Title: The Girl at Midnight
Author: Melissa Grey
Published: August 28, 2015
357 pages, hardcover
This is a debut novel. When it comes to debut novels, things may go a little weary, or somewhat lackluster within the beginning. Other times, a debut novel could introduce the author with high quality in his/her writing, and reveal to the audience what they're capable of.
Melissa Grey shows us the world of Avicen, a fantasy world within the human realms of New York City. Avicen is mystical, magical and special, but hidden within the shadows...- or preferably, shadow dust. Two worlds held together, but the power of magic conceals everything. To the bird-like creatures of Avicens to fiery human hybrid dragons called Drakhari(s), these main species been at war with each other for centuries. How did the war start? Who knows, the reason's been long gone, yet both party continues to battle without hesitation, blind by ignorance and unquestioned hatred. The war will increase by bloodshed, hatred and fury, and will corrupt all civillians. Unless there's an ultimate resolution: Obtain the firebird.
The world is quite whimsical in its own way without being out of touch. Descriptive, but too descriptive if I might say, and the flowery paragraphs can become overbearing. I enjoyed the Avicen world, but I felt the human world should've been touched, too. Besides the worlds, the Avicen bird/human hybrids are interesting. They're not abnormal creatures, in fact, they respond and act like every other human being, so, suppose it's a good thing? I would like to say the same for Drakhari(s), but unfortunately, the dragon creatures weren't mentioned nor developed as I hoped for.
Characters? They carry high potential being intriguing, well developed characters. There's quirks in each character that makes them stand out, and then the dialogue what shines in the character's development. The main character, Echo, is a snarky, feisty girl who take first, then ask questions later. I find Echo funny and I do appreciate her get-it-done attitude. Other characters? Well, as I previously stated, they have these 'quirks' that makes them stand out, but I feel like they're relying on that one trait as their core personality. Like, (spoiler?) there's feisty girl, nerd, jock... But they don't have anything else besides that, and it becomes somewhat dull.
Not much action, but rather scenarios of hide and seek.
Reading the book is entertaining to a degree, but what stopped me from completing is the cliches. There's many cliches within the story, and I don't have a deliberate issue with cliches, it's just the execution is predictable and in your face, which I cannot bring myself to continue reading. It's like I already knew what's going to happen, and then it happens. I knew who's going to become 'The Chosen One' since the very beginning, knew who's going to be rejected, what's the result ETC. There were plot holes that confused me, and then I wished certain areas were further explained instead of simply appearing within the story.
As of general, I didn't take this story very seriously. On another note, this is the author's first novel, so I not going the rips the story to shreds because it isn't a bad novel, but it's not top notch, either. If I had to rate it, I'll give it a 3.0/3.5 in rating. I say, read it for entertainment or if you have a knack for modern fantasy and description, like, flowery description.