Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Melissa Grey
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Echo has no family except for the secret race of people that live underneath the streets of New York City. These people, the Avicen, have fathers and have been in a long war with the Drakharins, a dragon-like people. Echo lives mostly alone, spending her days traveling by magic to different parts of the world in order to steal things. When she steals something unusual, she learns the legend of the firebird, possibly the one thing that can win victory for the Avicen. In her quest to find the firebird and follow the clues, she has to team up with a few Drakharins who are determined to stop the war and to save them all from the Dragon Prince’s bloodlust. Through their team efforts, they are able to succeed in their goal to find the firebird, but they discover that finding the firebird isn’t the whole solution to their problem.
In spite of the serious conflict going on, the characters (particularly Echo) don’t seem to take into account how serious the war is. Most of the characters spend the time thinking about their romantic interests instead, and the love triangle is poorly developed. The world that these two races live in feel like it should be more interesting, but the readers never get as much information as would be helpful as to who these people are, why they are fighting, or even how different they are from humans. This first book of a new series has some unexpected fantasy twists, but it has several shortcomings that need to be resolved in the rest of the series.
*Contains violence, mild language, and a homosexual relationship.