Book Review: The Shadow Hour And The Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey

Book: The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

Published July 2016 by Delacorte Press|421 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: The Girl At Midnight #2

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

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.

I liked The Shadow Hour!  Echo really comes to terms with being the firebird and what that means.  Things are certainly darker in this book, and I liked seeing Echo fight a growing darkness that came about when she became the firebird.

I didn’t really care for the love triangle in this book.  It made sense in The Girl At Midnight, but now?  It’s boring and unnecessary, in my opinion.  And I kind of hate that Echo didn’t say anything when she and Caius were talking with Rowan.  Echo is a great character, and she really does come into her own, but I still wish she had said something.  Wait, did I say love triangle?  Because I meant love triangles.  I don’t particularly care for Rowan and Echo, and I don’t particularly care about Caius and Echo, but better Caius than Rowan.  At least we actually spend more time with Caius.

And the whole triangle between Quinn, Jasper and Dorian?  I don’t get it either.  I can barely handle one love triangle on the best of days, much less two.  Something about Quinn really bothered, and I can’t quite place why.  Jasper is a little odd as well, but not to the degree that Quinn is.  I am not a fan, and that is all I have to say about that.

Speaking of Jasper, I really do love him, and he’s pretty awesome.  I think he’s my favorite character in the series, hands down.  It’s not that I don’t like the other characters, because I do (minus Rowan, because he just bothers me), but Jasper is the one I absolutely love.  Really, Echo has quite the group, and something about them reminds me of the group we see in Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

We do see a little bit of Echo’s life before she comes to live with the Avicen.  I was curious about what her life was like before Ala came into her life, and we get a glimpse of that.  I still wish we saw more of it, because for some reason, it feels like it should be a bigger deal.  I don’t know if it’s just me and my wishful thinking, or if I just want there to be more of a connection between her past and her becoming a firebird, but I really hope it goes in that direction.

My Rating: 3 stars.  I did like it, but at this point, I just want to finish the series to see how it all ends.

Book: The Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey

Published July 2017 by Delacorte Press|496 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: The Girl At Midnight #3

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

The war between light and dark has begun. The sides have been chosen and the battle lines drawn.

After awakening the firebird, Echo is now the only one with the power to face the darkness she unwittingly unleashed upon the world…right into the waiting hands of Tanith, the new Dragon Prince. Tanith has one goal in mind: destroy her enemies, raze their lands, and reign supreme in a new era where the Drakharin are almighty and the Avicen are nothing but a memory.

The war that has been brewing for centuries is finally imminent. But the scales are tipped. Echo might hold the power to face the darkness within the Dragon Prince, but she has far to go to master it. And now she’s plagued by uncertainty. Is she strong enough to stare into the face of evil and not lose herself in its depths?

The war has begun, and there is no looking back. There are only two outcomes possible: triumph or death.

So, I was pretty determined to finish this series just to see how ended.  As the series went on, I lost interest in what happened, and while I’m glad I’m finished with this series, I’m also wishing (just a little bit) that I had spent the time I was reading this book on a different one.

It was such a cool idea at first, and I think, of the trilogy, I still liked the first one the best.  The way I feel about this series is the way I felt about the Golden Compass series- the first one was cool and interesting, but the following books were kind of unnecessary.  I hate making this comparison, but it’s like a boring version of the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.  I was also initially reminded of that Laini Taylor series (I think it’s Daughter Of Smoke and Bone) but it’s been ages since I’ve read the first one, and I never finished the series, so I don’t know how accurate the comparison to that series is.  Maybe go with Laini Taylor or Leigh Bardugo, because I think I’d have to recommend those two series over this one.  Or even read The Girl At Midnight, but stop there.  I kind of wish I had done that.

Everything felt so drawn out, and it was a struggle to get through this one.  I thought there wasn’t a lot of action, and usually the last book is the most action-packed as we race towards a conclusion.  Not this book.  It was pretty much something to read while I was waiting for the laundry to be done (I am so used to having a washer/dryer around that having to go to an onsite laundry mat is a little weird getting used to).

It also seemed like there was a lot of filler, which I would expect from a second book- and maybe even bits and pieces of it in the first one- but certainly not in the last one.  There seemed to be a lot of unnecessary description.

The characters also seemed to be the same people that they were in the 2nd book, and I wanted a little bit more change and growth from them in this one.  Some characters (like Ivy and the Ala) are randomly mentioned but we don’t see what happens with them.  Things are mentioned once or twice, but never mentioned again.

And the ending was boring as well.  Things happened that should have gotten a reaction from me, but they didn’t because by that point, I just didn’t care.  And there was one moment that was a little bit of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of moment.  I should have cared, but like I said, I didn’t.  I think I was just so ready to be done with the book and the series that I found myself skimming over quite a bit of the book, especially towards the end.

I think one of the very, very few things I actually like was actually finishing.

My Rating: 2 stars.  I don’t care enough to give this book one stars, and I’m just glad I’m finished with this series and The Savage Dawn.  It was too drawn out and not enough action.

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