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A battle has been won. But the war has only just begun.

Everything in Echo’s life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace.

The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart.

Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she’s already overcome.

She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight.

Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature—or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what’s left of her world to the ground?

Welcome to the shadow hour.

421 pages, Hardcover

First published July 12, 2016

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About the author

Melissa Grey

66 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 382 reviews
Profile Image for Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀.
250 reviews894 followers
September 24, 2022
“Echo hadn’t just found the firebird. Holy. Shit.”


This is the second book where all the individual adventures and pieces of the first book FINALLY come together.... yay

The general plotline is fighting a shadowy darkness that is polar opposite of the firebird power,Caius's hunt for the firebird meets its firey end *pun intended*,

The squad
I was a little worried about juggling all the different characters. I mean the first book was fantastic w/ introducing each one-- making each unique and strong in their own storyline. I didn't want them to lose that *spark* when they got all lumped together

But overall, the group dynamic was pretty well written, and each character kept their unique perspective while learning to tolerate each other

Drama of Echo with Rowan, unresolved feelings for Caius with hilarious supporting cast of Jasper, Dorian and Ivy, all knowing Ala kicking back in for needed info dump, then a helpful warlock and what the fuck Tanith


It was just a hilarious group of misfits all doing their fucking best!
“We don’t even have four kinds of Pop-Tarts left. Jasper ate the last raspberry one this morning.”
One couldn’t easily find Pop-Tarts in England. The Pop-Tarts were irreplaceable. Jasper was not..
“I’m gonna kill him,” said Echo, “with my bare hands.”


I found myself laughing along as Echo continued her typical headstrong mind then put her money where her mouth was. The group's comedy served as the *needed glue* to keep the book together as the they struggled through the events that literary threw them together. This story unfolded beautifully, with a good balance of action and *ugh da feels* !!!!

I can say I was never bored....but... it just wasn't as magical as The Girl at Midnight. The first book left me breathless and this one just left me with ... mixed emotions like

1. *HOW THE FUCK* could you just END a book like that after everything we've been through!


2.So glad that some questions were *finally* answered and there are higher stakes and I guess we'll see what happens next...yup


Yes, I recommend this book but... The love triangle was a *tad* irritating. like an annoying fly that keeps returning every couple of chapters and distracting me from the good stuff, the cliffhanger completely deliciously cruel, and overall just didn't feel as captivating as The Girl at Midnight

Basically it got a lili of that *sequel slump* , but my love for the characters kept me going. Take that as you will.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews837 followers
July 26, 2016
3.5 stars. Not as good as the first, and there is a cliffhanger, but solid.

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey
Book Two of The Girl at Midnight series
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Official Summary:

Everything in Echo's life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace.

The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart.

Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she's already overcome.

She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight.

Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature--or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what's left of her world to the ground?

Welcome to the shadow hour.

What I Liked:

I've read exactly two reviews for this book, both from bloggers that I trust and respect. One was a two-star review, one was a 3.5/4-star review. The two-star review was really helpful because a lot of the issues that the blogger had were issues that I could see myself having. And while I definitely took issue with some of those aspects, I felt prepared for them, thanks to that review. I liked this book, though I didn't love it, especially compared to The Girl at Midnight.

In this sequel, Echo has to embrace her true nature as the firebird. She's left behind the Nest, the Avicenlings, Rowan (he's the "boyfriend" mentioned in the synopsis). But with Caius, Jasper, Dorian, Ivy, and the help of a warlock, Echo must fight the shadowy darkness that was awoken when she unleashed her firebird power. The new Dragon Prince (Caius's sister) is hunting for the firebird, but something even more sinister as well. Echo could be the salvation of her loved ones - or their destruction.

I liked Echo in this book, though I think I liked her more in The Girl at Midnight. We get to see more into her past, as her fears, and it's sad to see. I think Echo needed to voice her opinion at key times and use her presence and charisma. Everyone likes Echo and thinks she's clever, and Echo does make some good decisions in this book. Overall, I liked Echo, but maybe not as much as I could have.

Caius, I adore. He is easily my favorite character in this book. I know many people love Jasper, but Caius is such a sweetie. He's a quiet alpha male, especially having been the powerful Dragon Prince for a hundred years or so. In this book, Caius is a constant, solid presence to Echo, offering strength and issuing orders when needed. He lets her be, and never tries to control her. This is important because there is a relationship budding there, AND Echo is the firebird (which is what Caius was hunting for quite some time). It's clear that Caius would follow Echo to the ends of the earth. I also loved seeing Caius's devotion to his dragon people, and even his crazy sister.

The other primary characters in this book were cool, and definitely lovable. Jasper is so cheeky and charming, and Dorian is adorable with his blushing self. Ivy has really blossomed into a strong, brave girl, though she always was. I'm really rooting for her, more than ever!

The romance... well, I didn't love it. See more on it below. But I'm 99% sure that Caius and Echo are endgame. I LOVE the Dorian/Jasper romance, which was the main romantic focus of this book (and not as much Caius/Echo). Jasper and Dorian are adorable! They have a slow-burn relationship, which was sweet to watch develop.

This story unfolded beautifully, with a good balance of action and feels. I was never bored, and I zipped through this book really quickly (yay!). I didn't find it as magical as The Girl at Midnight, but it was definitely a worthy sequel. The plot thickens when Echo and Caius understand what the shadows really are, and what Tanith (the current Dragon Prince) plans to do. High stakes here!

The ending is a horribly mean cliffhanger (more on that below), but Grey has guaranteed that I will be reading The Savage Dawn. Ugh, I need it!

What I Did Not Like:

I hate to say it, but the love triangle is back. I thought it was done for, by the end of The Girl at Midnight. But as you can see, the synopsis of this book lists a "boyfriend", and it's not Caius. At one point in the book, Rowan calls Echo his girlfriend... in front of Caius (he was also speaking to Caius). Caius knew that Echo and Rowan were close, but he didn't know that they were like that. And Echo doesn't correct Rowan.

