echo's story until the end. Not only is Echo mostly concerned for her friend instead of a potential love interest, but she and Ivy have conversations that don't always revolve around boys at all. In fact, I would guess that majority of the time they are talking about something entirely different. This was one of my favorite aspects.

5. Are you a fan of Daughter of Smoke and Bone? Yes or yes? 

The rumors are true. The Girl at Midnight does feel a lot like Daughter of Smoke and Bone, especially in the beginning. They both feature an orphan, human girl, living amongst fantasy creatures. They both struggle to be accepted by the characters in the fantasy world. And they both have a connection to someone on the enemy's side that they don't understand at first. However, somewhere along the way, The Girl at Midnight stood a part from Daughter of Smoke and Bone thanks to the romance not being in the forefront and a well-timed plot twist. I'll admit thinking it would go in the same direction that DoSaB did, but was pleasantly surprised by the end when I was wrong. They didn't personally distract me from the story, but I can see it being an issue for other readers. The good news is, considering the ending, I doubt we'll continue seeing those similarities in book 2 anyway.

But if you enjoy stories that keep you guessing, involve traveling to different cultures, ancient wars and the like, you'll probably not mind the similarities. I know this is also compared to The Mortal Instruments, but I honestly do not see the parallels at all.

6. Do you like series that don't end in a cliffhanger for each book? Yes or yes?

Thankfully, this book does not end in a cliffhanger! There will be 3 books total, but I feel like I'll be okay waiting for book 2 since things were wrapped up nicely. But I will not turn down an ARC. *ahem* (I am shameless.)

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery.
Profile Image for Melissa.
Author 65 books1,128 followers
May 14, 2015
Can I add this book to my Read shelf 8 million times? Because that's about how many times I've read it. Because I wrote it.
Profile Image for Sasha Alsberg.
Author 8 books66.8k followers
October 23, 2015
I'm totally adding this book into one of my "if you liked this...then you'll like this...." recommendation videos!

The Girl at Midnight was a pretty solid book. Very entertaining! Sometimes it reminded me of TMI or The Daughter of Smoke & Bone but I have a feeling it won't remind me of them in the coming books!

I give it a solid 4/5 stars :)
Profile Image for lauren ❀.
282 reviews419 followers
April 11, 2017
“The library was her home. Books didn’t give her dirty looks or whisper snide comments under their breath. Books didn’t judge.”

First of all, the quote above is sooo true. Anyway when I first heard about this book I wanted needed to have it in my hands straight away but that didn’t happen. When I finally had a copy I was so excited and put aside the three books I was reading just to read this. It sounded so cool and I had really high expectations. When I read the prologue I was so drawn in. I mean it was only a prologue so I don’t know what’s so interesting about it but I just really liked it. I think it was the excitement. Now the important question; did it live up to my expectations? Ummm….well it started off really good but then in the middle it was a little boring but then at the end, it got really good. It was close to becoming one of my favourites but isn’t because the middle was little tedious. There were a couple things that also made me give it 4 stars, not 5. But overall it was a great book and I would definitely recommend it to EVERYONE.

To sum it up its about two races; the Drakharin (dragon people) and the Avicen (bird people). These two races are at war and now it's up Echo to try to find the firebird so there can be peace between the Avicen and the Drakharin. Sorry, that was a terrible summary but honestly, I don’t think you need to know a lot of detail about the book and when I review books I don’t repeat what the description says and don’t say stuff that you should just find out by reading. I never properly read a blurb I just jump into a book and see what happens.

To be it was pretty unique and I haven’t read anything like it but then again I’ve only read 70 books so I don’t have a lot to compare to. Still, to me, it was different. I haven’t read a book about bird and dragon people before. Although little things that happened reminded me of other books. I think the idea and concept was original. I have to admit I lost interest in the middle but then at the end I was really into it.

Now to the characters…

Echo was fortunately not an annoying protagonist. I didn’t mind her that much but she was not my favourite heroine. There’s nothing wrong with her but she’s just not lovable. The only issue I had with her was that throughout the book she was labeled as a thief and it said she was a good pickpocketing. I mean yeah she did sneak into museums and other places and steal stuff but other than that that’s all we read about her stealing. Okay, so she is a thief but what about her picking someone’s pocket without them knowing. It's all talk and it doesn’t show us. Like if she’s such an amazing thief and can steal anything why aren’t we shown that. Also, the only reason she can even get stuff from museums which have a lot of protection is because she uses magic. I would’ve liked it if I actually got to see her ‘skills’ in action.

Caius started of as such a nice guy. Okay so maybe he didn’t but when he met Echo he was not so bad. Even though he was Drakharin he was a one and wanted peace, not war. He was pretty likable right until a scene that made me mad at him and I didn’t like him anymore but then I got over what he did and liked him again. I’m probably the only person that didn’t like him because of this Eventually I got over it and liked him again.

I just didn’t like Jasper. First of all, he was a little weird. I did not like the way he acted and how rude he was. That’s all I have to say about him.

Her role wasn’t that big but the only thing I have to say about her was I shipped her with Dorian but things never go my way.

I have nothing to say about him. He wasn’t a character I was attached to. Now that I think about it I was not attached to any character in this book which is quite disappointing. They weren’t that likable.

This book is quite a good book and although I had a few slight problems that stopped me from giving it five stars. More people need to read this book. I sadly won’t be able to read the second book anytime soon which sucks because I know I wont like it as much. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.
Profile Image for Kiki.
193 reviews8,456 followers
April 10, 2016
Basically, what this book boils down to is mathematics.

I hate maths, but that's not the point. I didn't hate this book at all. This book was fine. But I can't write a wall of text for it because honestly, it all comes down to basic addition and division, and remember vectors? Dude, I had no idea what they were talking about with vectors. To this day I couldn't tell you what they are, except that they're also the things that Lucy from Elfen Lied used to fuck shit up in small-town Japan.

So here's the point I'm trying to make:


Echo (blue hair + Prague) = Karou

Caius (angel wings + murdering his lover's family) = Akiva

The Girl at Midnight's love story involving the soul of the hero's former murdered lover transferred to a human version of that lover + an immortal hero + both lovers being on opposing sides of an ongoing war between two species = Daughter of Smoke and Bone's central Karou + Akiva conflict (themes of hope and war)

Therefore, Rose = Madrigal

Exploration of themes of hope and war in The Girl at Midnight ≠ exploration of themes of hope and war in Daughter of Smoke and Bone

The extent to which Caius behaves like a 250 year old man and not a 19 year old hipster = 0

The Avicen (high animal features) = The chimera

The Drakharin (angel wings) = The seraphim

The Agora = Diagon Alley - wands


Ivy (shortness + artiness + Mik) = Zuzanna

Jasper = Magnus Bane

Dorian = Alec Lightwood

The Ala (high animal features + teeth) = Brimstone

Rowan (dickishness) = Kazimir

The Ala's hideout = Brimstone's shop


1. Which popular YA book does The Girl at Midnight almost exactly resemble: City of Bones, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, or Shadow and Bone? Pick one answer.

a) All of the above

2. If Altair is a jaded war hero, dressed all in white, and a military commander on the side of the heroine's adoptive family, yet with questionable morals, who does he most resemble? Pick one answer.

a) Thiago

3. Is this book original? Pick one answer.

a) No.


