Book Review: The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

Posted September 15, 2020 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

The Shadow Hour

The Shadow Hour

by Melissa Grey

Series: The Girl at Midnight #2
Publisher: Delacorte Press on July 12, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIAP+, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: ★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

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.


In my review of The Girl At Midnight, I said this series was original, but written in a way that didn’t leave me invested or even interested… and I wouldn’t be continuing the series.

Then, for some reason, The Shadow Hour ended up on my TBR.  I think it was a mix of cover love, and having completely forgotten why I didn’t like The Girl at Midnight.  I started listening and BAM! I was immediately hit with all the things I didn’t like from book one.  The way character behavior is described in a sort of sideways manner – “so-and-so played with his left thumbnail when he was nervous, which was what he was doing now”.

Problem is… the elements that I did kinda like from The Girl At Midnight weren’t in this one.  There was no treasure hunt, and the novelty of the unique characters has worn off.  I probably should have DNF’d it by 25% but, well, I was listening at work and I was busy and got distracted by actually working, and ended up seeing it through.  At 2x speed, mind you, but I did finish it.

And by the end? *sigh*

I feel like this book had a whole lot of fluttering eyelashes and very little actual substance.  There was a quest of sorts, but for he most part, we’re really jumping back and forth between different romantic pairings where the plot always pauses so the reader may enjoy an inner monologue about their feelings about the other character in the scene.  And, of course, we have a love triangle.  I’m trying to be less judgmental about these in their own accord, but the two options made such little viable sense in the world building that the triangle was less the problem than the pairing itself.

In short, I should have stuck to my gut feeling and let The Shadow Hour pass me by.  It’s very much not my kind of story and by the end I was annoyed and exhausted.  The characters didn’t seem to grow or develop and the only real plot movement I experienced was the birth of the villain.  Even then, it felt like a lot of blather for little reward.

Keep in mind, though, this is opinion.  I am not driven by romance in books – it rarely interests me and I have a track record of getting frustrated when a romantic storyline takes precedence over the perceived plot line.  While this is a trait that bothers me, it’s not something others may find a hinderance.  If you enjoy a YA fantasy love story, The Shadow Hour may be just right for you.  In fact, there are several love stories here!

But it’s not right for me and for really real this time I am not continuing the series.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★1/2
Writing: ★★★
Pacing: ★★★
Narrator: ★★★
Personal Enjoyment:

2 Star rating


Have you ever continued a series against your better judgement?  If so, what book was it that drew you in?  Did it surprise you and save the series for you?  Or did it solidify your opinion?  Let me know how it worked out in the comments!

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