The Shadow Hour (The Girl at Midnight #2)
Author: Melissa Grey
Publication: July 12th, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, LGBTQ+
Read: August 2016
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.
Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I’m a little sad to say that I kind of felt like this book was more of a filler. Not a lot happens plot wise, it was more about creating, challenging and building relationships between the characters. It’s more about self-discovery, not only for the main character but for every single character in the entire book. It’s full of action, death, violence, romance and magic. The ending was a huge cliffhanger and I can’t wait until the final showdown in the last book.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’m a fan of Melissa’s writing style. It’s detailed and descriptive enough to help me envision the story but not so much that I feel bogged down by all the details. It’s medium paced so I can still make sense of the action scenes. It’s really funny, I laugh out loud a lot of the times and it’s simple and easy to read. It’s addictive and I can read it really quickly and while there are various POVs, they all feel distinct and unique in their own way.
Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I am utterly in love with the cast of characters in this book. There’s such tortured and emotional little creatures that I just want to love on all day and every day, even if I get confused with their names since they are similar to other books. I was really happy to see more development with the rest of the characters even though Echo is still the main character. She’s under a lot of pressure and totally distressed in this book. She’s had a major change happen in her life and she still has absolutely no idea how to handle things. She’s fearful and overwhelmed for the future but she knows a lot of people are counting on her and she’s responsible for their safety so she’s determined to figure herself out on her own. It’s not the best plan but I love her tenacity and her resilience. The side characters of this book have taken a more pivotal role in the entirety of the story and have grown so much in such a short time span. Ivy has blossomed into a fierce woman, Jasper is much quieter and sensitive, Caius is so loyal and supportive and Dorian is open and honest and fierce. I love them all! I need them to be happy and together and just like safe. Please.
I have to say I was a little disappointed by this book. It didn’t capture my attention like the first one did.
The plot is building foundation for the last book. We pick up with our main characters a few months after the events of the first book. Echo is trying to get her bearings, learning everything that has to do with being the firebird but a new force is threatening to wreck havoc over everything. I felt like this book was a filler plot wise. Nothing incredibly significant to the overall series conflict happened except for this third party evil that showed up which didn’t happen until the last few chapters. It was disappointing because I was expecting to see action everywhere and crazy situations. But what it lacked in action, tension and that kind of entertainment, it made up for it in the character’s development and the growth of their relationships. That’s what this book focuses on and it does it really well. The best part is that it’s not only our main protagonist that has growth, but every single character that is mentioned by name, specially the small band of misfits that make up the gang of this series. I’m so in love with them as individuals and I do ship specific pairings but to see them change and grow and develop into their own people right before my eyes is amazing. They confront their pasts, their prejudice, their fears and always manage to look out for each other and stick together. It was beautiful. The few parts that were all action left me breathless and completely emotional and the ending kept me on the edge of my seat. I am so pumped to see how this series will conclude because it’s going to be epic!
I feel for Echo so much in this book. There is so much riding on her shoulders, and she’s really struggling to keep herself together and to focus on what needs to be done but at the same time, trying not to show anyone so as not to worry them. That in particular was a bit annoying because she has people she can lean on but I understood it, everyone is counting on her. To succeed, to save them and it’s a lot to live up to. She has so much weight and pressure on her shoulders and even when she struggles, she’s brave and determined to do what needs to be done. I just adore her and her actions and her personality. Her relationship with her surrogate mother is precious and I loved seeing their bond. I can’t wait to see how she continues to grow and develop as the fierce and sassy protector that she’s always been.
I am so proud and happy with the way the side characters have blossomed in this series. The first book was honestly all about Echo even if there were some small threads of potential with the rest of the gang. Well that potential is fully and completely explored in this book and it was awesome! Ivy is Echo’s best friend and she was kind of the calm to her storm and she’s grown into her own in this book. She’s so strong and she goes head firsts into the kind of situations that would’ve freaked her out before. I was so proud of her! I can’t wait to see how else she grows. There’s a new character that starts interacting with her that was just so cute and sweet and yeah :D. Dorian is one of the characters that worried me the most because he was so hurt and closed off. But he’s become so much more confident, not only in himself but in his wants. I LOVE HIM TO PIECES. He’s so much more open and honest and just says to hell with it! Jasper on the other hand was always the flirty, sassy one of the group. He’s generally flamboyant but in this book, he shows his more vulnerable side and we get to learn more about his past. A new character is a catalyst to that revelation but it’s so great to see it. It makes him a much more well rounded and complex character. Caius is one of my favorite characters in this whole series because he’s such a constant. He is so supportive and kind, even when he deserves better. After so much pain and struggle, I just really want him to be happy. And lastly, I just want to say that Tanith is freaking psycho.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed with the development of this story. The plot was more a filler book than anything, even with the addition of a new villain and the sections of action packed content. This book was more about the characters and their individual developments which were awesome and I loved them! I’m really excited to see how the last book is going to wrap up the series because I feel like so much more could be explored.
So that’s it for this post! Let me know if you’ve read this book or The Girl at Midnight. If you haven’t yet, you most definitely should because it’s awesome! I’d love to see what you think of my thoughts. Thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you on my next post.