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 read the first book in this series a while ago and without rereading that I attempted reading The Shadow Hour but I highly recommend that, if you don’t remember much of the plot, reread the first book before this one. Otherwise it can become a bit hazy.
So I went back to book one and came back to this one afterwards :p
In The Shadow Hour we follow Echo, Caius, Jasper, Dorian and Ivy after the big battle that ended the first book. The group is currently in London, hiding from the new Dragon Prince but the cramped space is getting on Echo’s nerve and she’s dying to get out of the house.
But her being the Firebird and on top of everyone’s most wanted list makes that very difficult.
She’s sick of it, though. Of being protected by her friends. Of being the firebird. Of being aware of the fact that the firebird isn’t the only thing she drew out when she stabbed herself….. Something more vicious and dark is coming. And it’s her fault.
After the Nest is attacked by an unknown force, Echo and Caius make a run for it. Only Echo can save the Avichen by burning the shadows that destroyed their home. But it’s a dangerous task. One that could cost her life or that of the ones she loves most.
I have to say, this book was a lot like The Girl at Midnight. I know that series have to be like that but I kind of hoped that the sequel had used the time to mature a little when regarding the writing style. I’m not saying that Melissa isn’t a great writer because she’s fantastic but the same things that I found lacking in the first book were lacking here as well.
The Shadow Hour is an action-packed book. A lot of shit is going down and the characters are always in some kind of trouble. But there wasn’t any tension…. if you get what I mean. I had fun reading it. I loved the story but I didn’t feel anything while reading it. There where no shocking moments because you could see them coming from miles away. There wasn’t any suspension when something was supposed to be shocking because the danger was over in a page or two… It was just…. I don’t know… I wanted more angst and drama and thrills.
For example: (Now this is going to be a spoiler sensitive section so if you haven’t read the book yet do that prior to reading this. You have been warned.)
– Echo ran from her friends to protect them, expecting them to chase her after finding out she was gone. They did…. but we never get to see Caius and Rowan’s chase. They just show up in the Museum all of a sudden.
– Tanith’s quest for the Kuçedra. We never get to see her closing in on the beast or the group trying to stop her getting closer. Until the moment she’s already possessed…. and even then they don’t try to stop her because it’s too fucking late *sighs*
– Quinn…. His evil plan of being on the winning side was resolved way too easily and way too early. It took them like half a page to subdue him. It left no room to be shocked or angry or even pleased at being right about him as a reader.
– Caius’ capture. Now, Echo keeps saying that she forgot things due to her intense grieve over Caius being captured yet she doesn’t go after him, doesn’t give him the light of day nor does she have a mental breakdown. Other than uttering the word “no”, Echo doesn’t really feel or experience anything when Tanith takes Caius and disappears. It makes the whole thing grey… Echo didn’t feel anything so as a reader I didn’t really feel much of anything beyond a dull greyness. It transformed a great book into a monotone reading experience and I hate that because The Shadow Hour has such great potential.
– Ivy’s quest. Ivy had to get into Tanith’s stronghold in order to get a book that once belonged to Caius. In order to get out again, she had to get word to one of his supporters in the castle. This side quest could have been soooooooo exciting. It’s one of the most dangerous places to be, for Ivy, at that moment in the book but this too was resolved way too fast.
Spoiler section ends here**
I just missed a lot of feels 😦 That said, I did enjoy the book. It has great potential and I am looking forward to the third book which comes out next year.
I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.
If you love fantasy and mythology, then this is definitely a series you want to try out. It’s got lots of birds related mythology in it (especially the Phoenix and the Firebird) and a set of great characters.