THIS is where I thought Echo should have spoken up and used her words. In her inner monologue, you can clearly see that she dreads seeing Rowan, talking to him, and the girlfriend/boyfriend thing seems wrong to her. But she doesn't correct Rowan. When they talk, she doesn't specifically tell him that she doesn't love him like that anymore. Echo doesn't use her words, even though she CLEARLY knows her mind, and it frustrated me.

The love triangle is frustrating, because of that, but also because it's just annoying. Rowan is annoying. He acts like a child. Caius... I really felt for him. Every time Rowan and Echo were in the same room, after Rowan called Echo his girlfriend, Caius would distance himself and become like stone. He rationalized to himself that he didn't deserve Echo and that Rowan did.

Rowan is extremely terrible to Caius, so even if I were #TeamRowan (clearly I am not), I would be furious at his behavior towards Caius. Really, the man is helping you.

The ending of this book leads me to believe that Caius/Echo is endgame, but I thought that about the ending of The Girl at Midnight, so I don't know. I really hope Rowan ends up being a casualty in the end of The Savage Dawn (there is always at least one main character killed off at the end of the series). Sorry not sorry!

Oh and the ending is a ridiculous and horrible cliffhanger, in case you wanted to know. Maybe binge-read the series, or the last two books if you've read The Girl at Midnight. I hate cliffhangers.

Would I Recommend It:

Yes, I recommend this book in the long run, but in the short run, no. The love triangle is irritating (it's like an annoying fly that keeps returning), the cliffhanger is cruel, and this book doesn't feel quite as captivating as The Girl at Midnight. Basically it doesn't go through sequel slump, but it isn't a omg-must-read-next-big-thing sequel.


3.5 stars -> rounded up to 4 stars. Good, entertaining, but not without flaws. I did like this book and I am liking this series, but I guess I wish I knew the outcome because the journey is a little painful in some areas. It's an intriguing fantasy series with some really cool characters, and would probably be a fun series to binge-read in the future!

Pre-read squee:

Gimme gimme gimmeeeeee!!!!!

EDIT: OHHHH!!! A COVER!!!! So pretty - I need a matching hardcover copy RIGHT NOW. :D

Profile Image for Kiki.
191 reviews8,441 followers
October 9, 2019
So in lieu of the upcoming menthol cigarette ban across the UK, coming to a much-beloved Tesco tobacco counter near you, my sister and I decided to start trying e-cigarettes. Neither of us have stopped smoking cigarettes, but are supplementing with real tobacco and fake tobacco, both to cut down on cost and to prepare for the eventual switch over (dun dun DUN).

But here's the thing. Vaping is not really smoking. Vaping is to smoking what coconut sorbet is to ice cream. It's okay, but sort of thin and sort of a letdown. I mean, I don't mind it really, but am I doing it because it's my number one choice and I want to? Fuck to the no.

(Everyone that I try to explain this to always says "just quit smoking!" I will eventually but I don't want to yet, because I enjoy smoking.So let's not make that a part of this discussion.)

See, when you smoke, some part of you feels like you're falling off the ground, but mostly it feels like a big scratchy hug at the back of your throat. Nicotine hits you like a literal bullet, especially if your stomach is empty. And there's that moment, a lovely "ahhhh, yes, delightful", and all of these things are absent with vaping. You can feel it fine, but it's a slower hit, much slower. Granted, vaping doesn't make your mouth taste like a foot and it doesn't fill your body with carcinogens, and it's also far less expensive, but it's just not the same. The low-carb, non-fat, non-dairy option never is.

So vaping is to cigarettes what this book is to its obvious inspiration, (I say inspiration, but what I mean is it's a knockoff) DOSAB.

Look, don't shoot me. But everything about this series feels flat, and sort of fake, and what was with the thing in China? What was that about?

I'm not going to pretend to believe that this book was an original idea, with no influence at all from outside sources: it's so similar to YA new classics like DOSAB and City of Bones and Shadow and Bone. I'm not going to pretend to review this properly, because it was just thin; like I said, low-carb, non-fat, low-nicotine, flat.

From the flaccid characters to the nonsensical setting, to the painful dialogue ("You want me? Come and get me!" MY EYES! MY EYES!) it's just...kind of sad. It just feels kind of depressing, and not even in the way that emotive books are depressing. It's depressing like sitting in a doctor's office waiting for a vaginal exam.

Okay, listen. I'm not trying to be Shits On Books Angela here. I can see why a lot of people would enjoy this much more than I did. It has its appeal. But so does standing on a welcome mat when you've got athlete's foot, and I think being able to compare this book with the minor relief of scratching your diseased feet on the threshold of someone's home really does speak volumes.

Ah, throw me a pity party. And get me a real fucking cigarette.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
853 reviews3,765 followers
May 2, 2017
I didn't enjoy this as much as the first book, but I think a large part of that had to do with the audiobook format. I wasn't a fan of the voices the narrator used for most of the male characters, they all sounded the same and I often couldn't tell which character was speaking. Also, an element I loved so much about the first book was all of the travel, and listening instead of reading caused me to miss some of the details. I often didn't know where the characters were because they move around so much.

Another thing I didn't like about this sequel, regardless of the format, were the romances.

Despite these things that I didn't click with, the story definitely went in a good direction. I do look forward to the finale!

The author is Latina and so is the main character. There are 2 LGBT+ (either gay, bi, or pan?) main characters and a third who is a side character.
Profile Image for Kristin Hackett (Merrily Kristin).
213 reviews3,655 followers
July 12, 2016
Originally posted on Super Space Chick:

The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey is the second book in The Girl at Midnight series which picks up right where book one ends. The Girl at Midnight was one of my favorite reads of 2015 so I was HIGHLY anticipating The Shadow Hour and I’m so happy to report that it completely blew my expectations out of the water! At the end of The Girl at Midnight, Echo was just beginning to learn more about herself as the Firebird and in The Shadow Hour we see her explore her past, adjust to her present and attempt to work out how she’ll save the world by ending the age old war between the Avicen and the Drakharin.

