Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Earlybird Review: The Girl At Midnight by Melissa Grey + My Tragic Attempt at Nail Art

Title: The Girl At Midnight
Series: The Girl At Midnight #1
Author: Melissa Grey
Publisher: Hachette
Publication date: April 28th, 2015
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Adventure

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1)
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.

The Girl at Midnight had me hooked from the very first page. The story started off with what I can honestly say was probably the best prologue I’ve ever read - I was captivated by it and it lead my hopes for this book to become incredibly high.

From the snippet I saw in the prologue I was compelled to keep reading, I became obsessed with wanting to learn more about this intricate world that was created, and the variety of magical races it contained. Grey skilfully masters that ‘normal girl in a fantasy world’ trope by doing what most others don’t - providing us with the appropriate information when necessary instead of a general dump of information - it kept things flowing in a natural progression that didn’t overwhelm me. In a way the slower and more natural flow made me more welcome to the information presented, and I came to embrace this new world rather than shy away from it. Which was appropriate, because the world building was phenomenal. I couldn’t get enough of it.

There’s also the writing which was for the most part beautiful. The imagery is so strong and vivid - I felt connected to characters, settings and situations. Also the inclusion of such sass/snark/banter was a highlight. On a number of occasions I’d find myself smirking, giggling or gasping.

I loved Echo. She was a spit fire - brutally honest and full of sass and witty banter. I loved how brash she was and her sense of humour was hilarious, and though she definitely had her hilarious heroine qualities, her vulnerabilities and sensitivities were also present and I felt they made her so much more humane. In a family full of feathered magical creatures, Avicen, she was a simple human, which understandably made room for insecurities, but as the story progresses she learns to deal with her differences. She learns where her true strengths lie and the maturity she develops was refreshing - no nonsense here, friend. Echo becomes one hell of a heroine. She’s snarky, spunky, sassy and all around bad-ass. You don’t know how much I love to see a human heroine without magical abilities kicking-ass in a magic-wielding world. It’s just a little bit of emphasis on the importance of individual strengths.

Echo finds herself caught up in a cross-world hunt for clues to help the Avicen, her feathered magical friends. Hunting for these clues to end a magical war that spans lifetimes gives the story a quick pace, and kept the pages turning.

The book also featured such a rich set of characters. I gained not one, but two new book boyfriends: Rowan and Caius. Rowan: supportive, sweet and caring. Caius: aggressive, intense and immortal. Rough around the edges with a soft heart. What’s not to love?! The rest of the gang was pretty excellent too, Jasper, Dorian, Ivy, The Ala, etc. They were all interesting and incredibly genuine characters.

As you can tell, I loved this book. For the most part, I did, but for some unknown reason it just wasn’t 5 stars for me.. I can’t put my finger on it.. Maybe it was just my mood? Because of school and exams I didn’t get to read this book as quickly as I would have liked. Stopping and starting it was probably what stopped me from enjoying it to its fullest potential.

Ooh, but all I’ll say about the ending is: it definitely cemented me intrigue and excitement for the sequel. I need to know what happens next!

If you’re looking for magic and mystery, The Girl at Midnight is where it’s at. I was completely taken by these characters, the adventure and atmosphere of the intricate world they live in, and the sassy humour that made it all the more excellent. It kept me on my toes the entire time. I am positive this book will cause quite a storm upon release, and well-deserved too. TGAM is in the same vein as Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I think it would also appeal to fans of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments Series.

4/5 keys to my heart!

As part of the promotion for The Girl At Midnight I was invited to participate in a nail art competition hosted by the lovely folks over at Date A Book and of course, the Bookish Manicurist. Here are a few pictures of my tragic attempt:


  1. Great review. I have heard so many great things about this one.

  2. Thanks! And yes, there are plenty of great things to be said about this one. If you do read it, I hope you enjoy it just as much as I have! :)

  3. This sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.


Leave a comment!