1. Is the writing in this book smooth and readable? Does it lend itself to a magical quest to gather typical objects like a knife, a locket, and a box?

Answer: Yeah!

2. Are the significant romantic relationships in this book, i.e. Echo/Caius and Jasper/Dorian, in any way interesting? Do the couples have chemistry? Did you enjoy their interactions? Did you give a shit?

Answer: Nope!

3. Is Caius bland and immature for a 250-year-old?

Answer: He sure is!

4. Is Jasper a sexually aggressive creep?

Answer: Totally!

5. Is this book an enjoyable read overall?

Answer: It was okay!

6. Did the derivative nature of this book in any way impede your enjoyment of it?

Answer: Hell yeah, it did!


1. On a scale of one to ten, how obsessed would you say YA currently is with the mythology of the Firebird?

Answer: It's fucking out of control, man!

Final Grade: D
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews839 followers
March 24, 2015
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Girl At Midnight by Melissa Grey
Book One of The Girl At Midnight series
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

What I Liked:

This book was BEAUTIFUL. Inside and out. I loved the feel of this story, the amazing world-building, the likable characters, the story itself. So many things worked in this book. So many things worked for me, and I really, really enjoyed this one.

Echo is human, but she lives with the Avicen, creatures with feathers for hair, basically humans with bird-like qualities. They can do magic easily, whereas it takes a lot out of Echo to do magic (she's human). Echo is a thief, and she enjoys thieving. One day, Echo is sent to steal something that will help lead to the Firebird, a mythical thing that contains great power, and could lead to the end of the war between the Avicen and the Drakharin (dragon-like creatures that appear to look like humans; they can't fly, but they are skilled warriors and magic-wielders). She succeeds in obtaining the object, only to be thrown into the path of a powerful Drakharin who is unwelcome in Drakharin lands. Echo, Caius (the Drakharin), Dorian (Caius's loyal guard), Ivy (Echo's best friend), and Jasper (a guy who owes Echo a favor) must find the Firebird before the Drakharin - or the Avicen - find it first.

For the most part, I liked Echo. She's snarky and a bit sarcastic, and turns everything into a joke. I like her humor. I'm not like that, but I could definitely be around her in small or large doses, and enjoy her company. Echo is hilarious, but she's also dedicated and pretty clever.

Caius is extremely intelligent, astute, hardworking, selfless, loyal, fierce... and sweet. He's the Dragon Prince, recently usurped by his twin sister, Tanith. She's cruel and heartless, and doesn't want the war to end. Caius wants the war to end. When Tanith takes his seat of power from under him, he fleees, and works with Echo to find the Firebird. An unlikely team of two Avicen, two Drakharin, and a human. Caius is my favorite character of the book, because of his strength of character and personality. He is hundreds of years old, but unlike some people (*cough* Edward Cullen *cough*), Caius possesses a timeless quality, maturity and intelligence that I respected and liked a lot.

The secondary characters were a joy to follow. Seriously, the secondary characters add additional humor to the book. Jasper is always teasing Dorian, making him blush or look away gruffly. Dorian is very conflicted about a lot of things, including how he treated Ivy, who was a prisoner of the Drakharin, under Tanith's orders. Ivy is a sweet character, a healer in training, which coming in handy several times throughout the book.

The story definitely has a Daughter of Smoke and Bone vibe to it. I've seen some people complain about this, and others praise it. I personally think it's great; the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is so distinctive, and I don't think anything could come close to it, in terms of story and style. This book has the same feel to it, which I think is a very good thing.

The world-building is wonderful! This book is fantasy set in the modern world. There are bird people! There are dragons who can no longer fly! There is a war that has been going on for centuries! There is a mythical thing that could end it all (I was thinking "the one ring to rule them all", and Echo took the words out of my mouth at one point! Maybe we're more similar than I previously thought). Bits and pieces aren't super original, but put together, the entire story is really imaginative and fun and exhilarating.

I loved the story - there are many layers to it, with many characters and many subplots. But not so many that you get lost, or certain subplots get underdeveloped. The story is told in third person, usually from Echo's point-of-view, but also at times from Caius's, Ivy's, Dorian's, and I think Jasper's too (though I'm not certain). I like third person, so I didn't mind so many points-of-view at all. It wasn't overwhelming, because most of the time, it was limited to Echo, anyway.

There IS romance in this book! I actually wasn't expecting that, so I was pleasantly surprised. Not sure why I wasn't expecting romance. I've seen some people complain about a love triangle. Personally, I don't see one. There is one guy, and one girl, and one guy who is sort of there but has no chance. Echo never wavers, in terms of who she feels for, in her soul and heart. One is like, a long-time infatuation. The other is a mature, deep desire and emotion and affection. If that makes sense. There's also a twisted part to the romance, which I'm wary of, but it doesn't necessarily have to do with the pair that I want to end up together. IT'S COMPLICATED, OKAY? But no love triangle. Also, no insta-love. I LOVE the romance. The banter and chemistry is slow-burn and lovely.

There is a ton of action in this book, and it doesn't stop until the very end, when the whole story is over. So much fighting and killing and escaping and swords and maps and fun things like that! The ending is satisfying, and not quite a cliffhanger, but it will leave you wanting more. Especially in terms of the romance (not in a bad way). Good thing there are two books to follow!

What I Did Not Like:

There is something about the romance that is bothering me a bit, and it's bothering Echo too (and the love interest, though I must say - he is MUCH more than a love interest). I can't say what it is without giving things away, but I really want to be sure of Echo and the guy. I want to know 100% that it's the two of them, in a budding relationship, with no past, present, or future weighing them down. It's kind of complicated, but if you read this book, you'll know what I mean. It's nothing terrible or bad, per say, but it's something that's in the back of mind, tickling my subconsciousness.

In any case, The Thing is why this book is getting 4 stars, versus 5 stars. Not the worst Thing in the world, but I'd prefer otherwise. Of course, I'm not writing the book, so I have no say in Things, but it's a preference, you know?

Would I Recommend It:

I would sooooo recommend this book, so much! Fantasy fans, fantasy non-fans, basically anyone, give this book a chance! It's got a gorgeous cover, so, if anything, at least your bookshelf will look great! But in all seriousness, this book is awesome. I don't think you'd regret reading this book, even if you absolutely hated it (which you won't, hopefully). It's worth the read, and even if this book gets super popular and over-hyped, I'd still recommend it!


4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars. It will still probably be a year-end favorite, because it was so good! Like, reread-worthy good. I can't wait to read the sequel!
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
259 reviews4,901 followers
December 7, 2016
I actually really enjoyed this book. It sucked me in very quickly- from the very first paragraph, I knew I was going to like the story. It was very vibrant and beautifully written...and I love love loved the characters. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a light but enticing whimsical experience. I'd recommend diving into the plot without any hints about the story.

I've heard this book compared many times to 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone'. While they are definitely similar- I think this one was a lot more fun. It is every bit as creative but the story just flows better and I was attached to the characters much more in this book.

Can we just talk about the awesome diverse cast of characters?

Echo (the MC) was a breath of fresh air. She's sarcastic, witty, and totally relatable. Her relationships with the rest of the cast show how flawed but realistic she is. Ivy, her best friend, is such a beautiful and timid soul despite the things that happen to her. Rowan - her boyfriend.. who I'm still forming an opinion on. Oh, and I can't forget about Jesper - the vibrant personality of the bunch.