In my review of The Girl at Midnight, I already touched upon the fascinating world that Grey built and in The Shadow Hourthe reader gets to explore it further as it continues to develop. I love that this series allows you to travel the world but it’s roots are planted in New York City. Each time I read about this familiar world with Grey’s infusion of magic existing beyond what I can see, I feel an even stronger connection the landmarks I pass daily and would otherwise have taken for granted. One of the most intriguing and well done elements of magic that was added to The Shadow Hour is the introduction of the kucedra which comes to be as result of light (aka the Firebired) attracting a powerful and opposing dark force because one cannot have been brought into the world without the other. The concept reminds me of season 2 of Legend of Korra (although, I am much more interested in seeing how everything plays out in this particular story line).

While the world is more than enough to hook me, it’s the lovable band of misfits and should-be-enemies working together for the greater good that really tug at my heartstrings. Seriously, their squad is goals. In each decision made, you can feel how strong the connections are between characters and just how irrational they can all be while trying to protect one another. There’s a new character who is introduced in The Shadow Hour that I totally fell head over heels for but I don’t want to spoil his or her role for anyone so I’ll just leave that at that. And ah the swoony romance between Jasper and Dorian continues and it is everything despite one frustratingly persistent obstacle. Another exemplary character worth noting is the new Dragon Prince, Caius’s backstabbing sister, Tanith. Tanith is one of the best villains in YA and I love that Grey is able to convey just how manipulative and evil she is without shying away from showing us some of Tanith’s most vulnerable moments.

Final Thoughts: The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey is the phenomenal follow up to last years The Girl at Midnight. I repeat, there is NO second book slump here. Echo and her squad are faced with new challenges as the kucedra, an ultimate force of darkness and evil, emerges at the same time the Firebird surfaces. Still caught between the Avicen and Drakharin war, the gang is on the run and attempting to strategize their next step in finding peace. There is much pain, self doubt, self discovery and of course, the irresistible prose that readers of Grey have gladly grown accustomed to. If you haven’t started this series yet, you are completely missing out and should probably re-evaluate some life decisions. (Or you know, settle in your favorite armchair for hours of adventure with a warm cup of tea).
Profile Image for mith.
740 reviews256 followers
April 30, 2016
Happy to report that this doesn't have second-book syndrome. It was equally as exciting and adventurous and amazing as the first novel. And funny, too. The characters in this series are absolutely a breath of fresh air and I love them all so much.
@ the person who controls release dates, why must you make this come out in july??
@ netgalley/edelweiss, hook me up w/ an ARC when you can please, thank you.


oooh! title already! do want
Profile Image for Sara (Freadom Library).
443 reviews242 followers
April 18, 2017
Actual rating 4.5 stars
The plot has moved along but it wasn't as exciting or action packed as the first book. Though I can't wait to see how it ends!

This review was originally posted at https://freadomlibrary.wordpress.com/

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I’m a little sad to say that I kind of felt like this book was more of a filler. Not a lot happens plot wise, it was more about creating, challenging and building relationships between the characters. It’s more about self-discovery, not only for the main character but for every single character in the entire book. It’s full of action, death, violence, romance and magic. The ending was a huge cliffhanger and I can’t wait until the final showdown in the last book.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’m a fan of Melissa’s writing style. It’s detailed and descriptive enough to help me envision the story but not so much that I feel bogged down by all the details. It’s medium paced so I can still make sense of the action scenes. It’s really funny, I laugh out loud a lot of the times and it’s simple and easy to read. It’s addictive and I can read it really quickly and while there are various POVs, they all feel distinct and unique in their own way.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I am utterly in love with the cast of characters in this book. There’s such tortured and emotional little creatures that I just want to love on all day and every day, even if I get confused with their names since they are similar to other books. I was really happy to see more development with the rest of the characters even though Echo is still the main character. She’s under a lot of pressure and totally distressed in this book. She’s had a major change happen in her life and she still has absolutely no idea how to handle things. She’s fearful and overwhelmed for the future but she knows a lot of people are counting on her and she’s responsible for their safety so she’s determined to figure herself out on her own. It’s not the best plan but I love her tenacity and her resilience. The side characters of this book have taken a more pivotal role in the entirety of the story and have grown so much in such a short time span. Ivy has blossomed into a fierce woman, Jasper is much quieter and sensitive, Caius is so loyal and supportive and Dorian is open and honest and fierce. I love them all! I need them to be happy and together and just like safe. Please.

Profile Image for Alaina.
6,084 reviews215 followers
October 23, 2017
“You're a thief, Echo.' The Ala Squeezed her hand, her grip strong despite her frailty. 'Steal him back.”


a bullshit one.

Seriously, I'm freaking out so freaking much that I can't stop freaking out!!

Profile Image for Cody.
201 reviews630 followers
Want to read
February 9, 2016
I need MORE Echo & Caius,
MORE Jasper & Dorian,
MORE action,
MORE adventure,
MORE kisses,
Yes please!


Just MORE. I need it, gimme!
Profile Image for JAIME.
378 reviews237 followers
August 29, 2016
There is a love triangle afoot. I don't do love triangles. They piss me off. This one pisses me off more becuase after the events of the last book, one could assume that one point of the triangle would no longer be of issue.

Sigh. But apparently he still loves her. I mean he never told her before, but he totally does now. Okaaaaay.

Meanwhile, our annoying heroine has been hooking up with the former Dragon Prince. Clearly thinking that her previous relationship had died with that bitch Ruby. But then Rowan calls her his girlfriend and now she is confused. And now the three of them are working together. Really, no good can come of this.

