STARRED REVIEW
April 28, 2015

A girl caught in an ancient war

By Melissa Grey
Review by

Seventeen-year-old Echo is human, but the feathered Avicen are her only family. Ten years ago, the Ala caught her pickpocketing in the New York Public Library and, rather than punish the small child, took her under her magical wing. When the centuries-old war between the Avicen and the Drakharin—scaled descendants of dragons—suddenly heats up, Echo is eager to prove her loyalty by tracking down the legendary firebird.

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Seventeen-year-old Echo is human, but the feathered Avicen are her only family. Ten years ago, the Ala, leader of the Avicen, caught her pickpocketing in the New York Public Library and, rather than punish the small child, took her under her magical wing. When the centuries-old war between the Avicen and the Drakharin—scaled descendants of dragons—suddenly heats up, Echo is eager to prove her loyalty by tracking down the legendary firebird. If she is successful, she will end the violence and bring peace to the two warring tribes. But her mission is not as clear-cut as it seems, and along the way Echo comes to question everything she once believed.

Catnip for fans of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, Melissa Grey’s debut novel (the first in a promising trilogy) weaves a strong coming-of-age tale into a beautifully rendered urban fantasy. Sassy Echo’s no-nonsense attitude and hard edges are tempered by her very realistic teenaged insecurities (which mostly revolve around boys and belonging). The supporting characters—friends and foes alike, all as vividly developed as Echo—also toe that line between fantastical warrior and emotional human as they navigate the Avicen- and Drakharin-run streets of New York, Strasbourg, Paris, London and Kyoto. Echo’s quest is full of action, self-discovery and even a little romance, and leads to an epic climax of feathers and flames that will have young audiences clamoring for the sequel.

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Get the Book

The Girl at Midnight

The Girl at Midnight

By Melissa Grey
Delacorte
ISBN 9780385744652

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