Then we have Caius who is our local dragonly prince who is equal parts brooding, handsome, and kind nonetheless. The best part of the story was Dorian. He is probably the most flawed character out of the group. He's loyal, kind, brave - but makes some terrible mistakes. It's what he does after the fact that impressed me. His dynamic with Ivy was so painful and heartbreaking at first - but I loved his growth and choices by the end of the book.

The only reason I didn't give it more stars was I felt the ending was a little frazzled. It was a bit confusing and felt a little rushed. I'd have liked a little more build up and friction.

Anyway, it really was a fun read. I'll definitely be picking up the second book. On that note, I listened to this via audible the second go around and the narrator was great!

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Profile Image for Yzabel Ginsberg.
Author 3 books102 followers
December 16, 2015
(I got a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

I really wanted to like this book, all the more since I had loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but there's a fine line between "if you liked this, you'll like that as well" and "it's so similar you get to wonder where one ends and the other begins". Not very original. Same comment regarding the comparison with the Shadowhunters series (which isn't so original to start with, but that's another story). As a result, I kept being distracted by the plot turns and character dynamics that were either too close to the one series or too close to the other; in the end, The Girl at Midnight didn't manage to stand on its own for me.

Very obviously, we have Echo/Karou, Caius/Akiva, Ala/Brimstone. Ruby is reminiscent of Madrigal's "friend" in DoSaB. (There's more, but details would lead to spoilers). The relationship between Caius and Dorian is pretty similar to the one between Jace and Alec, including the way it develops when Jasper/Magnus waltzes in. So many common points made it difficult to see the characters for who they could have been, and they remained closer to copies, instead of appearing like people with personalities of their own. Granted, the teasing between Jasper and Dorian was funny, but I couldn't shake off my impression of "hey, I've already seen that...", along with the feeling that relationships in general evolved too quickly in this book.

Relationships: they were all over the place, and not too subtly. I wasn't aware that Echo had a boyfriend until it smacked me in the face, leaving me wondering where that guy came from. (Not to mention that this poor boy seemed to be here just because one love interest wasn't enough and another one was deemed necessary. Basically, he was treated like dirt.) Also, too many mushy descriptions, with our heroine too busy being driven by the love triangle to actually make me feel that she was really involved in the plot—although she does have a fairly important part, one that could have been really good to read about if things hadn't gone too fast.

It's not a long novel, but the pacing was definitely strange: lots of events happening in little time, relationships developing too fast, and yet the story was slow. The world-building wasn't enough to my liking: we get all those nice thresholds, jumping through portals, magic powder, sometimes magical descriptions of places (bonus points for Strasbourg, this city is absolutely lovely—trust me, I lived there for more than 10 years)... but the two races at war, the war itself, didn't feel like "solid". I would've wanted to know so much more about those, how they came to be in such a conflict, the souring relationship between Tanith and Caius, how the Drakharin and Avicen lived... More information in that regard would have allowed me to see the world this story's set in as more strongly grounded. (I guess this would have been less of a problem if I could have fallen back on the characters, only I couldn't, due to the aforementioned similarities. Same goes for the writing: it hadn't the flow of DoSaB's, nor did it bring a really fascinating atmoshpere to Echo's surroundings.)

Conclusion: there were good ideas in this novel, but most often they were too close to stronger, existing ones that it was very difficult to see The Girl at Midnight as a self-contained story.
Profile Image for Ash.
382 reviews39 followers
January 24, 2018
first time read: September 17-21, 2015
first reread: October 30 - November 7, 2016

original review: SO FREAKING GOOD

I really, really, really enjoyed this one! I knew I would...I hoped I would! This book reminded me a lot of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.....some would say that is a bad thing, I don't! I actually really enjoyed that series, and I was really happy that this reminded me of it. It isn't THE SAME, it just reminded me a lot of it. It also kind of reminded me of the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, but its mostly the first trilogy.

I loved Echo, she is just so freaking sassy. I love sarcastic main characters, they are my favorite. Her friend Ivy was adorable - I didn't care for Rowan though...and on the other side we have Caius and Dorian [Thats one thing I didn't really care for....I didn't like that this book had 2 character names that are in another series, Dorian and Rowan - Throne of Glass], I wasn't really sure about either of those two, but I actually really ended up liking Caius. I really, really liked Caius, actually!

This was a really fun story, I liked most everything about it, and I am really looking forward to book 2 coming out in April!!!

Profile Image for Jess.
446 reviews596 followers
April 29, 2015
.。.:*・Actual Rating: 3.8 stars .。.:*・
What to expect from a first-in-a-series fantasy? Ample amounts of sarcasm and wit (mhmmm my favourite), inevitable tropes and a fun country-hopping scavenger hunt.

The Girl At Midnight is easily one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Not because of the cover colour scheme (which, I won’t lie, does tickle my fancy), nor due to the Book A meets Book B comparison (which is 99.9% of the time completely off). It’s because the premise attempts (and quite successfully, at that) to sell me a series where the star of the show lives on the morally grey side of life—petty crimes are a way of life and a girl’s gotta eat, they say. We’re promised mystic races, a bit of that urban fantasy, an age old war and hey ho, a journey round the world. Doesn't that sound absolutely delectable? Because I like a bit of transparency in my life, I have to get real with y’all here: it didn’t completely tickle my pickle (holy, can someone stop me from the rhyming) but I’d go back for seconds.

We have Echo. Orphan. Lives in a library surrounded by all things we find holy: books, books and books. As a youngling, surviving in the big ol’ apple all by her lonesome, she gets picked up by “the Ala” (I kid you not, it’s not Ala. It’s the Ala, haha). From there on out, she’s given shelter and basically the only form of love she’s ever known. And the kid’s loyal, you know? She wants to earn her keep. So she survives with the tricks of the trade, pickpocketing innocent figures all around the world (which, in my opinion, is a great way to keep the inconspicuous. That way you don’t develop a pattern), all thanks to a couple of magical tips and tricks picked up from the Avicen race (your human birds). Now, it’s most probably not intended to be read this way, but the Ala asks a favour of Echo, spinning this shebang about the need for discretion and whatnot, and most probably capitalising on the human desire to not be in debt—favour wise—thereby setting the girl on a journey for the mystic firebird. Echo prances around, being her sassy self, hopping from country to country and ultimately picking up a couple of hitch-hikers who, lo and behold, turn out to be the enemy race (basically dragons) and better yet, the damn Prince of all things hated by the Avicen. They solve the mystery, there’s betrayal and the war heightens. Bam, basically your introductory fantasy.

Echo, I’m a big fan of. She’s loyal, to a fault, she’s terribly sarcastic (my kinda gal) and refreshingly sassy. Quite endearing. She takes most things with a grain of salt. She’s tasked with finding the fabled Firebird and yet questions, she has not. Her character is the epitomisation of nonchalance. Echo’s actions are less out of pragmatism and more out of an emotional attachment. I know it’s a bit of an odd thing to mention and you’ll hardly see me talk about it in other books, but The Girl At Midnight is highly emotionally driven. Our main characters, heads of the two POVs, are lead by their hearts—Echo for The Ala, Caisus for Rose. In that manner, you can suggest that, at times, Echo’s narration comes off as ignorant and rather childish. The war—its implications, its casualties, its destruction—mean naught to her. If we were making DoSaB comparisons, I would remark that this is where the line separates Karou and Echo. Yes, there’s no denying that Karou is lead somewhat by her heart, but she makes note not to forget her head. She is logical and she seeks for truths, not only to set her—the smaller picture—free, but the entire frame itself. However, Echo’s indifference is merely a trait of characterisation, and one that may encourage empathy from the audience.

