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BOOK REVIEW: The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

| 28 July 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

Atom Books
July 2016
Paperback, £7.99
Reviewed by Aly Locatelli



The bird that sings at midnight from within its cage of bone
will rise from blood and ashes, to greet the truth unknown.

Although I really enjoyed The Shadow Hour whilst reading, it took me a long time to get round to reviewing it. Firstly, because my laptop broke and the loaner I was using was awful — clunky, chunky and slow as anything — and then because… well, it wasn’t memorable. Unlike The Girl At MidnightThe Shadow Hour doesn’t hold the same magic, sense of adventure or thick plot. Although interesting, there were a lot of moments where the story was just… meh.

“We never, ever let ourselves forget the things that have happened, good or bad, but that doesn’t mean we’re trapped by them. They inform us. They don’t define us.”

The Shadow Hour picks up directly where The Girl At Midnight left off. Echo has discovered she is the Firebird; the Drakharin prince, Caius, has lost everything to his evil, scheming sister and the Avicen and Drakharin are officially at war. With bloody battles looming, though, Echo and the gang are facing a bigger problem: the kucedra.

In all mythology, where there is light, there is darkness. The same goes for The Shadow Hour: where the firebird represents light and freedom, the kucedra is the opposite, sucking all the light from the world and feeding off souls. The kucedra threatens everything both the Avicen and the Drakharin stand for, but will they unite to defeat it once and for all?

“And if you can’t believe in yourself yet, then know that I believe in you. I believe in your goodness and your light, especially when you can’t see it.”

As stated above, although I enjoyed this novel, I had issues with it. As someone who enjoys (if not loves) love triangles, it irked me that one was forced into this novel when, in the previous book, the love triangle did not exist. Echo’s relationship with Rowan was over and done with, and therefore did not need to be brought back for the sake of extra angst in this novel, not when Echo was so enthralled by Caius in The Girl At Midnight. And not when there are bigger things she should be worrying about, other than hurting Rowan’s or Caius’s feelings. However, I did enjoy learning more about Jasper and his past (especially with a super interesting warlock, Quinn) and his progress with Dorian when it had come to such a stand still in The Girl At Midnight. Jasper and Ivy are definitely two of my favorite characters, both completely different from one another, but also incredibly similar: they love fiercely and wholly. We get to know the general cast of characters a lot better, with backstories to fill in the blanks, and each character is three-dimensional with their own goals and hopes for the future. Which was incredibly refreshing to see.

“There was work to do. Things to steal. Monsters to fight. Mystery illnesses to cure. Tears were not on the agenda.”

The other problem I had with The Shadow Hour was that it info-dumped a lot, rendering a seemingly interesting mythical story almost tiring to read. Rather than it being action-packed and humorous like its predecessor, The Shadow Hour just seemed to lack the charm, magic and personality that the story promised in the blurb. However, although it had it’s bad bits, it was also an enjoyable novel, one I looked forward to reading and one that did engage me from time to time when the plot moved forward and didn’t remain stagnant.

I was really happy to see that the humor from the first book followed into this one. Melissa Grey has a way of writing that is both engaging, beautifully poetic, but also dry and funny when the time calls for it. And if Echo is involved, the time for inappropriate jokes is always. 

The third book comes out next year, and with the way things were left off in The Shadow Hour, I’m definitely excited to see where things are going and what’s going to happen next. Although this book didn’t quite have the second-book-spunk I usually love, it definitely didn’t suffer from the ghastly second-book-slump.

Read my review of The Girl At Midnight!


(The Shadow Hour is Book 2 of The Girl At Midnight trilogy.)

Category: Book Reviews

About the Author ()

21. A reader, a writer, a reviewer and a full-time sloth lover. I am addicted to coffee and my laptop, and love reading especially when it's rainy outside.

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