Book Reviews

Book Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Publication Date: October 28th, 2014

Publisher: Harlequin TEEN

Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Romance

Series Status: Talon #1

Pages: 448

Format and Source: Paperback, Owned

Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 St. James 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.

I will start with the things I do like about Talon, and that’s mainly the concept. It’s a great idea, filled with imagination. As soon as I read the blurb I loved the idea of dragons walking among us, hiding their true selves. This transferred into the character of Ember quite well, as the author did show the struggle Ember had between being a dragon pretending to be a human.

Another aspect I enjoyed was the character of Ember as she was very real and human, even though she technically isn’t human. She struggles with her ‘humanity’, the slowly failing relationship between her and her brother, and trying to fit in and hide in society. These all help to create a more realistic view of her, instead of her being this fantastical creature which is hard to imagine.

I did enjoy the general politics in this book. Well, it isn’t really politics. It’s really the inner workings of these two strange corporations-slash-societies, which obviously affect both Ember’s and Garret’s lives as they have both dedicated their lives to these two ‘societies’. There is obviously something more nefarious going on with both these ‘societies’ and that will most definitely be the plot of the next books in the saga.

Now onto the things I didn’t like. The pace of this book I found too fast in all aspects, from the romance to Ember making important decisions. It’s all too rushed, with no real build-ups. This made Garret seem too black and white, one minute hating all dragons, and the next he is in love with one. That really irritated me. Garret could have been such a great character if it wasn’t for the speed of the romance making him seem almost naive.

This pacing issue caused the book to seem almost childish, instead of some grand adventure it could have been like Eragon or The Hobbit. This is why I gave it a 3 out of 5, because it could have been so much better if it wasn’t for this big letdown.

Overall I might continue the saga in hope that it will get better, but this book wasn’t the best of starts the saga could have had.

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