Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Series: The Talon Saga (Book 1)
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Dragons
Date of Publication: October 28, 2014


Dragons walk among us in human form.

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 secrecy, 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 five up to find the truth about dragons.


Best Cover EVER!!!

Seriously, this cover is absolutely beautiful and makes me happy.

I will begin by saying that I read some absolutely scathing reviews about this book on Goodreads, which made me a little hesitant to pick it up. The cover and Kagawa's reputation made me read it. I will say that the scathing reviews are completely unwaranted.

I agree with many that Ember's character is a little lack-luster, but I don't think she was written as immaturely as others claim. I enjoyed the build up with the supporting characters. The characters were different and the plot was stronger with the various arechtypes. For the entirety of the novel, the story is centered on Ember's inner struggle with her desire for the relaxing and fun human world, versus finding her place in the cut throat and scary world of Talon.
This book has action, romance, drama, and DRAGONS! The premise of the book is interesting, with two secret societies being at war with each other. Not original, but it translated well in the book. I have a deep love for dragons, and I really liked how Julie Kagawa portrayed them. The Elders were especially cunning and arrogant--their words and body language dripping with the superiority I expect and love.

A quick note: the book is arranged in two halves. The second half of the book is absolutely stellar. Had there been as much action and development in the first half, I would have rated Talon higher.   

My biggest complaint, and the main reason why I'm rating this book 3 out of 5, is that I wanted to see more dragon stuff. The book is long--a little over 400 pages. There could have been so much more character and plot development had there not been multiple points of view in First Person. It was a huge distraction and took up way too much space. If you have read any of my other reviews, you know how I feel about multiple perspectives being written in First Person. I loathe it. It annoys me to the brink of insanity. Just use Third Person. Seriously.

Also, the other negative aspect that could have made this book exceptional is that Ember, Garret, and Dante fell a little flat for me. Not completely, just a little. I could have ignored one flat character, but when all three of the leading characters are flat, it really begins to bother me. Furthermore, there was something about the interactions that just seemed artificial. I didn't bond with these characters. This wasn't a deal breaker for me, it just made the story less engaging.
Despite that, I think this series has great potential and I recommend that you at least check it out and give it a try.   

Rating: 3 out of 5 owls


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