26.3.15

Book Blurb Breakdown: The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

book blurb breakdown

Book Blurb Breakdown is a Sarcasm & Lemons feature where your anal English degree-holding author (gently) rips apart jacket blurbs to pin down what makes her want to pick up the book instantly--and what makes her want to throw it at the wall.  See the original post for more detail.  


ANNOUNCEMENT

At the suggestion of the delightful Aimee of Deadly Darlings, I've decided to make this a meme.  Starting this week and continuing now on from 12:10 am EST on Thursdays, you too can shred a blurb and post for the world to see!  Just link back with this fancy little button and add your name to the linky at the bottom.  I'm so excited to see others' thoughts!  

You can choose to shred the same blurb, or pick your own!  






today's blurb






Status:  Unread


the blurb: as is 
from Goodreads

For readers of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire. 


the blurb:  shredded 

For readers of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, The Girl at Midnight (Alright, so as sick as I am of the comparison game, at least this one suggests that readers who liked those books will like these.  It implies the comparison, of course, but at least it isn't obvious about it.) is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.  (I'm interested so far.  I liked those two books.  I like ancient wars.)

Beneath the streets of New York City (Of course, because this is the only freaking city on Earth where things happen. #ChicagoBitterness) live the Avicen (Not a bad name.), an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. (This is pretty good.  Succinct, keeps up the mystery but gives you enough to hold onto.) Age-old (This doesn't really say "ancient wards" so much as "putting eggs on your hair to avoid hair loss") enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. (This is super confusing. I thought it meant "all but one Avicen is hidden" versus "they're hidden from all but one human") Echo (So I do love this name, but do people always have to have something unusual?) is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market (I'm curious how a teenager has black market connections.  I can understand pawning stolen items, but the black market isn't just something you wander into. It just stretches my credulity. And I've a sinking feeling she's a strangely amazing thief for her age, too.), and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.  (Despite my whining, this is a good first paragraph.  You get a sense of the set-up quickly and efficiently.  Except I want to know: why the heck do these magical bird-people live under NYC?  If they're so magical, why don't they live in some distant mountain where they don't have to hang out with sewer rats?) 

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash (Why is this parenthetical important?), but above all else she's fiercely loyal. (This description tells me nothing about Echo, not really.  You could have said "Echo is a YA heroine."  Don't tell me what she's like.  Show me!)  So when a centuries-old war crests (Like a wave...?) on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.  (This is pretty anticlimactic.  Also, why does she act?  Are others acting?  Is this something only she can do?)  

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen (I want to murder the phrase "the likes of which the world has never seen" and then resurrect it and then murder it again.). It will be no easy task, (I'm assuming Echo is going to do the task, but we're told nothing about why.  I'm left wondering why they wouldn't send someone actually magical.) but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.  (The last half of this sentence is great, from "but" on.  It ties Echo's life to why she might be a good choice, and it's pithy.) 

But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem.  (Eh, kind of a throwaway sentence, but it gets the point across.  It's too vague, though.)  And this one might just set the world on fire.  (Literally?  Because that would be badass.)  



the verdict 
3.5/5 stars

would i read it?:  yes

Even though I ripped the throat out of this one, I liked it enough that I'm going to read the book.  Although, I'm also drawn to hype on this one.  Would I feel the same if there weren't dozens of bloggers already raving about this months ago?  Probably not.  The blurb itself is pretty typical urban fantasy.  It gives a great idea of the set-up but very little idea of what happens.  So, she decides to find the Firebird.  And then . . . ?  Not to mention, I have no clue who the Avicen are at war with, why they're at war, or why Echo is the one who has to find the Firebird.  I also really hate when people give me a laundry list of character traits, expecting me to like and understand the person.  Give me feelings, give me thoughts, but don't give me generic descriptions that I could slap onto any other character.  Despite these annoyances, I'm intrigued enough by these unique bird-characters and their world to crack it open.  



your thoughts

Does this blurb grab you?  
Do you agree with my thoughts?  If not, how so?  
Do you have any recommendations for blurbs I should shred?  









6 comments:

  1. This is a really cool idea for a feature! I really enjoyed this post ;)


    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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    1. Thank you! It's one of my favorites to do.

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  2. I've never seen a post like this before. Its really interesting :)
    I must say, the cover of this book really invites me to this book more than the blurb does. Great job :)

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    1. Thanks! I enjoy it. I agree; the cover is really gorgeous. That's what first caught my eye.

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  3. "For readers of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war."
    To me this sentence sounds like TGaM is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war for fans of CoB and SaB, but those who aren't fans of these books would think otherwise XD. Is it just me? (Perhaps I mess up my prepositions. I do that all the time, especially "for" and "to" :P)
    Anyway. I agree with you -- the blurb is pretty generic, even a little clichéd. The only element that intrigues me is those bird people, because that's pretty unheard of. I'll pass on this one, I think, unless the reviews manage to change my mind.
    This meme looks fun! Maybe I'll do it some day, but as I said, my grammars are pretty messed up. Mine would probably turn out sans grammar corrections, but with a lot of gif-worthy reactions, aha. :P

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    1. Yeah, I think sometimes they reach a little with the comparisons. Because it people hated those books, maybe they'll like this one.

      That's kind of where I was. I found myself mostly swayed by my friends who have enjoyed it.

      Yay! It's not all about grammar, I promise. It's just about your in-the-moment reactions to a blurb. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts!

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