Written by Julie Kagawa
Read by Caitlin Davies, Chris Patton, MacLeod Andrews
Series: Talon #1
Published by Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: October 28th 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Length: 12 hours and 32 minutes
Source: Los Angeles Public Library
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Challenges: 2015 Goodreads Book Challenge
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.
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First off, I just want to say that I love how awesome the cover is! Does anyone agree? Well, it seems that this is the only highlight of the book. The last book I read with shapeshifting dragons was Vanish by Sophie Jordan and that turned into a DNF for me, no matter how much I loved Firelight, the first book in the series. Why am I mentioning this? It is because Talon is similar to this dragon story.
What is this story about?
This is about two twin dragons (technically they aren’t because they hatched from different eggs?) Ember and Dante Hill who are summering in a beachside town in California and undergoing training before they will be placed in their future occupation under Talon. Talon is like the mob dragon mob who has control of all the shapeshifting dragons. The dragons are hunted by the Order of St. George (we still don’t know why there is much hate between these two groups) and they take no prisoners. Ember meets Garrett, who was sent by the Order to find out who the sleeper dragon is. Ember also meets Riley, a rogue dragon. So yes, there IS a love-triangle here.
Tell us about the characters!
You should note that the book is in three different POVs – Ember, Garret and Riley. I think this aspect made for very interesting reading.
In this case, the two main characters Ember and Garrett were very well fleshed out. Riley’s POV wasn’t as prominent as the other two so I felt that I didn’t get to know him as much.
I have no issues with the two guys: Garrett and Riley. I thought their POVs were written very well. Ember was another problem. She came off as a spoiled, whiney brat. I wanted to press the fwd button when she was doing her inner monologues or when she was just being a brat to her brother Dante. Her saving grace would be that despite her brattiness, it was very clear that she loved her brother. In this case, I loved their banter and sibling interactions.
We are subtly introduced to a love triangle (which I smelled a mile away). Now, you know how much I hate love triangles and thankfully, I did not see any man vs man fights trying to get the upper hand on the girl. Whew! It did make the love triangle a little bit more palatable to me.
Teen assassins. Say what?
I’m a little on the fence about this. How can there be TEEN ASSASINS in the modern world? I may be naive, but I just feel that exposing these kids to all that violence is just wrong! For dystopia books, I feel like I am okay with it because ti IS the end of the world, after all. But this is a YA PNR romance, so…
What about the narrators?
The narrators were perfect! I loved that there were three different narrators reading each POV. It certainly helped in distinguishing between the two boys.
Overall, the plot is good. It’s not as great as The Immortal Rules (that title, though), but it hooked me. I will be reading the next books in the series because Kagawa really left quite a few strings hanging.
If you like shape shifting dragons with teen assassins and teen angsty relationships, this is the book for you.