Other than that, there is a great evil out there, that apparently no one new about. Because, how did no one know about this?! Heaps of people are dead, the Dragon Prince is an evil idiot and someone we weren't supposed to like at all last book turns into a good guy. I don't understand.

Oh, and we finally get a glimpse of Echo's ugly past. All the while, Caius' ex-girlfriend is in her head talking about how great he kisses.

All these things happen, but the story felt as though it had little progression. A 'filler book' sure, but still. I think I might be done with this series.
Profile Image for Ash.
382 reviews39 followers
January 24, 2018
OCT 2015: I thought waiting for APRIL was bad but now its been pushed back 3 months!?!? This is not okay.

BUT!!!! There is a COVER NOW....and the SYNOPSIS!!! AH, I LOVE IT! [Don't read the synopsis if you haven't read the first book though!!!!!!!!!!]
Profile Image for Kelly (Diva Booknerd).
1,106 reviews299 followers
August 3, 2016
The Girl At Midnight was a lyrically beautiful, atmospheric and likened to the beloved Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Although I enjoyed The Shadow Hour, it didn't hold me captive as the first book in the series had. The mystery surrounding the Firebird is now know to both Avicen and Drakharin alike. Seen as a weapon in a centuries long war, Echo has the power to decimate and destroy, making her a valuable commodity. One aspect I was delighted to explore was the tentative bond shared between Dorian, an Drakharin and Jasper, who is Avicen. I was tiring of the romance between Echo and Caius along with Echo's sweetheart, Avicen Rowan. It was agonising as a reader to experience Echo's indecision between the boy who changed her life, to the young man who has the potential to chance the world. It was refreshing to follow the budding romance between Dorian and Jasper, which is not without it's drama but held such a charming innocence.

Dorian is still coming to terms with the heartbreak over the man who will never return his love, he has spent his time since the Black Forest beside Jasper as he battles an infection that refuses to heal. Dorian is a no nonsense character, while Jasper is skilled in the form of flirtation and innuendo. Together they are simply lovely.

The romance between Echo and Caius, Echo and Rowan, Jasper and Dorian and now Jasper and his former flame, warlock Quinn. Romantically, the storyline has the potential to alienate readers. Even though Jasper's only interest is in Dorian, former flame Quinn aggressively pursues Jasper by wanting to rekindle their relationship. Meanwhile, while the romance between Echo and Caius has reached a stalemate. Echo's history with Rowan was never revealed and the latter still believes he and Echo are in a relationship. It's not only messy, but it seems Echo begun a relationship with Caius when she was supposedly involved with Rowan. Confused?

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I'm absolutely thrilled that the lovely feathered Ivy may have found herself a potential partner. She's a charming and charismatic character who has undergone a tremendous amount of growth.

One aspect I really enjoyed is how the conflict between the Avicen and Drakharin effected the mortal world. New York City lies above the Avicen nest and is decimated by the attack and left in ruins. It could have been the perfect opportunity to explore the worlds colliding scenario, but unfortunately it's never realised.

Melissa Grey is an achingly beautiful artist, she wields words like weapons but with such elegance and prose.
Where all things begin, so must all things end. The cradle of life is a pyre come death.

He fell in love with those stories he same way he fell in love with her. A little grudgingly at first, but eventually with complete abandon.

In the acknowledgements, Melissa Grey herself mentions how second in a series installments are incredibly difficult and I think most readers would agree wholeheartedly. In comparison to The Girl At Midnight, it was slightly underwhelming and seems to have misplaced the enchanted quality that endeared and captivated readers. But nevertheless, an entertaining read that has certainly left me eager for the finale.
Profile Image for Carly .
78 reviews25 followers
January 28, 2019
Hmm. I'm not sure what the main plot of this book was. I don't feel like I would be able to plot it out on a plot line either. But maybe that's a good thing.... It's something different and unexpected. I honestly could not even begin to guess what was going to happen next. I don't know. It wasn't my style. I like the typical intro, inciting incident, rising actions, climax, falling actions denouement, and I don't feel like this book did that. The characters were still great, but some of the developing relationships seemed weak to me. Also, I'm really not a fan of love triangles. Sorry. All in all, this was an okay book. The first one was much better.

3 stars
Profile Image for Jaime (Two Chicks on Books).
825 reviews400 followers
March 6, 2016
3.5 stars. This definitely wasn't as good as the first book but I did like it. Just didn't love it. It kinda had some "middle book syndrome" going on but not enough for me to not finish it. I did like the character development and Caius of course!
Profile Image for These Violent Delights (Robin).
366 reviews77 followers
December 15, 2018
I absolutely loved this book!

The characters were amazing, I especially love Echo (the main character). I really love Ivy & Dorian & Jasper & Rowan & Ala & even Cauis. I honestly still don't know who I ship Echo with.

I loved where the plot/story went in this book. I definitely was intrigued. This world is so fascinating.
I just really want all my babies to have a happily ever after, is that just too much to ask?
Anyways, I wholly recommend this trilogy!
Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,740 reviews750 followers
July 9, 2018
I didn’t think it could get better after the first book in the series but this book absolutely proved me wrong. The world that Grey has created is so beautiful and stunning yet dark at the same time. I love how she blends both light and darkness together, it’s part of what makes this story so enjoyable!
And I just love the cast of characters. Each is so unique and different but they come together to make the perfect band of misfits that you can’t help but fall in love with and root for!
Profile Image for Carina Olsen.
783 reviews145 followers
July 14, 2016
Oh. I'm not sure where to begin with this book. So I'm starting by saying that I'm really disappointed in it. I can't even deal with thinking about this book. It took me days to finish it. And I wanted to quit it a few times. Which makes me so, so sad. Because I wanted to love this book so badly. But that was just impossible.