The second POV (that’s right kiddos, we have alternating POVs in third tense. I’m only a fan of half of that equation) belongs to Caisus, the prince of the enemy race, Drakharin. He’s a tortured prince at heart who longs for something more than a legacy painted as a monarch of war. As mentioned above, this is underpinned, partly, by selfish emotional desires (although, when is anything ever completely and utterly selfless?) While many may swoon left and right for this prince with a big heart and a peace pin, he does come off a tad one dimensional (and that pains me to say considering y’all know I love a good bit of royalty). The boy gets a couple of cheesy lines and does a bit of an insta-love. And trust me, the kid’s persistent—once he loves, he loves. And yes, take heed, there is rather instantaneous love.

In terms of POV, it’s not my favourite. I like the narration choice of third. Third person lets the world be your oyster, in my opinion. But y’all know I don’t do alternating POV. That being said, the voices of Echo and Caisus are distinctive and therefore saving the book from committing the cardinal sin of voice unification. Echo’s sass is refreshing against Caisus’ pained POV.

Secondary characters however fell rather flat to me. While two other characters receive a little more backstory, characters such as Ivy, Echo’s close friend, and her boyfriend get left behind. Both have potential and are surrounded by enough circumstance to stimulate characterisation. Unfortunately, the kids miss out.

The first half is shy. That may seem like an odd statement, but deep down, y’all all know what I mean. It feels unsure; skating over this and that, tripping a little here and there. But I adored what the writing progressed into (which isn’t to say Stiefvater or Taylor. I feel like we could say Rutkoski’s journey, in that The Winner's Curse was weaker than Crime). I’ll admit, the first half dragged, especially through the country hoping/scavenger hunt arc. The clunkiness however was understandable. When you jump into a new series, you often see that coy writing that is used to establish the atmosphere. It’s neither this nor that. However, as we commence into the second component of the tale (my personal favourite), Grey begins to bust out the big guns and goes in with some beautiful lyrical prose scattered about with one or two philosophical statements about life and existence and all that jazz. Grey has some absolutely beautiful and memorable lines.

Now, fighting fuels more fighting, and hatred breeds more hatred. It almost doesn’t after why the war began. We’ve fought for so long that I fear we’ve forgotten how to do anything else.

“War is like a drug,” he said. “You spend so long chasing victory that you become blind to the fact that you’ll never find it. It had never even occurred to me that peace was possible…”

It’s these little statements that lead me to hope with all my fingers crossed that we explore the bleaker side of war in the next instalments. There’s so much potential to dig deeper and darker—explore the exploited, expose the injustice.

There is a “you’re special” line so for those who detest such, let it be known. But let’s get real here, when is there ever a YA fantasy, equipped with bildungsroman and all, that doesn’t use that line? It’s now a must and it bothers me not.

Where The Girl At Midnight shines is the midway point and onwards. It’s where I get my epiphany because now I get it, I really do—the whole Daughter of Smoke & Bone comparison, that is (not feeling the CoB half of that X meets Y). As we progress further and further, the story heightens as it begins to crack onto the grittiness of war. It is then that the full implications of a war, of racism, of the fight to oppress, to suppress, between two races comes to light. Grey writes a confronting and rather gruesome, but fantastically accurate, portrayal of war criminals.Once she gets into the nitty gritty, the story turns a little bleaker, plays with a little more with cynicism and that’s when it wins me over completely and utterly. The first arc of the story ends neatly, but with enough of a cliffhanger to tease of what’s to come. I will say that there is extremely high potential for a brilliant story studying the implications of war—the horrid truth, the pain, the casualities, all without the bias. Here’s hoping for one.

The Girl At Midnight is a fun snarky read which turns up the heat, and stakes, as it goes down a darker road (although some may argue a little too late. I get that—midway does seem like a while to keep hanging on for but stick with it). Grey writes some absolutely atmospheric scenes that create visceral images—of light and dark—and you’ll want to get on this series. I’m prophesying (have I ever told y’all that I fancy myself quite the physic that we’ll be exploring some darker themes in the second round and that’s what I’m here for. Always.

Many thanks to the publisher for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. All quotes used were obtained from uncorrected proof that is subject to change in the final publication.


Actual rating: 3.5 stars. I see ya DoSaB comparison. For once they got it right, A plus to the marketing team. It was undermined by a few points, hence the rating. Full Review To Come.

Sassy protagonist who knows her sarcasm. That's a girl after my own heart. Tortured prince who wants to be more than just a monarch of war. Fair enough. A journey spanning several continents after a treasure, that gets the tick from Jess. Fairly lyrical prose here and there. Great ensemble of characters. Leads into an interesting series that could potentially explore the implications of war (hence the DoSab comparison).

But then the downfall:
-Rather clunky and shy (do you get me with this? As in, you can tell that the writing is all coy because we're trying to dig into a new series) first half. Only picks up hallway and by then I couldn't give many fucks.
-2D characterisation for the prince. And that's saying something because I can get mighty biased when it comes to royalty.
-2D sense of evil (ya feel?)
-Predictable ending

I won't leave you hanging. Obviously I'll be back with an essay to explain. You know how it goes round these parts of the woods.

Many thanks to the publisher for providing an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews907 followers
March 31, 2016
The Avicen and the Drakharin are at war for petty reasons. Drakharin believe the Avicen took their magical power for their own and there's been strife between the two races ever since. To stop the war, there is an ancient legend about a firebird that will bring them ever lasting peace. In the middle is Echo, a human who is adopted into the Avicen. She's never fit in considering she's not their kind, and they do little to welcome her. Then she meets Caius, a Drakharin who is unlike her boyfriend. With the help of her best friend, and Caius's guard they go on a journey to find this elusive firebird to help save them all.

As soon as I read the first chapter I was hooked. The writing makes you forget about everything else and focus on the story that was happening. I pretty much slowed my reading speed down just so I can savour it. It has all the mystic elements with the action and adventure of a fantasy journey. You can't forget about some minor twists and turns either! Even though they were highly predictable, I didn't mind because I loved the characters so much. Especially Echo. She reminded me of Rose from the Vampire Academy series, all snark and humour combined.

The characters were just so great. Yes I will compare this to Cassandra Clare's books because it felt like the same characters..BUT I didn't seem to mind that they felt so similar. Their dynamics together on the page just made it super entertaining and I couldn't help but smile and laugh at certain parts. Especially between Dorian and Jasper..the cutest OTP I've read so far all year. I still really liked Echo too. She is conscientious, always trying to do the right thing and even when her heart causes her to stray, she ends up feeling super torn about her actions. Then there's Caius who seems like most brooding heroes I've read. Yet I like their explosive chemistry, reading those scenes were super cute! Being caught in life and death situations makes their relationship stronger I think.

If you're looking for a good fantasy, I suggest picking this one up. It has the usual cast of characters but I just know you'll end up liking one or two of them. The Girl at Midnight had me wanting more with its gripping story-line, fascinating characters and explosive world building. You'll want to pick this one up if you're a fantasy fan!



"They're very good at making you forget your troubles. It's like having a million friends, wrapped in paper and scrawled in ink." 

