Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

Book: The Shadow Hour
Author: Melissa Grey
Series: The Girl at Midnight #2
Genre: YA fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 432
Release: July 12th, 2016

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.

More stunning descriptions. More quirky remarks. More desperation. And no shortage of high stake missions.

This book picks up a few months after the final revelation of the first book. Echo's entire world has shifted, and it's only a matter of time the Drakharin and Avicen alike find her. But something equal in Echo's new power has also surfaced, and is beginning to wreck havoc searching for her. Echo must find a way to stop this new power before it takes out herself, her friends, and upset the secret society of the Avicen and Dakharin in the human world...

Regret, she thought, was the most nefarious of emotions. It overwhelmed. It strangled. It was utterly useless.

What really stood out to me was how quickly Echo was able to prioritize everything. With such a big revelation, it definitely wouldn't be easy for her to adjust. But she took everything one step at a time, narrowing it down to the basics, all with her trademark humour and quirkiness. Her original desire to be accepted in the Avicen society drastically shifted into trying to learn whether she could still fit in when everyone saw her as a powerful weapon. Her mindset shifted again at the end, forcing herself to be strong, to be the hope the rest of the Avicen believe her to, even though she was beginning to fall apart herself. It set up her character arc for the final book very nicely!

Caius' main struggle was trying to find a way to stop his sister from doing the unthinkable. It really brought out the question of how much you can love your sibling, how much you're willing to forgive, before they cross a line. But regardless of what Tanith did, Caius still loved her, still believed in her goodness even when she began to walk a dark path. He's the brother anyone would want, honestly!

I cannot talk about Dorian without mentioning Jasper. Those two are absolutely adorable, and I love how their relationship grows. From the first book, we already knew that Jasper would be the driving force behind this relationship. However, this book took a different turn with the introduction of Quinn. Quinn's presence presented an interesting juxtaposition; he brought out the worst of Jasper's past, and at the same time pushed the best out of Dorian to fend Quinn off from Jasper. Hence I grudgingly like Quinn, just because he was the catalyst that brought Jasper and Dorian together. I'm really looking forward to seeing how it will work out in the final book!

"If I receive the mission-abort signal from you, I will storm the keep and slay every Firedrake that gets in my way."

The writing was much like the last book: gorgeous descriptions of historical places all around the world, all with a perfect mixture of witty remarks and desperation. The setting bounced all around the world, from Seoul to New York City to Edinburgh to London to the Tian Shan mountains in China. Talk about a global adventure, with everything described in painstaking beauty and detail! Makes me really wish I could travel more...

The magic system continued to grow in this novel, bringing in both new and old concepts. The firebird's existence itself brought about new kinds of powers, and also unlocked some very old and unused magic. However, though we were introduced to different kinds of magic, we also were able to build upon pre-existing magic and spells Echo had used in the first book. It was a great mixture of old and new, one that left you questioning the limits of magic itself!

The ending had a twist I did not see coming, featuring a specific character (NOOOO). Depending on how you see it, it's both better and worse than the ending of the first book, and really sets up the final book really well. After all, who doesn't like a good old fashioned battle between good and evil? All I know is that the finale is going to be epic!

"We never, ever let ourselves forget the thing that have happened, good or bad, but that doesn't mean we're trapped by them. They inform us. They don't define us."


  1. Ooh I haven't read this series yet, but this one sounds interesting! It's been getting mixed review, but I think I would see it for myself! I also tagged you for the greek mythology book tag, you can check it here :)

    1. Yay, thank you so much! I'll get to it asap :)

  2. Well I need to read the first one already lol. I'm glad you enjoyed this one and it sounds like it didn't suffer from book 2 slump. Hooray! :D

    1. Nope, no second-book slump! I was afraid of it too, but thankfully, it wasn't the case :)