Wednesday 25 February 2015

Book Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

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 Musings
I loved Kagawa's Iron Fey series and the world she built for them so was seriously looking forward to Talon. This was a new series entering into the world of Dragons. Loved the opening premise of Ember and her brother Dante being put into the world of humans to climatise themselves to the human world. Their world as a proper dragon hidden because of the Order of St George that were dedicated to hunting them. It started well. I like Ember the rebellious young dragon who can't wait for her summer of freedom. But big holes started to pop up. There was no explanation to how these enormous dragons survived apart from as humans. How did they evolve to become humans in disguise? There was lots of technology and military style descriptions. Both sides being trained to fight and lots of descriptions of fight scenes. I s this to appeal to boys and girls? Then there was Garret the soldier from St George who, of course falls for Ember not realising she is the dragon he is supposed to be after. Then there is Cobalt the rogue dragon who wants Ember to escape Talon's clutches before they make her into an assassin hunting her own kind. Guess what he also has feeling for her. Enter the usual formulaic love triangle with good v. bad boy. Sigh. I am not going to lie I found this book a little boring. It does have potential. Ember is a great heroine but the boys are 2 dimensional and there is too much fighting and not enough story, layers, depth.

I just couldn't connect with these characters the way I connected with Iron Fey. It really felt like a rerun of Vampire diaries with Dragons. I will read the second Rogue to give it a chance but this felt rushed and underdeveloped. Very disappointed but will still say give it a chance. Won't blow you away but if you have a  thing for dragons and bad boys might hit the mark for you.

Final thought. It would have done better hitting the childrens market rather than aiming for the YA market. Really felt similarities with the military angle to The Brilliant Changeling series by Steve Feasey. If Kagawa didn't have a few banal sexual references in it (for the sake of it, including swear words) this would have worked better for a younger audience.

I would suggest reading The Iron Fey series by Juliea Kagawa before reading this. I have a review of the last of the series below.
Review of Iron Traitor by Kagawa

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