I pretty much adored book one. I have now read it twice. And I like it a whole bunch. But there was the beginning of a love triangle. And I feared it would be more. And I was right. Ugh. I started reading this book, and then I looked at reviews. I learned some things that made me hate the book right away. Then I read them.

I guess it was a bit unfair of me to judge the book before I had read those parts for myself. But I could not help it. And even so, when I got to those parts myself, I was even more pissed off. Because, yeah. There are two love triangles in this book. And I am so pissed off and angry and disappointed. They are just making me so upset. Sigh. I shall explain about them all, but it will be spoilery, just so you know. But it wasn't just the triangles that bothered me in this book. I almost hated Echo all the time. She just bothered me. I'm not even sure why, mostly. I just did not care for her. And that was so disappointing, because I loved her in book one. Sigh. And I had issues with the writing in this one. And I just did not care one bit about things that were happening. Makes me so sad.

This book wasn't all bad, though. But it is hard for me to focus on the good things, when there were so many bad things for me in this book. Sad face. I shall talk about all of it. But yeah. I did like this book at times. I liked the plot a whole bunch. I adored Ivy at all times. I loved that she might get a love interest in Helios, and I want to read about that so badly. I adored Dorian too. Always. And I love Caius the most. But even he felt silly at times. And that just makes me so upset. Aw. I wanted it to be better. It was so not.

Okay. Time to start talking about all the things I did not like about this book. Might take me a while. And I'm sorry about that. But I did spend ages reading this book, and so I feel like I need to share all my thoughts about it. Which I really want to do. Sigh. I just wish I had loved this book. Hmph. Because I just read the gorgeous UK ARC of it. And I have ordered a hardcover and paperback of this book, and so it just sucks the most that I did not like it. Yet I'm going to own three copies of it. Sigh. So very annoying.

I'm going to start with Echo. And why I did not like her in this book. Well. Three months have passed by since the end of The Girl at Midnight. Echo and Caius and Dorian and Jasper have been living together in hiding since then. Yet it did not seem like Echo and Caius were closer at all. They held hands. And that's it. Ugh. He obviously cares for her. She seemed to care for him, but never shows it. It bothered me how she just about never thinks about him in this book. Almost never. Yet she thinks about Rowan all the time.

And that is my issue. Rowan. Echo's boyfriend for two months before she met Caius. She never broke up with Rowan. And she never told Caius about him. Wth. This bothers me more than I can say. You don't enter a new relationship, and just don't mention that you have a boyfriend. Ugh. Then, of course, Rowan shows up. Early. And is with them the entire book. He kisses Echo. She kiss him back. She never tells Caius. Like. Seriously. Uuugh. And in the entire book, she only kisses Caius once. What. So, so rude.

I did not think this book would have a love triangle. I thought it would be better than that. But it was not. I'm so disappointed. Echo doesn't even know what she wants. She thinks about Rowan often. And never about Caius. She doesn't even react all that much when Caius says he loves her. Oh, how I am annoyed with this girl. Because of the triangle, but also because I just did not care for her. Sure, she's the firebird, but whatever. I didn't care anymore. I didn't even care about her past. Not that interesting, to be honest.

Okay, one more Echo thing before I move on from that. Rowan had told his people that Caius was the one who killed Ruby. Which was untrue. Echo did that. Yet she doesn't admit it. She lets Caius take the fault for it. And that bothered me too. Ugh. But enough about all that. Another love triangle was in this book. I ship Dorian and Jasper so much. They are adorable. But then Jasper's ex, Quinn shows up. Ugh. Jasper is scared of him, yet drawn to him, and I did not approve. I think it is done with, but so annoying.

I'm not sure what else I wish to say about this book. There are so many things that bothered me. But I feel like I have mentioned most of them. The romance just killed me. Caius deserves the best. And I'm not sure Echo is that person. And that just hurts my heart. I just do not get the point of two love triangles in this book. Ugh. But yeah. I didn't fully hate The Shadow Hour. I just did not like it. Sorry. So two stars from me for this one. I wish it had been better. I truly do. But yeah. That did not happen. Hmph. Sad face.

I will say, however, that I am excited about the third and final book. Because this book ends with a cliffhanger. Sigh. And I wish to know how it all ends. But yeah. I won't be re-reading The Shadow Hour. Love triangle. And it isn't cleared up by the end of the book. So not my thing. I hated how Echo thought about Caius sometimes. Just bothered me so much. Sigh. Anyway. I'm giving a huge thank you to the amazing Stephanie at Atom UK for sending me this gorgeous UK ARC edition. I shall treasure it. Always.


This review was first posted on my blog, Carina's Books, here: http://carinabooks.blogspot.no/2016/0...
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,119 reviews1,334 followers
July 12, 2016


“When she was leaning against the roof’s cold concrete with Caius just inches from her, she didn’t feel like a person of interest, or a chess piece in the war between the Avicen and the Drakharin. She was just a girl, lying next to a boy, gazing up at the stars.”

Last year, I fell in love with Melissa Grey’s debut, The Girl at Midnight. It was a book that was fun, rich in its world building and had characters that I wanted to befriend. Needless to say, I was eagerly anticipating the sequel, The Shadow Hour. I couldn’t wait to see where Melissa Grey took the characters and story to. The Shadow Hour, while not as thrilling for me as the first book, was a fantastic addition to the series, and by the end, it left me salivating for the series finale.

“He cursed the god of love for making him feel. How much easier life would be if his heart were stone, impervious to beauty and cleverness and bravery. He cursed the god of tragedy for raining it upon him while he soaked the misfortune like a thirsty field. If there were a god of cruel irony, he would have cursed that one, too.”

