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 reviewAuthor: Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: October 28 2014
Talon was not what I was expecting. It was so much lighter than I thought it would be, and surprisingly, I did not despise that. I say "despise that" because I don't actively seek out light books. In fact, I actively avoid them. I don't have anything against them except that my tastes are somewhat extreme, and I would like extreme stories.
Now, as far as light books go, because I have read a few, I liked this one. It had a very different mood from the other Kagawa books I've read. (I suddenly have an urge to continue with her vampire series, which was darker.) There is a lot to like in Julie Kagawa's writing, from the importance of family, and the fact that her characters have friendships that matter to them. Ember herself was a character that stuck me as quite immature, but in an incredibly lovable way.
Gosh, I would love to be friends with Ember. Ember is honest and fierce. She says and does what she wants, and she seems to be oblivious to the consequences of her actions. Ember is that friend that has great stories and is always passionate about everything. She rants and squeals and her emotions are always quite obvious. She is not always reasonable and sometimes you feel like telling her to grow up, but like my little sister, she is lovable anyway.
The entire story seemed to be fun and exciting. The dragon mythology was pretty light and basically, Talon is an evil corporation-like entity committed to the preservation of dragons. Now when I say committed, I mean that they are creepy fanatics that are willing to do terrible things to accomplish their goals. And there's another group, St. George, which are a bunch of dragon hunters committed to the extinction of dragonkind. Dragons in Talon like shiny things, are predators that breathe fire, but also possess a human form where they are incredibly beautiful so that they can better manipulate human emotions.
It's all entertaining and fun, and there is nothing wrong with that. It's just not my type. I think Talon skews towards younger YA because it is surprisingly sweet, and it lacks some of the details of older YA. Ember's naivete is a strength, but I think I've read this story of wanting to be normal a billion times and so it didn't stand out to me. I'm more curious about Ember's brother, Dante, who is the 'good kid'. You know, the one that does what he is told and does not get into trouble. I don't understand Dante and that's probably because Ember is pretty self-absorbed. Dante is interesting because as Ember is truly enjoying the human experience, Dante is more committed to Talon's cause. And I don't really want to talk about the plot because it was a classic buildup-until-the-end-where-there-is-a-cliffhanger, and I don't feel like saying for the billionth time that I wish there was more stuff happening throughout the story.
In general though, I don't feel like Talon really brought anything new to the table. Nothing about the world or characters has intrigued me enough to follow up with this series and I think I'm being quite nice in my review of Talon because I think this book will be excellent for some audiences, and I see some MG crossover. This was not what I was looking for in a book, and I am disappointed in that. However, I suppose if I'm going to have to be surprised and read a really light, younger YA type read, then this one is not the worst in the world. So, there's that, I guess. #glowingenthusiasm