Book Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Talon CoverBook: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Published October 2014 by Harlequin Teen|258 pages

Source/Format: borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Talon #1

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal/Re-telling

What It’s About: 

In Julie Kagawa’s groundbreaking modern fantasy series, 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 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.

What I Thought:

I didn’t like Talon as much as I thought I would!  I love Julie Kagawa, and she’s definitely an auto-buy author for me, so when I saw she was doing a series involving dragons, I couldn’t wait to see her take on them.

So, the very basic plot reminds me of Firelight by Sophie Jordan.  But since it’s been several years since I’ve read it, I couldn’t even begin to tell you if there are any other similarities.

I really love Kagawa’s take on dragons.  She made fairies interesting and unique in the Iron Fey, and I really liked her vampires in the Blood Of Eden series, and I love the dragons and their history in this one.  I loved that there’s an order of St George- even though I know there’s something about St. George and dragons, I have no idea what that history is.  But you still get that Talon and St. George have quite the history, and I’m hoping we learn more about it in the next book.

It didn’t have the same world-building that her other series had, and I really missed that.  Don’t get me wrong, you get glimpses that this is a very interesting world, and it’s really hard to not compare it to her other series, but as I was reading, I found I didn’t really care about what Talon was really up to, or what was going on with Ember and Dante.  Ember was really self-centered and while I understand that her summer in California is freedom to her, she also didn’t seem to care about what would happen if she got caught and sent back to Talon.

Honestly, I was pretty disinterested in Ember’s story, and I think the fact that I love Julie Kagawa is the reason why I kept going.  If it were most anyone else, I probably would have abandoned it.  Still, I did finish it, and I do want to keep reading the series, if only to see how certain things work themselves out.  Mostly because I really like Kagawa, and I’m willing to give this series a chance because she has a way of making you see dragons and fairies and vampires differently.  And I think there’s a lot of potential for it to be interesting. Maybe the rest of the series needs some set-up?

I am curious about Garrett and what will happen to him after the way things turned out.  I really feel like we got much more about Talon than we did about St. George, so I’m hoping we learn more about how they’re organized and what they’re like in the books to come.  Talon is also fairly interesting, but I wasn’t as interested as I would have expected.

Rating:

2 stars.  While I like the overall idea of the book, I also feel like it wasn’t as interesting as her other series.  But I’m a big enough Julie Kagawa fan that I’ll definitely give the rest of the series a chance.

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