The strongest element to this series are the characters. Melissa Grey is undeniably very talented at crafting characters that multi-dimensional and feel real. This cast is so terrific. Echo, our brave and witty human heroine who has to learn to deal with her newfound abilities, Caius, our sweet dragon prince who continued to woo me with his kind soul, Jasper, our flirtatious but brave feathered creature, Ivy, another kindhearted feathered girl who really showed her bravery and mettle in The Shadow Hour and Dorian, our confused, broody and complicated dragon boy who stole my heart in this book : they were all so beautifully fleshed out. The author really tests these characters in this sequel, and in the end, I thought they came out stronger and better than ever. What I loved the most though, is the group dynamics. The relationship between these characters, while shaky at the start of The Girl at Midnight, blosommed into a friendship that was solid and reliable here. I loved the faith and the loyalty they had for each other despite their species being enemies. We were also introduced to a slew of new characters in The Shadow Hour, and as I expected from Melissa Grey, they were complex and came to life throughout the book. I especially liked that a lot of these characters were characters with shades of grey, so I never knew who to completely trust.

“Gods, Jasper could write a book about Dorian blushing. A multivolume encyclopedia.”

I loved loved LOVED the romances in The Girl at Midnight, so that was definitely one part that I was dying to get more of here, especially since the author sure knows how to write swoony kisses. The romance focus here was definitely the one between Dorian and Jasper. I love how these two were so different in personalities, Dorian being more reserved and quietly intense, while Jasper being outgoing and without any filter. Yet, they fit perfectly together and they made each other stronger than ever. I loved them so much, and I couldn’t wait for them to become a couple in The Shadow Hour. I was, however, a little bit disappointed that Echo and Caius’ romance took a backseat in this installment since I shipped these two so much in the first book. They had some very subtle and sweet scenes here, but honestly, all throughout I was worried that Echo would waffle between Caius and her ex, Rowan, who is a big part of this sequel. Nothing of the sort happens, but I was still unable to shed that nervousness. I’m sincerely hoping for Echo and Caius’ relationship to move further in The Savage Dawn, but they have lots of hurdles to overcome.

“Jasper had never felt want like this before. Lust, he understood, but this wasn’t the kind of desire that could be satisfied so easily. He wanted to crawl inside Dorian and count his bones. He wanted to know him. Inside and out. He wanted to make him blush in a million different ways. He wanted to make Dorian smile, bright and true without the faintest hint of a shadow lurking behind it.”

While slower-paced compared to The Girl at Midnight, I didn’t find the book to be boring. Still, I would have liked more action. The world building, especially the mythology and history of the Avicen and the Drakharin, was explored further in this sequel. After the events and Caius’ power-thirsty twin’s actions in the first book, things are tenser than ever, until a new dangerous creature makes it appearance that threatens to wipe out an entire species. The Shadow Hour kept me at the edge of my seat from time to time, especially because I was scared witless for these characters as they put themselves in the face of danger to bring peace to the world. We also learn so much more about the not-so-mythical Firebird, and the role it can potentially play in the bloody war between the Avicen and Drakharin. Even though I wasn’t as hooked to this book as I was the first, I thought Melissa Grey’s writing style was still very addicting. While not a cliffhanger, The Shadow Hour ended on pivotal and dangerous note and I just know that the author will put these characters through hell and more. I.can’t.wait.

“We never, ever let ourselves forget the things that have happened, good or bad, but that doesn’t mean we’re trapped by them. They inform us. They don’t define us.”

The Shadow Hour was a good sequel to The Girl at Midnight, and for me, it only went an additional step to prove that Melissa Grey is a YA author who possesses immense talent as a writer. You do not want to miss out on this thoroughly entertaining fantasy series.
Profile Image for Once.
2,344 reviews69 followers
July 20, 2016
The Shadow Hour is a good sequel to The Girl At Midnight. I am glad I was able to listen to the audiobook as I also listened to the first novel of this series. I loved how I was able to picture Echo in my head as the story was being read on my way to work. The Girl At Midnight was a bit of a cliffhanger and I liked how I was able to jump right in where the story left off. What I liked best about this sequel is that it provides me a recap of the previous story. Come on, who remembers every details after waiting for a year?

Echo's life has been a roller coaster ride. She has learned the truth about her real identity and her world is turned upside down. She is the firebird; the one to bring peace to this world she lives in. Now in this sequel, we follow her into a journey of discovering, as in self-discovery. Echo's character grows while she learns to accept her conditions and abilities. I love how she takes it with dignity and moves on. She is more fierce than ever before and braver as she faces many challenges and nails them with ease. Even though some of these challenges are dark and scary.

Although The Shadow Hour lacks battles, it is full force into Echo's development. It's like watching annoying Sansa grow into a badass and fierce character, the one everyone now loves. Honestly, it is exactly like Sansa's character development. And the only thing you can do is cheer! In addition, The Shadow Hours goes in depth into the history and we get a better picture of this world. So if you like historical and mythical story, then you should pick this story. However, I am still not a fan of the love triangles and boy, does this book covers this. Yet, it seems like Echo is finally clearing up her mind and heart when it comes to romance.

I quite enjoyed the pacing of this audibook, but really enjoyed the ending much better than the first one. There were times it threw me off, as this story contains many characters and I had to put my thinking hat one to remember them. But the more you listen, the more it takes over and a movie is playing in your head. Overall, I really enjoyed this story as well as the audiobook. If you don't have time to read it, then I would recommend to listen to it as Julia does a great job reading this story.

Profile Image for Gillian.
458 reviews1,069 followers
August 19, 2016
AHHH I love this series and this squad of dorks and I just WORRY about them. Tanith is life. It's possibly a bit slow (and I never trusted or understood a certain character but we'll get to that later) but honestly I love these characters so much that I don't really care if she spend bunches of time on their romantic entanglements because lbr this is what I'm here for. But the epicy action bits are VERY EPICY AND ACTIONY. (Also Caius. And Tanith. And Echo. My loves eternal.)
Profile Image for Irene ➰.
407 reviews76 followers
August 25, 2018
3.7/5 ~ Okay compared to the first one I found it way less exciting honestly. I got what I wanted though, even if they are barely mentioned here, I wanted so much more of those two!
Let's see what happens in the finale...
Profile Image for Cassie-la.
523 reviews63 followers
July 17, 2016
ORIGINALLY POSTED: https://bibliomantics.com/2016/07/17/...

