Sunday, 17 May 2015

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Title: Talon
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Talon #1
Genre: fantasy, YA, dragons, romance
Source: Kindle
Pages: 461
Rating: 3 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
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 Review:
I put off reading this book for a while. I bought it when it was being promoted for $0.99, and I was excited about it, until I read some of the very mixed reviews on the book. So, I put it off!... and off… and off.. until this week when I decided enough was enough and I finally needed to read this book and make my own opinions.

First let me note that I completely understand the mixed reviews. I found that the writing itself was pretty good, standard for a YA author. There were no major incidents where I felt the writing was awkward or broke the stories flow because I had to go back and reread a sentence a few times to get what the author was trying to convey. As for the plot… where that’s where I ran into a few issues. For a book that was just over 450 pages, I felt like it was quite rushed. The beginning was great until the first POV change… then everything just kind of when down hill from there mainly where the characters and their development was involved.

My first major pet peeve of this book is the fact that Ember and Dante are supposed to be these twins… yet they do almost nothing together. They rarely hang out together, they don’t train together, and they barely exchange dialogue unless it was to display Ember’s rebellious thoughts and feelings and to contrast that to Dante’s loyalty. Not very twin like at all.

My second issue was with the romantic aspects of the novel. When Garrett is introduced to Ember, he falls for her pretty damned fast, which I can almost justify because he as been secretly spying on her for weeks and has gotten to know her from afar. However, the rate that Ember falls for Garrett was ridiculous, especially because there were other possible love interests that could have been explored (i.e. her BFF’s brother or one of the other guys in their friend group), but never were. So, it wasn’t like Garrett wasn’t the first guy to give her some attention. And the attempt to create a love triangle was feeble at best. Cobalt/ Riley should have either been more present, or his POV should have been more frequent in earlier chapters for the love triangle to develop nicely with a gradual flow. The way it was done in the book felt forced. A successful love triangle doesn’t just rip the main characters heart in two directions, it should also rip the readers heart in two directions simultaneously as well (see the Clockwork Trilogy by Cassandra Clare for an excellent example of this). Riley/ Cobalt is introduced very briefly at the beginning, then randomly in the middle before we see his point of view later on and understand he is suppose to be the rival love interest.

Both issue that I had with the book (I felt) heavily impacted the development of the relationships and the characters that were involved, which I found to be a little disappointing because I feel that with a little fine tuning, this book could have really been great. Now, while I did have some major issues with the book, I feel I should also mention that the plot line was laid out quite well despite being a little clich├ęd. The pace was a little fast in my opinion, but despite that I felt that certain characters (i.e. Lilith/ aka Scary Dragon Lady) were portrayed perfectly and kept the pace from feeling to rushed. I have a certain soft spot for villainous characters, because it takes a lot of creativity, imagination, and skill to make them believable and wonderfully evil.

Lilith is basically the main reason that this book is getting a half point more than I think it has earned, but the skeleton of the plot was actually pretty interesting as well. Seeing as it is the first book of the series, and a lot needed to get established before the plot can really flourish, I am going to give the book the benefit of the doubt and give it 3.5 stars. I truly hope that book two gives me more confidence in the series!

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