The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey
Format: ARC provided by the author through Delacorte Press
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, young adult, magic, dragons are still way sexier than birds
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Summary: Now that the legendary firebird has been found, Echo and her Scooby Gang have another problem: the creation of a legendary creature made of shadows — the ying to the firebird’s yang — known as the kucedra. Can the Avicen and the Drakharin finally put their differences aside and work together, or will the rise of the kucedra mark the end of both their races?
Melissa Grey’s The Shadow Hour — the thrilling follow-up to The Girl at Midnight — continues the story of Echo, a runaway thief who is torn between two warring races of magical creatures: the feather-covered Avicen and the scale-laden Drakharin.
The story picks up right where The Girl at Midnight left off, with Echo and her gang dealing with their discovery of the firebird, the alleged key to ending the centuries long fight between the Avicen and the Drakharin.
Unfortunately for them, the rise of the firebird also means the creation of an equally ancient creature known as the kucedra. Where the firebird is a creature of flame, the kucedra is one of shadow, the evil to the firebird’s good. It also mean’s dragon in Albanian, so Grey is really playing with a lot of fun dichotomies in this book.
While the firebird is prophecized to end the war, I have a feeling it will be the kucedra who finally brings the Avicen and Drakharin together in the third and final book. You know, because when you have two immortal races in an eternal war of hate you can’t just wait for all the racist ones to die out. See, sometimes death can be a good thing!
But let’s be honest, all this plot stuff is really secondary to Grey’s stellar writing and amazing characters, including everyone’s favorite eventual couple Dorian and Jasper who steal the entire book, a brand new bisexual warlock character named Quinn who is simultaneously the best and worst, and Caius’ sister Tanith who is killing it in the villain category. Amazing clothing, pithy one liners and a redemption arc? Yas queen!
Avicen healer Ivy also gets a really great scene in the novel that I will not spoil (not to mention a potential new love interest), but suffice it to say it gave me some serious Vampire Willow feels.
As for Echo, Caius and Rowan? Let’s just say they’re all bad at relationshipping and need to get their ridiculous love triangle in order.
Dear Echo, this is young adult fiction. Both of the boys you are in love with are definitely sexy, but let’s be honest, the dragon people are definitely sexier than the bird people — not that I can really envision what either group looks like without making them look absolutely ridiculous.
Anyway, sexy humanoid creatures aside, while I found The Shadow Hour to be stronger than its predecessor, due to the machinations of the plot and the spot on character development, the story is definitely not as fun and light-hearted as the original, with more of a focus on plot and much less on world building.
Here’s hoping book three is a combination of all the things I love about the first two novels rolled into one!
- Full of Grey’s beautiful writing (as per usual)
- No sequel slump here
- Jasper and Dorian are everything
- I need more of Tanith and I need it right now
- Sad to lose the fun moments and the focus on a hidden magical New York
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