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.
Title: Talon (Talon #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
I want to thank Harlequin Teen for providing me with an early copy of this book for an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.
I have to say that when I read the blurb for this book I got all kinds of excited. I enjoyed Kagawa's Iron Fey series, but I loved her Blood of Eden series more. And now she was writing a series about dragons? How could it go wrong. And after having read the first chapter that she posted online, I knew for sure I had to have this book to read. So I jumped in with both feet and held on tight for the ride.
The book opens and we are introduced to Ember. She's a young dragon who has been training all her life to be assimilated into the human world. At 16 she is finally getting the chance as she and her twin brother, Dante, are placed in a house on the shore of California. Ember is excited to have the summer to live as a "normal" girl: no training, no school, no commitments. Ember truly comes across as a normal teenage girl. I don't get the gist that she's a dragon unless she's telling us about it. I wish I could have seen more conflict with this. She's trained that humans are the enemy but she easily assimilates and takes on human characteristics.
And a YA book wouldn't be complete if there wasn't some romance and conflict. This comes in the form of Garrett, a soldier for the order of St. George (Ember's enemy) and Riley, a rogue dragon determined to show Ember her true potential. Garrett comes across as this sweet, inexperienced guy (at least when it comes to females) who is determined to keep his secrets. Riley, on the other hand,is a gruff, sexy guy who doesn't hold back. The two guys are in direct conflict with Ember's training: dragons don't show or have emotions. But there's more to life than what Ember has been taught and both these guys show her that.
I love the idea of this book. I love the idea of dragons hiding within our society. But what I was missing in this book is the why. Talon is said to exist to help protect dragons. That they were hunted to near extinction by the order of St. George. But we never get what the actual conflict was between the human's and the dragons. What exactly happened in history to make the dragons and humans hate each other so? I needed this back story and it just did not exist in this installment of the series. I'm surprised because in previous books I've read from this author, there is always a ton of world building. What is the history of Talon? The order of St. George? Give me something!I didn't get that so much in this book.
I do love Julie's writing. It's easy to read and flows well. I will say her voice sounded completely different to me in this book. But I think that's a good thing considering it's a new series. She mixes romance and action well, although I felt the story was slow in a few places and I thought maybe there could have been more conflict scenes to really show us the relationships between humans and dragons. Instead we get mostly Ember's conflict with her emotions and how she wants to be just a "normal" girl.
Overall the book was a good enough read, but I didn't find it to be on par with Kagawa's other writing. I will most likely pick up the next book so I can see what happens as this one does end on a cliffhanger.
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time (okay, at least the illustrations did), but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a
To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.
Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, an obnoxious cat, an Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and a hyper-active Papillion.
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