"I prefer to seek out peace, not more death."

"You are my prince, and I would follow you anywhere."

"It isn't about good or evil. It's about power. Who has it, who doesn't." 

"Just because you have power doesn't mean you have to use it."

"Memories make us who we are. Without them, we are nothing."
Profile Image for Taylor.
767 reviews421 followers
September 21, 2015
This book is so cool and so amazingly written. There's so many quotes from this book that I want to paint on my walls or something. The concept is awesome. It reminded me a lot of Daughter of Smoke and Bone but I was still stuck to the pages.
I loved the characters. Echo is awesome and she kicks so much butt. I found a lot of the characters to be engaging and really interesting.
I liked how the romance was well paced and developed naturally. That was one of my favorite things about this book. The relationships were really well written.
I can definitely see myself rereading this book and I an't wait to see how the rest of the series plays out.
Profile Image for Anja H..
733 reviews449 followers
August 18, 2018

“Echo looked around at her sea of tomes, and a single word came to mind: tsundoku. It was the Japanese word for letting books pile up without reading them all.”

I actually really enjoyed this, despite having seen mixed reviews from my GR friends and having pretty low expectations. The premise was really unique and the world so elaborate and interesting!

I'm so glad I finally decided to give this a chance!
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,179 reviews438 followers
December 31, 2015
This book was absolutely perfect, well deserving of one of my most anticipated 2015 books!

In The Girl at Midnight, we follow the story of Echo, a teenage, human girl, living in the Avicen world. Echo, a thief, very gifted at her 'job', is sent on a sort of scavenger hunt in order to find the legendary Firebird, a mythical entity which is crucial in stopping the long war between the Avicen and the Drakharin. Throughout her journey she meets new people, some of which are enemy Drakharin's, and discovers more about herself than she ever thought possible.

I know that this book has been slated to entertain fans of The Mortal Instruments, The Grisha Series, and the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series, but I never really saw that many similarities between this book, and those others (thank god, considering how much I disliked the DoSaB series). I felt like The Girl at Midnight was the perfect fantasy series starter, and I was hooked from page 1. As said earlier, this was one of my most anticipated 2015 books (I actually won a give-away for it way back in July), and I'm so glad I waited for it. As you may have been able to tell, YA Fantasy is one of my go-to genres, and this series is definitely up there with the greats on my favourites lists.

Echo, I thought, was a wonderful character - strong, feisty, and a little vulnerable at times - and the character development she underwent throughout the entire book blew me away. I can't wait to she how she grows further in subsequent instalments. With regards to the romance, I was not a fan of Rowan, at all, and definitely preferred Caius as Echo's love interest. However, we were also treated with another romantic couple (love-triangle, maybe), one which I was just as invested in.

I definitely felt as if this book was a beautifully written, and executed, story, and as soon as The Shadow Hour/book 2 is available to pre-order, it will be right at the top of my wishlist. Anyone who has not yet read this book, I would definitely encourage them to, as I'm sure, if they enjoy fantasy, at least, this it will be one of their favourites, too.
Profile Image for Brooke's Epic Emporium.
880 reviews193 followers
October 21, 2015
I want to thank Delacorte Press for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.

Until recently I have not been a fan of fantasy. I've always found it starts so slow because you really need to be brought into the world and that takes a lot of building. But I can see that when the world building is done right, it's not slow. It's a burn that builds and gives you exactly what you need.

Echo has grown up among creatures who hide from the humans in a world that's full of magic. A human taken in because she had nowhere else to go and no one else to go to. I loved Echo. She's snarky and smart and so so sneaky. And when war threatens her world, she is the first one to jump in and try to save her people. But she doesn't expect things to be different than she's always been taught. She doesn't expect to connect with the prince of her true enemy.

Caius is fierce and loyal. He has strength beyond what you would figure from a young man. And he will do anything to try and save his people even if it means going against what his sister, Tanith, believes is right or working with those who are supposedly the enemy.

The world building in this book is fantastic. Grey does not bog the story down with overwhelming details, it's just the right amount to get you into the story. And I love that it takes place beneath the streets of New York City, my home town! I love that it's fantasy set in the modern world. Having grown up in NYC, I can totally see things happening in the tunnels beneath the city, and have always thought there could be more underground then anyone ever expected! And of course there's more than just the main story going on, which I find consistent with most fantasy stories. There are always subplots that turn out to be extremely important to the main plot. And, while there is romance in this story, it does not overtake the main course of the story: good versus evil.

The story is filled with a lot of action and suspense from page 1 to the end. While I kind of figured out the relationship between the main characters before it is revealed, it didn't take away from the overall story. And the author's writing truly spectacular.

In the past I have had a lot of issues with books told in third person. For me, they have to be done very well to keep my interest. This is one of those books. And the third person voice is necessary in this book. We need to know all the characters from different points of view and the author does this well.

Fans of Throne of Glass and The Mortal Instruments will fall in love with the characters and world in this book. I highly recommend it as a suck you in, blow you away fantasy read.
Profile Image for Manon.
286 reviews103 followers
April 15, 2015
More reviews on my blog, Exploring Pages.
"She had gone to the library in search for hope, but what she'd found instead was a child. It would take her many years to realize that the two were not so different after all."
― Melissa Grey, The Girl at Midnight

Thank you Delacorte Press for providing me with an advanced reading copy for review.

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

How to start a review of a book one loved so much? I was already convinced of Melissa Grey's writing and talent after I read the magical and haunting prologue. I knew this book was going to be different from other young-adult novels I'd already read, and I was right. The Girl at Midnight is highly entertaining, highly original and is worth all the hype surrounding it.

I felt like it was love at first sight with literally everything in this book. Starting off with the world, I applaud the author for creating such an enchanting and mysterious world. As I was already sold from the very beginning, it didn't take long before I completely lost myself in the world and the epic battle between two ancient races. Everything was wonderfully done, especially the two races themselves. I have a weak spot to discover entirely new beings. Vampires, werewolves and zombies are currently too overused and I longed for something unique to become obsessed with. That was done when the Avicen and the Drakharin were introduced. Two human-like races, one with feathers and the other with scales. I couldn't help myself to not be fascinated by this idea that was delivered just perfectly.

Because of the plot revolving around this mysterious legend of the firebird, it suited the world and the overall tone of the book just perfectly. The beginning immediately left me craving for more. I flew through the pages in order to know more, and I wasn't disappointed. Page by page, bits and pieces of information were revealed which led to long reading sessions. The story itself was build up very nicely. Through Grey's beautiful writing style, it gave me a clear and vivid imagine of everything, it also left a lot of space to fill in with my imagination. I did have a bit of a struggle with the plot around two hundred pages in. By then I'd already seen a lot of the world, but the characters themselves didn't do anything in order for the story to continue. They traveled to places without anything really happening. It made it easy for me at times to set the book down. However, the more I got to the climax of the book, the more things started to fall back into place. Action jumped in at times when it was needed, combined with a smart twist at the end.

There's no denying my love for almost every single character in this book. Apart from characters you're supposed to dislike, I found myself a protagonist, a love interest, side characters and a villain I couldn't help but love. Starting off with the main character, she's that kind of young-adult character that kicks ass. Being a pickpocket, she's used to danger which makes her a bit reckless, but also a very fearless and brave character. Throughout the story she makes smart decisions and doesn't back down for a journey. What I adored about her character was the ordinary things she does. Despite the world she's used to, she's just a normal teenage girl who tries to maintain a rather normal life.

