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The Girl at Midnight, by Melissa Grey

Review copy provided by Delacorte Press.

On the immediate level, this book is a pretty generic teen fantasy of a type very popular in the last few years: sarcastic special girl, two races of secret magical beings–in this case there is Team Dragon-People and Team Bird-People–plus a war and lots of cute boys. It has a breezy, readable voice, but the large-scale structure is very, very generic.

Happily, the details are not. There is, for example, an antagonist character I thought was being set up for an entire trilogy worth of antagging. But no, that situation is resolved rather completely and rather abruptly, with ramifications elsewhere! There are best friends for both of the main POV characters, and those best friends have their own goals and interests, rather than living only in Sidekick City. And Grey burns plot, getting through events that some authors would take a trilogy to portray in one book, leaving one a little breathless and eager to find out what will go in the actual next book.

So this is a book for “if you like that sort of thing, it’s the sort of thing you’ll like,” sure. But it’s also a book for those who don’t particularly like that sort of thing and are willing to see how and where the boundaries of a sub-genre can be stretched.

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