Melissa Grey's The Shadow Hour -- the thrilling follow-up to The Girl at Midnight -- continues the story of Echo, a runaway thief who is torn between two warring races of magical creatures: the feather-covered Avicen and the scaMelissa Grey's The Shadow Hour -- the thrilling follow-up to The Girl at Midnight -- continues the story of Echo, a runaway thief who is torn between two warring races of magical creatures: the feather-covered Avicen and the scale-laden Drakharin.

The story picks up right where The Girl at Midnight left off, with Echo and her gang dealing with their discovery of the firebird, the alleged key to ending the centuries long fight between the Avicen and the Drakharin.

Unfortunately for them, the rise of the firebird also means the creation of an equally ancient creature known as the kucedra. Where the firebird is a creature of flame, the kucedra is one of shadow, the evil to the firebird's good. It also mean's dragon in Albanian, so Grey is really playing with a lot of fun dichotomies in this book.

While the firebird is prophecized to end the war, I have a feeling it will be the kucedra who finally brings the Avicen and Drakharin together in the third and final book. You know, because when you have two immortal races in an eternal war of hate you can't just wait for all the racist ones to die out. See, sometimes death can be a good thing!

But let's be honest, all this plot stuff is really secondary to Grey's stellar writing and amazing characters, including everyone's favorite eventual couple Dorian and Jasper who steal the entire book, a brand new bisexual warlock character named Quinn who is simultaneously the best and worst, and Caius' sister Tanith who is killing it in the villain category. Amazing clothing, pithy one liners and a redemption arc? Yas queen!

Avicen healer Ivy also gets a really great scene in the novel that I will not spoil (not to mention a potential new love interest), but suffice it to say it gave me some serious Vampire Willow feels.

As for Echo, Caius and Rowan? Let's just say they're all bad at relationshipping and need to get their ridiculous love triangle in order.

Dear Echo, this is young adult fiction. Both of the boys you are in love with are definitely sexy, but let's be honest, the dragon people are definitely sexier than the bird people -- not that I can really envision what either group looks like without making them look absolutely ridiculous.

Anyway, sexy humanoid creatures aside, while I found The Shadow Hour to be stronger than its predecessor, due to the machinations of the plot and the spot on character development, the story is definitely not as fun and light-hearted as the original, with more of a focus on plot and much less on world building.

Here's hoping book three is a combination of all the things I love about the first two novels rolled into one!

-Full of Grey's beautiful writing (as per usual)
-No sequel slump here
-Jasper and Dorian are everything
-I need more of Tanith and I need it right now

-Sad to lose the fun moments and the focus on a hidden magical New York
Profile Image for fatima.
579 reviews146 followers
February 16, 2019
I loved this so much. This book defies the notion where readers claim that sequels are generally worse than the first book - and in many, many cases they are - but this is an incredible, beautiful, and magical exception.

This world that Grey has created is so effortless and so enchanting and so diverse and so complex, that it's really difficult to remember that it's fiction. Despite the magic, the madness, the mayhem, and the supernatural creatures, it's so easy to get sucked into this world and to feel like it's all real. For the majority of this novel I felt like I was watching a movie because of how incredibly effortless everything that Grey had written seems - she's fantastic with her descriptions and has such a gorgeous way of maintaining a really great balance so that her writing isn't info-dumpy or overwhelming, it's such a flawless and effortless style and everything that she pens just reads that much more beautifully.

My love for these characters comes as no surprise. If I had to pick a group of characters from one book or series to bring to life and become best friends with, it would, without a doubt, be the characters from this series. I love them all SO DANG MUCH - their personalities are so realistic and they're all so endearing and their interactions and dynamics are so freaking fun to read about - they're the epitome of a rag-tag, dysfunctional little group, but in the end they're a family. They've made sacrifices for each other, they've proved their love, and they're gone through hell and back to ensure each other's safety - it's physically impossible for me to not love each and every one of them because they're all such odd, realistic, and lovable individuals.

I typically despise love triangles with every bone in my body, but I really don't mind the love triangle in this series. I don't want to say too much because spoilers, but I love both of the guys and I love what they've done to kind of prove themselves - they've taken time for themselves and they've done things to ensure her safety, and they don't hate each other for stupid reasons. The relationship between the three of them is actually pretty healthy, in a weird way, and there isn't any of that ridiculous "you have to pick someone, who's it gonna be??" because she needs the both of them to be there for her, and so far they've done exactly that without any hesitancy or any complaint. I just adore that support and protection that these characters all show for each other - they want only what's best for one another and they're so dedicated to keeping each other safe and sane, and I could ramble on about how much I love these characters, aka my kids, without even taking a breath, but I'll spare you but just know that I love them so freaking much, okay.

This was a fantastic, fantastic continuation to an already amazing and magical story - I'm so excited for the last book even though I have no idea how I'm going to cope with having to say goodbye to these characters. This series is easily one of my top favorites series that I've read, and I just think that everything about this story is so exciting and adventurous and fun. It has a wonderful group friendship, gorgeous themes of family and friendship, and I think the characters and their relationships are genuinely the best part. I love Echo so much - she's such an incredible and badass main character, and I love everyone and all of my ships are sailing and I just adore this series SO much, it's ridiculous. The sequel is so far away and I really shouldn't have read this book so fast, but I'm helpless and unabashedly in love.
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,131 reviews437 followers
August 20, 2016
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.

