Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Talon #1
About: Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.
Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.
Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey; and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him; and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.
My Thoughts: By the time I finished reading, I so wanted to give Talon by Julie Kagawa five stars. I really wanted to, because it was very good — especially by the end. But, there were a few things I felt required a lower rating. Not that 4.5 stars is all that low … it was good enough that I could forgive most shortcomings.
So, what didn’t I like? Well, let me think on that …
1. HUGE cliffhanger ending — on two fronts. We all know it’ll be roughly a year of waiting until the next one. I hate that. For one, I don’t like when books leave me hanging like this — well, unless I can get my hands on the next one in the very near future. Plus, by the time the next one comes out, I’ll have read close to 100 other books. This one most likely won’t be remembered well enough for me to fully enjoy the next — at least that’s normally how that happens for me. That’s not such a big deal when it’s not such a cliffhanger ending!
2. Very predictable. Fortunately, the action and excitement are enough to make me (mostly) forgive the highly predictable events — betrayal? Check! (And I’ll give you ONE guess by whom!) Surprising rescue(s)? Check! (Again, pretty easy to guess who’s involved.) — and really enjoy the book. Predictable love triangle, if one can call it that. Very few surprises, if any. I honestly can’t think of anything — except maybe the very last thing in the Epilogue — that was all that surprising.
3. Various characters at various points through the book. Most of them redeemed themselves at one point or another. Only a small handful worth remembering: Ember, Garrett, Riley/Cobalt, Dante, Scary Talon Lady. If I think hard, I can remember some of the friends, but not without focused effort on my part.
Now, with all of that laid out on the table, let’s make it clear that I did thoroughly enjoy this book. If I didn’t have a crazy schedule this past week, I would’ve finished this book in a matter of a day or two. I found myself sucked in pretty quickly and wanting to find out how everyone meets and ends up working together, as the synopsis I read talked about how one “teen dragon” comes together with a “young soldier” and a “rogue dragon” to start a revolution. I wanted to see how that all worked together.
Speaking of the characters. Garrett is my favorite. Love him — and, yes, total book boyfriend! I felt his account the most real, the most intriguing, and the least obnoxious. Ember would be my second favorite. While at first she comes across as a petulant, pain-in-the-butt child, she grew on me quickly. By the end of the book, I was totally rooting for her (and wanting her paired with Garrett, despite the human/dragon thing). Riley/Cobalt … let me say he sounds so beautiful when his dragon (Cobalt) is described. I can picture him, and just love it. I wanted to like him from the start, but quickly just couldn’t. Especially not toward the end, when he all but pushes Ember to act on an obvious “animal” attraction — their dragons being drawn to each other. Dante is a tough one. I started out liking him, but it’s clear he’s going to be a problem pretty early. Everything to do with him is probably the most predictable parts of the book. Any observant reader could see his issues coming a mile away. And Ember’s insistence that he’s still on her side? Yeah, I wanted to shake some sense into her. I get that she didn’t want to believe the truth, but I still wanted to see her get wise.
So, will I read this again? I just might. I definitely will make sure to read the series (so far looking to be at least five books long) — or at least the next book, Rogue. Although, honestly, barring a just downright awful next book (which I just don’t think is possible), I fully expect to follow the series. I have not yet read The Iron Fey, but it might be moving higher up the TBR list now! I’m guessing fans of that will enjoy this, but I’ve no idea. I can say that dragons is what piqued my interest, and it’s what’ll keep me coming back for more!
Source: Received through Around the World Tours for review.
Read It: Talon is scheduled for release around October 28, 2014. You can pre-order your own copy via Amazon or Book Depository. (These are affiliate links, and purchase through either link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)
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