Despite my fondness for the first love interest, I fell head over heels for the one who came next. This might feel a bit like a love triangle, but it is nothing like that. Both myself and the main character forgot the current boyfriend very easily when the Dragon Prince stepped into the picture. Being the "immortal" being he is, he was such a complex yet a fascinating character. Every character in this book is, really. As soon as they set off on their journey, some romances and friendships start to develop. I'm guilty to again falling in love with every one of them. Because everyone was so complex and different, it therefore made their relationships also truly interesting to read about. Even the villain herself, who felt to me like a vicious and twisted version of Daenerys Targaryen.

The Girl at Midnight is the start to a series I cannot imagine where it would head to next. All I know for now is that I'm in.
Profile Image for Sue (Hollywood News Source).
781 reviews1,594 followers
September 18, 2015
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

There's a reason why a lot of people have been comparing The Girl at Midnight to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. That's because they stir the same voice and melancholy out from the readers.

Things I lalalalalove:

Main characters. Everyone is terrifyingly beautiful. There's OTP groupwork, sass and more.
Flowery writing.
Romances. Give me twenty.

Why did I give it a partial three rating: While I happened to love and appreciate everything about this book, I wasn't obsessed with it. I happened to find the ending predictable and even though that's the case, I can guarantee that a lot of readers will dig this.
Profile Image for Melanchallina.
195 reviews110 followers
September 25, 2017
Мелисса Грей "Полуночная девушка" (Полуночная девушка 1/3)

9 из 10

Перевод: офи��иальный перевод
Экранизация: нет
Жанр: фэнтези, городское фэнтези
POV: от третьего лица, с точки зрения нескольких героев
Любовная линия: любовный треугольник (парень-девушка-парень) и дуэт (парень-парень)
Отличительные черты: рассказ с точки зрения нескольких героев, наполовину люди-наполовину птицы и наполовину люди-наполовину драконы, мифическая Жар-Птица, дружба врагов, нетрадиционная парочка
Рекомендовано к прочтению, если вам нравятся: Лэйни Тейлор "Дочь дыма и костей", Кассандра Клэр "Орудия смерти"


Молодежь считает себя неуязвимой, пока не убедится в обратном. И обычно это жесткий урок.

Не зря эту книгу сравнивают с «Орудиями смерти» и «Дочерью дыма и костей». Мелисса Грей определенно была вдохновлена этими двумя сериями: она взяла замечательный, легкий юмор Кассандры Клэр и общую идею Лэйни Тейлор. Сделало ли это «Полуночную девушку плагиатом? Копией одной из этих серий? Нет.

«Полуночная девушка» - это сказка. Старая, добрая сказка о Герое и Драконе. Небольшое, но захватывающее приключение о странниках, изгнанниках и поиске мира. Это любовь с первой буквы. И если книга вам понравится, то вы растворитесь в ней и проглотите буквально за вечер.

Главная героиня – Эхо, юная и дерзкая девушка, карманница, воришка. В далеком прошлом (по нераскрытым в первой книге причинам), будучи ребенком, она сбежала из дома и тайком поселилась жить в Нью йоркской публичной библиотеке. Там она встречает Птеру – одну из членов Совета расы птератусов. Птератусы – это раса полулюдей-полуптиц, на голове их растут перья, а сами они проживут в туннелях под землей. Так маленькая Эхо обретает семью.

Проходит время, Эхо взрослеет, меняется и мир. Незримо для обычных смертных, но ощутимо для птератусов и их злейших врагов дракхаров, людей-драконов. Эхо должна найти легендарное существо - жар-птицу и остановить войну, длившуюся столетиями.

Такую же цель поставил перед собой Повелитель Драконов – принц Гай. Но сконцентрировавшись на своей цели, принц упускает другое, а именно неконтролируемую жестокость и жажду власти своей сестры Танит. Эта ошибка стоит ему трона и изгнания.

Два героя в бегах. Одна цель. Связанная судьба. И небольшая разноцветная банда сообщников. Приключения начинаются!

Отдельно спасибо автору за грамотную и красивую любовную линию. И пусть она немного наивна и чересчур быстро развивается, зато диалоги и перепалки между героями вызывают улыбку и от них так уютно и тепло на душе.

Давайте немного познакомимся с главными героями поближе. Именно их глазами мы видим историю с разных точек и я просто не могу не рассказать о них.

Итак, что мы имеем. Воришка, свергнутый правитель, ученица лекаря, бывший начальник королевской стражи и мошенник, который служит и нашим и вашим. Что у них может пойти не так?

Ее гладкая кожа без ярких перьев, как у них, слишком живо напоминала, что она здесь чужая. Эхо не хотелось, чтобы на нее косились, давая понять: пусть она с ними, но не одна из них. А они постоянно бросали на нее косые взгляды, как будто ее присутствие нарушает естественный ход вещей. И даже если за эти годы они привыкли к Эхо, это не значит, что они ее полюбили.

Своя среди чужих, чужая среди своих. Юная карманница, она абсолютно упряма, умна и остроумна. Эхо обожает книги, коллекционирует слова и не может найти свое место. Преданна и готова на все ради своих друзей и близких. Считает, что жар-птица не существует, что это легенда, просто вымысел.

Гай завидовал натиску волн, их неистовству, бешеному исступлению, с которым они так упорно пытались сокрушить твердыню. Он закрыл глаза и на мгновение представил себе капли воды на лице. Если бы он мог позаимствовать у океана хоть малую толику его мощи! Но Гай – не океан, а преграды, с которыми ему пришлось столкнуться, – не податливее каменных стен.

На момент начала книги – Повелитель Драконов. Лидер дракхар. По мере события благодаря родной сестре становится беглецом и изгнанником. Ищет жар-птицу, чтобы прекратить войну и восстановить мир в память о погибшей возлюбленной.

Шрам зудел. Так бывало, когда Дориан волновался, злился, в общем, испытывал любое сильное чувство. Или когда собирался дождь. Но сейчас шрам чесался явно не на погоду.

Алек Лайтвуд данной серии книг. Начальник бывшей стражи Гая. Мрачный, замкнутый воин. Всем сердцем и душой преданный своему Повелителю

Джаспер был павлином во всех смыслах слова. Он отличался такой красотой, что никакая хмурая гримаса не смогла бы ее испортить. Потертые джинсы и простая белая футболка подчеркивали его изящество. Если бы Эхо платили доллар каждый раз, как Джаспер жаловался ей на то, что красота – его вечный крест, она бы уже могла закатить для друзей пир на весь мир.

А это аля Магнус Бейн. Самовлюбленный, самоуверенный птератус. Всегда и везде ищет выгоду, падок на ярких и красивые вещи… или дракхар.

Из арочного прохода, ведущего вглубь Гнезда, послышался тихий смех. Эхо заметила знакомые белые перья и угольно‑черные глаза голубки и расплылась в широкой улыбке.

Лучшая подруга Эхо. Ученица лекаря. Милая, добрая девушка, полная состраданья, готовая помочь каждому. Очень тихая, но смелая и храбрая.

Пять героев. Пять историй и точек зрения. Каждый полон эмоций и чувств. Каждого героя чувствуешь. Кого-то любишь, кому-то сочувствуешь. Кто-то влюблен, кто-то влюбляется, но все немного напуганы и растеряны, и все они идут к своей цели... за Жар-Птицей и миром.