I really enjoyed The Girl at Midnight when I read it last year, and couldn't wait to get my hands on book 2, so when I was sent a review copy, I was overjoyed. In The Shadow Hour, Echo and her merry bunch - Caius, Jasper, Ivy, and Dorian - are hiding out in an abandoned warehouse after the battle in Germany, in which Echo became the Firebird they had all been looking for. The only one from her old life at the Nest she's still in contact with is the Ala, and when the Nest is attacked by an evil that was unleashed when Echo came into her Firebird powers, they must search for a cure to the poison that was spread, as well as a way to defeat the evil. However, all is not as it seems. Caius' twin sister, Tanith, the new Dragon Prince, is also searching for Echo, and for the darkness, for her own nefarious means.

One thing I do have to mention, I forgot so much of The Girl at Midnight, that I struggled with the first few chapters of this book, until I went and read some reviews. There's no sort of recap at the beginning, like you sometimes find in sequels, and I think that was a mistake in this case. However, once the proper action and plot kicked in, it was easy to keep up.

The characters were really fun to read. Echo was a bit difficult at times, but having the voices of all the previous Firebirds in her head, and the realisation that it may have been her fault that the evil, sort of Firebird twin was released, made it understandable. Caius and Echo's relationship had developed, and they were sort of on the precipice of a true relationship, until Echo's ex, Rowan, had to swoop in and ruin it all. I wasn't a fan of him in book 1, and he didn't do much to redeem himself this time around either. He tries to 'claim' Echo, calling her his girlfriend, especially when Caius is around, though they'd definitely broke up. I found the whole love triangle aspect annoying and frustrating, and seriously hope that doesn't continue in book 3. The other characters, especially Jasper and Dorian, were a breeze to read, and they made up for the annoyingness of Rowan.

The plot, though, made up for the issues mentioned above. I can see how this book is setting up the action for book 3, and be warned, there is another awful cliffhanger. Hopefully the wait for book 3 won't be too long, and I do hope there's a recap this time around, or else I'll probably have to resort to finding and reading reviews beforehand. A solid sequel, though not perfect. I'm still looking forward to the conclusion of the series though.
Profile Image for Cheryl La Pa.
393 reviews64 followers
November 7, 2017
Full of love, loyalty, betrayal and friendships, The Shadow Hour is the sequel to The Girl at Midnight. Echo is being hunted by a terrible darkness called Kucedra as well as The Dragon Prince. She must find a way to defeat both without endangering her friends or home.
I thoroughly enjoyed it though not quite as much as the first book. The tone was much darker and there was less humour, but it was full of action and I love how the characters & their relationships have developed. I have connected deeply with the characters, especially Caius, Echo, Jasper & Dorian, - I love their diversity and uniqueness.
I am so pleased that I do not have to wait for the final book to come out so that can continue on with their adventures straight away.
Profile Image for Grace Arango (G-Swizzel Books).
1,170 reviews649 followers
July 16, 2021
Loved the continuation to the series and all the characters have my heart!

In my opinion, this series is so underrated and I'm kind of sad that it's rarely talked about and but into the shadow of DOSAB (which makes sense, BUT IT'S REALLY GOOD!)

Honestly, the finale of this series can go either way but I hope it doesn't break my heart even more because there's only so much I can take :,(
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,881 followers
July 3, 2016

After about 15 months and two publishing delays, the second book in Melissa Gray’s The Girl at Midnight trilogy is finally here. The expectations were high for those of us who liked the first book, but Gray justifies the long wait and the hype that follows the series. When the first book came out, many reviewers complained about the similarities between The Girl at Midnight and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. They continue in those elements that Gray borrowed, but otherwise the story takes a different direction entirely.

The pacing is a little bit slower than in the previous book, but the end result is no less thrilling. The Shadow Hour is a tangle of action and emotion, discoveries and desperate moves. The book somehow avoids the middle book syndrome, even though it’s less eventful than its predecessor. There is plenty to keep us occupied and afraid for our characters, and Gray once again demonstrates her ability to keep the narrative voices separate, despite there being many, and in fairly brief chapters.

Plotwise, The Shadow Hour is a fantastic book, rich and exciting, full of unexpected twists and complicated betrayals. Even in its quiet moments it keeps the reader engaged and on the edge. There are so many things going on at once, so much resentment brewing that a single wrong step could turn into outright wars. The truce between the Avicen and Caius is tenuous at best, with only Echo to keep it together. With all of them confined to a single place, the tension is unrelenting and palpable.

What makes this book weaker, in my eyes, is the never-ending number of love triangles. Not only do the old ones keep making us miserable, but there are new ones to ruin what little peace was achieved. At one point, everyone seems to be at least a little bit in love with everyone else, and there is hurt and bitterness whichever way you turn. Jasper and Dorian seem to be the most popular couple in the trilogy, but even they face new challenges and yet another person added to the mix. As if Dorian’s unrequited love for Caius and his hatred for all Avicen weren’t challenging enough.

On the other side, non-romantic relationships give strength to this story, making it a deep and challenging well of emotions. Most, but not all of them, begin with Echo and her complicated past and present. The friendship between Ivy and her felt genuine from the start and the love that exists there is quite obvious. My favorite, though, is Echo’s view of Ala – as a mother, a teacher, a protector, and a tether to the world of Avicen. Aside from that, the conflict between Caius and his treacherous twin sister was done exceedingly well. His emotions towards her, , ranging from love to disappointment to understanding to betrayal, and especially during their confrontations made it almost difficult to breathe. Poor Caius was abandoned by all except Dorian, but nothing was as painful as the knife his sister shoved in his back.

The ending can’t really be called a cliffhanger, but Echo and her friends are in a very difficult place. It will be challenging to wait a whole year or more for some kind of resolution, but at this point, I have no doubt that Melissa Gray will make it worth our while.
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