The Girl at Midnight was one of my favorite books last year, making The Shadow hour one of my most awaited releases of 2016. It was an overall good read, but I loved it a bit less than book one.
The Shadow Hour starts a few months after the ending of The Girl at Midnight and find our crew – Echo, Dorian, Jasper, Caius and Ivy – in hiding. The whole supernatural world is looking for them and weird things are happening around the world that indicate another unknown dark entity might be a player as well. Mysterious enough? Well, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Just be happy to know that the plot is a bit predictable at times, but surprising most times.
“When she was leaning against the roof’s cold concrete with Caius just inches from her, she didn’t feel like a person of interest, or a chess piece in the war between the Avicen and the Drakharin. She was just a girl, lying next to a boy, gazing up at the stars.”
I liked Echo in this installment of the series, but I think I liked her better in the first book. She’s still stubborn, loyal, careful, but is also doubting herself a lot more. We can see the character growth by the end of the book, she learned to trust herself and her instincts more, but she’s confused too. I LOVE Caius. He’s now clear about his feelings, but also insecure because Echo gives mixed signals. He’s protective of her, believes in her and wants her to be safe and happy. Isn’t he sweet? *sigh*
Here is the part that I didn’t like my dear readers: There are two lopsided triangles. To show you what I mean, it felt exactly like the picture below. The “main character” is obviously leaning toward one of the love interests, but there are confusing scenes with another love interest. I didn’t mind it as much with Jasper, but it grated every time that Echo got all confused about Rowen and Caius. This is completely personal, I know, but I can’t help but love and root for Caius. Not that Rowen isn’t sweet and understanding, but I need Echo to make up her mind!
“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.”
The characterization is really good and there are other side stories running parallel during the book. The story is told from a third point of view and it allow us to be aware of all that does on. Melissa Gray’s writing amazing, it has a special quality that makes it lyrical. The dialogue and banter among our cast of characters is priceless. From Echo’s snarkynes, to Dorian’s stiffness, to Caius formality… as I said, priceless.
Overall, The Shadow Hour was good, just not as good that I expected. I still liked it and it has a sort of mini cliffhanger so I will be eagerly waiting for The Savage Dawn, the conclusion of the trilogy due next year.
Julia Whelan narrator of The Shadow Hour and the previous book to was outstanding. The acting was amazing and the voices very distinctive from each other, even the male voices. I’ve listen to a couple of books she narrated before and she’s definitely a favorite of mine.