The Shadow Hour

432p. (Girl at Midnight: Bk. 2). Delacorte. Jul. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780385744676.
Gr 9 Up—In The Girl at Midnight, readers met Echo, a pickpocket who ended up in an ancient underground society beneath New York City full of people called the Avicen. Members of this race must remain hidden because of their feathers and their magic. When rumors of an upcoming war reach Echo's ears, she decides to do anything she can to save the people she considers family. Supposedly, if a mythical entity called the Firebird can be found, the conflict will end forever. As a thief, Echo knows there is one thing she is good at—finding items and taking them. The second entry opens as the heroine discovers that she is the Firebird. Now, she must learn to harness her new powers in order to face off against the darkness that comes with the Dragon Prince's arrival. The end battle will find someone close to Echo stolen away, which will set the stage for the final fight, when she will have to resort to her original skills and set out to "steal" this person back. Overall, this is an intriguing paranormal fantasy that focuses on a secret society hidden among everyday, ordinary people. Recommended for teens interested in fantasy worlds and epic battles.
Echo, who sought the firebird in a secret city under NYC (The Girl at Midnight), now is the firebird. But the firebird's light calls to the darkness in another mythical creature, doubling the danger for Echo's kind. The darkness-versus-light conflict, a feisty heroine struggling with new powers, and a love triangle add to the genre appeal of this solid urban fantasy.

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