Моя оценка: 9/10

Мой-фан-арт к книге:
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,889 followers
May 23, 2015
It has been pointed out far too many times that The Girl at Midnight shares many similarities with Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Some might consider this to be a compliment and an instant recommendation, but for me, it was a sign that I should consider very carefully before reading it. But while it was clear right from the start that the stories do indeed share many elements, it was also clear to me that The Girl at Midnight lacks that pretentiousness I strongly disliked in Taylor’s books.

The world of Avicen and Drakharin is a magical, but dangerous place. I loved discovering these two cultures hidden beneath our own, learning about their customs and bonds, their friendships and sacrifices. With so many things borrowed from authors like Laini Taylor and Cassandra Clare, The Girl at Midnight has very little originality to offer, but these two cultures, one with feathers and the other with scales, certainly work in its favor.

I liked Echo right from the start, her feisty personality made me root for her in every situation. She made some bad decisions and some impressively brave ones, she had regrets and she made sacrifices, but she approached everything with the best of intensions and she followed her heart at all times, even when it lead her somewhere completely unexpected.

Although important, romance isn’t at the forefront of this story, which is good because it came very close to ruining it completely. There are far too many love triangles to count, too many infatuations to keep track of, and the whole thing is a huge incestuous mess that made me very uneasy. It was hard to get invested in something that was problematic on two different sides, and even secondary romances had far too many problems to count.

Grey’s writing is elegant and pretty, capable of evoking the right emotion at the right time. Her sentences aren’t overly decorative, but their fluency is excellent and it is very easy to separate all the narrative voices. If she can separate her story from others that came before it and find her own original path, she might just be an author destined for greatness.

The ending isn’t a cliffhanger, but it also doesn’t feel like an ending at all. If feels more like a beginning, a promise of thing to come, adventures even more dangerous and exciting for Echo, Caius and their small group of dreamers. A dangerous road lies ahead and I’m excited to be taking it with Melissa Grey and her wonderful characters.

Profile Image for Carly .
78 reviews25 followers
October 22, 2017
Wow, what a fantastic read! Fans of Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) will love this read, as well as anyone who likes dragons and strange creatures.
I really really enjoyed the world building in this book, and reading about the different societies of fantastical creatures/people. Our protagonist, Echo, is human but has been adopted into the world of the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magical abilities. The Avicen live underground, out of the sight of the human population that has no idea of their existence, save Echo.
Along with the Avicen, we have the Drakharis, a race of peoples who are descended from dragons and have shining scales embedded in their skin. But the Avicen do not get along with the Drakharis, and vice versa. For thousands of years the two races have been fighting in a war against each other, though the war has been going on for so long that it seems most people have forgotten what they are fighting for.
Echo, a skilled street thief, is tasked with the mission of finding the mythic Firebird, an ancient entity that is rumoured to be able to end the war for good. But things don't turn out quite as Echo expects, and she finds herself being hunted down by her own people. To save herself, and the Avicen, she teams up with a group of wayward Avicen and Drakharan warriors who all want the Firebird for their own reasons.
I really loved Echo's character. She's sassy, witty, and extremely smart and strategic. She knows what she needs to do and doesn't let anyone stand in her way, not even an infuriating Drakharan prince.
The author, Melissa Grey, does a wonderful job of incorporating literary elements into her writing. Echo's narration gives us vivid imagery, emotional tension, and brilliant humour. The writing flows so smoothly that the reader forgets there is a world outside the book and that they themselves are not the characters in the novel. The author creates a world in which the readers can't help but get invested in, and are sad when the book ends and they realise they don't own the second one.
This book does a good job of keeping the peace between intense action, and more mellow, thought provoking, relationship building scenes. This is probably one of the best books I have read this year.
Favourite characters: Dorian, with his silver hair and eye patch. He is a troubled warrior who wants nothing more than to protect his crown prince and atone for his mistakes. I also really loved Tanith because of how crazy evil she is. But even though she is evil, I couldn't hate her because of how wicked smart and cunning she is. She also has a real cool fire-power that sets her apart from other Drakharin.
Favourite scene: *SPOILER - all things Caius and Echo*
Favourite element of the novel: The ideas behind the two races and their abstract creature-like dragon/bird persons.
I give this a 4/5 stars. It would have been a 5 if there were longer relationship growth between certain characters. Sometimes if felt like relationships were being formed too quickly and trust was given too freely. I would have like to see a little bit more time before some of these relationships became friendships and more. I also thought that the ending was too obvious. I figured out the big reveal quite a few chapters before it was exposed so I was a little bit disappointed that it didn't come as more of a surprise.
Other than that, great read! I highly recommend it, and am really looking forward to getting my hands on the next book!

Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,006 reviews3,616 followers
May 27, 2015
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

If there’s anything that a YA fantasy lover will appreciate, it’s Laini Taylor. So when you plaster Laini Taylor all over a new fantasy that is receiving a fair amount of hype, we’re going to take notice. Unfortunately, I’m one of the black sheep in this book. I just couldn’t get into it and I failed to connect to the characters, although I did have an appreciation for the beautiful flowery writing.

What I liked about The Girl at Midnight:

- Echo was a really hilarious, intelligent and sharp character who had the best one-liners.
- The ancient races of the bird-like Avicen, and the dragon race Drakharin were fascinating races I haven’t encountered before.
- The sweeping, atmospheric writing. Melissa Grey’s writing has a natural, poetic beauty to it that really conveyed the modern New York scenery with the ancient magic civilizations.
- I shipped Jasper and Dorian, they were totally adorable together as they test the waters inch by inch. Yay for a LGBT relationship that we weren’t expecting!

What I didn’t like about The Girl at Midnight:

- I couldn’t connect with the characters. This could be a combination of having heaps of secondary characters, the third person perspective and the flowery writing.
- Yet another book that centers the plot on romance, especially when there seems to be much more at stake than which guy you end up with. I didn’t even realise Echo had a boyfriend until most of the book was over! While that adds a bit of a spanner in the works, she’s still attracted to Caius in an insta-love romance.
- Where is the plot again? We’re given one strong plot point, Echo is trying to find a Firebird, and we get almost no advancement here until the very last few chapters of the book. There seems to be a lot of dilly dallying and character switching and I got bored halfway through.
- Lack of world building. It’s a somewhat modern world, with New York being the same, and yes there are two ancient races at war. But where did they come from again, what are their beliefs and more importantly, why are they at war?
- The plot twist was way too similar to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which made it super predictable.

I tried really hard to get into The Girl at Midnight. I tried pushing through, giving it a break, reading something else, and when I came back to it, I still couldn’t get into it and it put me to sleep. I know it has beautiful, scenic writing, vibrant characters, magic and ancient races and a main character with a spark. But I shouldn’t have to try this hard to enjoy a book, and it just failed to grab me.

I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Arooj .
529 reviews317 followers
December 13, 2015
What did I think?

Hmm. Okay. Well...

I fucking loved it.

They said this is a mix of Shadow and Bone and Daughter of Smoke and Bone, both series that I absolutely LOVED (even tough the latter series didn't exactly turn out the way I wanted it to, but it still a favourite). And man, were they ever right. Because, you know, sometimes when a book is claiming to be just like another popular series, they turn out to be totally wrong and it just doesn't make any sense.

