In Melissa Grey’s The Shadow Hour, Echo is a different person. This is to be expected after the events of The Girl at Midnight, which I discussed my love for here. But there was more to it than just a physical/metaphysical transformation. No, in this book, Echo has learned and done so much more than she wanted to.
In The Shadow Hour, Echo discovers that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,” and that rule of physics transcends worlds. As she learns more about her role as the firebird, so she also learns that there is a darkness—the kuçedra—to balance out her light, and it will do everything it can to find her.
This burden weighs so much on Echo, and it creates a discernibly different tone in the second book in this series. Snark still abounds, of course, but the light of it is balanced with how much Echo stands to lose. And so, the story becomes more about what we do as people when we are faced with loss: How do we rise again from the ashes? How do we continue on when everything feels so hopeless? Echo has to find the answers to those questions as she tracks the kuçedra, and tries to save those she loves the most from the thing she now fears the most.
There is more of a love triangle in this book between Echo and Caius and Rowan, but it is predicated more on the idea that Echo must be able to hang onto the light within her, versus oversimplified emotions. Echo changes so much, growing closer to Caius but still dealing with her feelings for Rowan. Now that she stands to lose them both, the feelings she has for the two of them—and the rest of the people she loves—are all the more complex.
The developing love between Jasper and Dorian—Avicen and Drakharin, once mortal enemies—does serve to balance out the shadow of Echo’s struggle, and to remind the reader that even in the darkest of times, love is love is love, and it will shine through no matter what.
I cannot wait for the third book in the series.
ABOUT THE SHADOW HOUR:
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.
ABOUT MELISSA GREY:
Melissa Grey penned her first short story at the age of twelve and hasn’t stopped writing since. As an undergrad at Yale, she learned how ride a horse and shoot a bow and arrow at the same time, but hasn’t had much use for that skill since graduating in 2008.
Her debut novel, THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT (Delacorte/Random House), is out now. The second book in the trilogy, THE SHADOW HOUR, will be published July 2016. The third and final book of the series will come out summer 2017.
To learn more about Melissa, visit melissa-grey.com and follow her on Twitter @meligrey.
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2 sets of GIRL AT MIDNIGHT & THE SHADOW HOUR (US/Canada Only)