Published by Delacorte Press on April 28th 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, YA
Magic lives in our darkest corners.
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.
Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.
Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants…and how to take it.
But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.
I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, exercising (what? It happens!), cooking and playing semi-mindless games on my phone.
In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.
While it definitely reminded me a lot of the Daughter of Smoke and Bones series, that was a good thing since I love that series. I was surprised by how much action there was for a first in a series book, and surprised in a good way. And while I liked heroine Echo, some of the side characters were definitely more intriguing- Ivy, Jasper, Dorian and the Ala were given their own stories and unique dynamics. Echo’s story is a little more common- there’s two boys, mortal enemies, war and death, she’s the key to it all, you know the drill.
So while Grey didn’t reinvent the wheel (or story, as the case may be), she did add some great characters and settings. Loved the hidden city beneath NYC- especially underneath the library, and I kind of want to live at Jasper’s place. Also, you know I can’t say no to a book that has the word Midnight anywhere in the title (well, except Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare- yes, I know there are plenty of people who love her writing, but TMI bored me, and I cannot ever forgive her for the atrocity that was The Iron Trial).
I am partly mad at myself for waiting so long to finally read this book, and partly pleased with myself since now the wait for the 3rd book (which comes out this summer) won’t be so very long, and until then I still have book 2 to look forward to. I’m hoping the book 2 answers some questions that need more information (Echo’s family, the whole war and why anyone is bothering to still fight it, why Caius’s twin is such a bitch).
Unsurprisingly, Julia Whelan nailed the narration! I don’t know if I would have liked the book as much as I did if I hadn’t listened to it- it’s the power of a great narrator!