Series: The Girl at Midnight #2
Published by Delacorte Press on 2016-07-12
Length: 421 pages
Reviewing Hardcover from My Book Shelf
Reading Challenges: 2017HW
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.
The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey is the second book in the phenomenal urban fantasy series The Girl at Midnight. I loved The Girl at Midnight! I loved the fantasy, I loved the world-building, and I loved Echo. The story is addictive and Echo is a heroine that is easy to fall in love with so I was anxious to start reading the second book. I needed to know what was going to happen to Echo, Caius and the rest of the gang.
Please note that this is the second book in a series. There are minor spoilers to the previous book in this review. If you have not read the first book, read at your own risk.
The end of The Girl at Midnight left me reeling! ECHO IS THE FIREBIRD!!!!! I kinda saw it coming throughout the book, especially towards the end, but aw man that ending. The Shadow Hour picks up a few months later. Echo, Ivy, Dorian, Jasper, and Caius are in hiding. Both the Avicen and Drakharin are looking for them, and more specifically looking for Echo. They want to use her to end the war. BUT trouble is brewing in the form of the kuçedra which is the opposite of the firebird. There has to be a balance in the universe and this is what it created, the shadows to Echo’s light. Seriously this thing is creepy.
Echo struggles in this book, not only with herself but with the firebird living inside her. It’s one thing to have a legend living inside you but another to have all the other hosts’ ghosts also living in you. Because of this, Echo feels temporarily lost. She doesn’t know where she ends and the ghosts begin. She doesn’t know if her feelings for Caius are hers or Rose’s. She doesn’t know how to cope with all the knowledge she suddenly has and my heart ached for her.
Then there’s the inevitable love triangle. I knew it was coming. How could it not with Echo starting the series with Rowan and ending the last book with Caius? It was bound to happen but I loathed it all the same. I hate this trope in books. I understand it but I still hate it. Despite my hatred for triangles, this one is written very well. Echo loves both guys in different ways. Rowan is home, he’s her constant, her best friend, and playmate. Caius challenges her, makes her feel comfortable in her own skin, and has never questioned what she can do because she is human, he just accepts it. For once, the author had me torn between the two. Usually I lean one way or the other but I like both of them and I want her to choose but I don’t know who I want ?
The plot of this story revolves around two things: finding out how to wield the firebird’s power AND figuring out how to stop the kuçedra. Like with the previous book, I was blown away by the world-building and vivid imagery. Really Melissa Grey has outdone herself. Usually I go into the second book with hesitation because usually second books fall to second-book syndrome becoming a bridge or stopgap to the last book. Not the case with The Shadow Hour! It was just as good as the first and the world continued to be built upon. I love it!!!
Overall I could seriously fangirl about the story all day long. I love Echo and I cannot wait to find out what will happen next. And that cliffhanger?!?! I can’t deal! I need to know ASAP what will happen. Good thing the wait isn’t long. As I’ve already warned, this is the second book in the series and you really can’t read this one without reading the first. I don’t suggest you try it 😉 If you enjoy urban fantasy or enjoyed Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I highly recommend you begin this series. It does not disappoint!