ANYWAYS. Like I was saying, I loved this book. And the fact that it was so similar to the previously mentioned series was what made me love it even more. Because I've been waiting for a book like this to appear. I wanted to read something that had the creativity of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the magic of Shadow and Bone. Some may not like that it's so similar, but pfft, I didn't care.

But you know, this book had it's own uniqueness as well. I can't pinpoint exactly what made it so unique, but there was something. The world building was great. The characters were great (Jasper cracked me up with his flirtation with Dorian) . The WRITING was awesome. I LOVED THE ROMANCE. I just loved this book.

One tiny flaw that I found was in the war between the Avicen and the Darkharin. I just wanted more back story. And it also sounded just like any other war in any other fantasy YA book between two enemies. Maybe we'll find out more about this war later in the series. At least, I hope.

Give this a try. You might just like it.

Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
369 reviews978 followers
January 19, 2019
This is a cheap Daughter of Smoke and Bone knockoff, but enjoyable nonetheless. Unfortunately, each book in this trilogy gets worse and worse as the series develops, so I wouldn’t recommend going further than this instalment. This one is quirky and fun, but the others?...not so much. And can we please stop with the Firebird trope? I don’t understand the obsession with it AT ALL!
Profile Image for Cheryl La Pa.
393 reviews64 followers
October 1, 2017
4.5 stars. Absolutely loved it! The Girl at Midnight is a magical page-turner that is beautifully written with a delightful cast of characters.

It is a YA fantasy that focuses on Echo, a human who lives in the hidden Avicen world (an ancient race of bird-like people) who have been at war with the Drakharins (dragon-like people) for centuries. When Echo is sent deep in Drakharin territory to look for clues for the mythical firebird, she hopes that she will prove her loyalty to the Avicens and finally be accepted as one of their own.

I am probably the last person on the planet to read this book, and with the mixed reviews, I wasn’t too sure if I would enjoy it. But I loved it! It had everything that I look for in a great book – humour, action, memorable diverse characters and great writing. My only gripe is that the plot was predictable – I saw the ending coming a mile away, but that did not detract from my enjoyment of the book.

I loved how it did not glorify war, and showed that there were good and bad on both sides.

War makes monsters of us all. There are no victors. Just death and destruction.

Taking a life was no easy thing to bear. It changed a person in fundamental ways, as the pieces of one’s old self fractured and re-formed to accommodate a new and horrible truth: the world would keep on spinning, no matter how guilty or wretched a soul felt. You had to go on living, even when there was a dead body in your wake.

I loved how it highlighted the futility of prejudice, and how familiarity brings the realisation that others that are different are not always the monsters that what we were led to believe.

But I think it’s the characters that I loved most in this book. Echo just wants to belong – she sleeps in the library because she feels is the outsider in the Avicen world, and though she puts on a brave, witty front, all she wants is to be accepted as one of their own.

The library was her home. Books didn’t give her dirty looks or whisper snide comments under their breath. Books didn’t judge. These books were her family, her teachers, her companions.

And I fell in love with Caius, Jasper and Dorian, who were all unique and memorable in their own ways.

Overall, a great read which kept me entertained and intrigued throughout.
Profile Image for Sarah.
137 reviews233 followers
April 6, 2015
Read this review and more at What Sarah Read!

The Girl at Midnight is my perfect kind of book…a fantasy story involving a young woman on an epic quest with an eclectic and mismatched group of companions all coming together to try to save the day. I was entertained, amused and most importantly, invested in the story of Echo and her quest to track down the legendary firebird. See, I told you…epic quest!


One of my favorite aspects of The Girl at Midnight was the myth and legend that Grey created and the way in which it drove the story. She drew on inspirations from birds and dragons to create two ancient races, each with their own history, customs and traditions. I found the Avicen (birds) and Drakharin (dragon) races to be so fascinating, and was transfixed by the way Grey centered much of her story on the history between the two. The physical descriptions of each character were so gorgeous and vivid, I could picture each in my head and it made the book that much more enjoyable to have such a connection to each and every character.

Speaking of characters, I don’t think I could have loved the main character of Echo any more. She is brave, sarcastic, smart and resourceful, and I was cheering for her every step of the way. She faced so many obstacles and difficult decisions throughout this book, but she always found a way to preserve and move forward. Basically, she kicked ass and I want to be Echo when I grow up. Oh, and her snarkiness was of epic proportions! Which was pretty much the best!

For as much as I loved Echo, I also loved the supporting characters that joined her on her quest. Each person brought so much to the story, and the fact that the chapters were told in alternating POVS added another layer to an already rich reading experience. I never once was confused as to whose voice it was and I appreciated the different perspectives and back stories I got from each chapter.

While reading I was reminded me of what I loved about The Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but with its own unique twist that really sets it apart from a lot of the fantasy novels out there. Just like all of my favorite fantasy novels, The Girl at Midnight was one of those books that I just want to start all over again and experience for the first time. It was a definite page-turner and I couldn’t put it down. Each chapter was a little slice of perfection!

The Girl at Midnight is everything I love in a perfect fantasy! Amazing characters, a page-turning story and beautiful writing. An instant Favorite!

Profile Image for Kaitlyn Abshire.
209 reviews12 followers
March 18, 2015
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.

Echo has been raised by the Ala since she was a young girl, after Echo ran away from home. The Ala is part of a race known as the Avicen, in which has feathers for hair. The Avicen have been at war with the Drakharin for as long as anyone can remember. The Darkharin are part dragon with scales and fire (legend has it they once could fly many years ago). Both races have been on the hunt for a creature known as the firebird, a creature that could end the war. Cue Echo. Echo has been asked by the Ala to hunt down the firebird. Along the way we meet Caius, Dorian, Jaspar, and many others. Echo learns that it isn’t always about the destination, but the journey and who you become along the way.

I have heard many comparing this book to Shadow and Bone. I have never read Shadow and Bone so this type of world is new and refreshing for me. The story is told through many point of views, but all centering around Echo’s. I enjoyed the multiple perspectives, although they could be confusing at the beginning.

Like I said earlier, the Avicen is a race in which their hair is replaced with feathers. The description of these creatures was stunning. Each Avicen has different colored feathers that make them look like a different species of bird. We have hawks, doves, and even a Avicen that resembles a peacock. Grey’s use of adjectives was incredible. Oh, and the food. Apparently the Avicen have a very big sweet tooth which would lead to describing all sorts of yummy goodness! I have never read a book that wasn’t a cookbook that made me so hungry for an éclair!

I wish I could say that the rest of the story left me as hungry as that éclair did, but I’m afraid it did not. It wasn’t until I had about twenty-five pages left of the book, that the story caught my attention. The first eighty percent of the book felt like filler. It wasn’t extremely dull, it just wasn’t all that exciting. And the love triangle and instalove burns so brightly in this book that my head hurt at times. I mean, there are bad love triangles and then good triangles that could make sense, but this love triangle? It’s the worst of all love triangle. Purely hormonal driven and zero thought and consideration for the ones being betrayed.

Now don’t get me wrong, the ending slightly redeemed the story’s’ earlier flaws. The ending leaves you with just the right amount of strings left undone to carry into the second installment. We see the beginning of a relationship for a couple I was silently rooting for (no, not the main character). I will be reading the second installment and I am interested to see how Echo’s actions carry over from the first installment.
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