Finding a new book series to love isn’t always easy. There’s tons of stuff out there and shifting through all the new releases and new authors can be a harrowing task. Perhaps that is why it was so refreshing to discover The Girl at Midnight by newcomer Melissa Grey, a fun and exciting beginning to a new series about magic, war, and weird bird people.
You know those books you can’t out down because you are too engaged in the characters, too invested in their world? The Girl at Midnight is one of those books. Its irreverent tone and snarky lead are practically begging for a big Hollywood adaptation, something that will no doubt happen down the road.
The Girl at Midnight is the story of a war that has been raging in the more fantastical part of the world. This part of the world is just beyond the vision of humankind, lurking in our shadows and happening in realms we can only dream of. Our hero is a young girl named Echo, an orphan who lives in the New York Public Library – literally, she lives there – who accidentally finds herself thrust into this war.
The world building Grey does is pretty great. The war between the Avicen (feathered, bird-like people) and the Drakharin (dragon folk) is incredibly compelling. It has a mythology to it that feels long-running and lived in. If you didn’t know this was the first book in a series, you’d almost swear Grey had been developing this world over the course of several books. She peppers what you need to know throughout and lets the reader experience the world, as opposed to giving us a huge info dump at the beginning.
What really makes The Girl at Midnight so great, though, is Echo. She’s a great character, snarky, bitter, and funny. Even as she finds herself in increasingly fantastical situations in a world that we can barely imagine, she finds a way to shrug it off with a tone of disinterest and boredom. We all know an Echo, that friend who can’t help but make a joke at the worst time, the friend who always seems to be getting into trouble. That friend who just really wants to eat a burrito. Echo is character that will stand the test of time, a character that readers will fall in love with.
If you are looking for a fun read this summer, check out The Girl at Midnight. It’s fast paced, action packed, and full of laughs. Few series get off to such an interesting and vivid start, which is a true testament to Melissa Grey’s talent. If she can keep this momentum up as the series progresses, Grey will be a name that we’ll be hearing a lot more from in the future. Personally, I’m ready for book 2, so I hope she’s locked away and writing the hell out of the thing, because I need it sooner rather than later.
The Girl at Midnight is available now at book stores everywhere.