The Shadow Hour
By: Melissa Grey
Release Date: July 12th 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Print ARC
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 really enjoyed The Girl at Midnight last year so I was thrilled to be able to pick up a copy of this follow-up at TLA. I think that overall this was a good sequel though the beginning of the book did have slower pacing. As things picked up though, I became immersed and very invested as to what was going on with the story. I think it left off wonderfully for the third book.
I chose not to reread the first book so that could be why when I started this one I wasn’t as invested. It didn’t take too long though for me to get back into the characters and start rooting for Echo. Things aren’t simple for her at all since she is now the Firebird and the subject of prophecy. I think Grey approached her character incredibly well and gave her strength yet self doubt as to what lay before her. I think her struggles were very realistic and the pressure she felt was well done. I loved that she dealt with uncertainty and wasn’t fully able to rely on what she should be capable of. She doubted her own nature and what being the firebird meant for her and those around her. I can’t imagine the pressure of knowing that others are in danger by your mere presence.
I really enjoy the side characters in these books and the building up of relationships between all of them. The dialog was strong and I could feel character chemistry for the most part. I was very intrigued with the sister/brother relationship between the Dragon Prince and Caius. The little bits of their history we see and the struggles they have being on opposite sides really resonated with me.
Jasper was such a great sense of humor and relief from some of the more serious parts of the book. He was so incredibly likeable once again. Of course his dialog with Dorian was amazing and these two characters bring out the best in one another.
As far as the storyline goes I do think this book had a bit of the ‘second book syndrome’ but I do think it is well worth the read. It progressed the story well (especially the last bit) and has set things up for an amazing finish.
I don’t feel that The Shadow Hour was as strong as the first book but I do think it progressed the storyline and characters very well. I loved reading the struggles Echo had having so much pressure on her being the firebird. Once again Caius was a favorite of mine and I’m excited to see what will happen in book 3.