Review: The Girl at Midnight

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Goodreads Summary:

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, though 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.

This description had me pretty excited, but the overall effect left me wanting. I’ve seen a lot of reviews comparing it to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and while I see the general similarities, I don’t think I agree overall as this story was original enough in it’s own right not to be a riff on Taylor’s series.

My main issues with this book were

  • The overuse of snark – one character all right, but when every character is brimming with dramatic phrases and snappy comebacks it gets old, and gives a certain immaturity to it all. After our main character goes through some major emotional moments and does a bit of growing it does get a little better.
  • Insta-love, on several fronts. There were four relationships basically going on in this story. All of them in some sort of beginning or ending, and often including the same people. I love me a romantic element to a story, but I felt this one was way too centered on who was staring deep into whose eyes and failing to emphasize any connections that moved very far beyond appearance.
  • Pacing. With alternating POVs, we often relive the same moment from a different set of eyes, I thought this was unnecessary and reflected the general need of editing I felt this book needed.

Those are some pretty major issues, I know. Honestly, unless I see amazing reviews for the second book that emphasize the author’s wiring improvements, I can’t say I will be giving it a shot.

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