The Shadow Hour: The Girl at Midnight, Book 2
Melissa Grey’s THE SHADOW HOUR is the highly-anticipated sequel to 2015’s THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT --- one of my favorite releases of last year. Echo is learning to come to terms with the fact that she is the firebird --- an ancient and powerful force of light that is said to bring peace between the warring Avicen and Drakharin. However, with light there is dark, and Echo can feel an opposing dark force threatening to destroy everything and everyone she holds dear.
"THE SHADOW HOUR is just as full of magic, excitement, and intriguing characters as its first installment."
Needless to say I was eager to find out how the characters that I came to love would fare after the disastrous events of the first book, and, thankfully, I was not disappointed. This book certainly does not suffer from the dreaded "second book syndrome" --- THE SHADOW HOUR is just as full of magic, excitement, and intriguing characters as its first installment. Each character has become more complex and the stakes have been raised, but there is still the humor in the dialogue and story itself that creates a wonderful balance which makes THE SHADOW HOUR such an exciting page-turner. The only aspect of this story I found to be tiring was the classic love triangle that exists between Echo, Caius and Rowan. I’m glad that it is not the main focus of the story as I found myself reading quickly past these sections in order to get to the more exciting parts.
Grey’s writing shines brightest in her excellent characters. Each is complex, well-developed, and unique. Her “good” characters are, of course, lovable but I especially appreciate her ability to create villains with believable motivations and character flaws that add depth intrigue to the story. Echo is a great protagonist whose intelligence, snark and introspection make her a joy to experience the story with. She is perhaps one of my favorite protagonists in recent memory, and she truly stands out among the proverbial herd.
THE GIRL AND MIDNIGHT and THE SHADOW HOUR are perfect for fans of Laini Taylor’s The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. The two series share several similarities, but THE SHADOW HOUR has made Grey’s series feel more unique. I would recommend it to readers looking for an exciting, character driven story that is exciting from beginning to end. Plus, Echo lives in a secret room in the New York Public Library --- who wouldn’t love that?
Reviewed by Katherine Szabo on August 9, 2016