Talon by Julie Kagawa
Published: October 28th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
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.
I would have loved this book when I was in high school. Seriously. It had the complete vibe of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, and Fallen by Lauren Kate. You know those kind of angsty teen romance novels? Yeah. Easy to read, not so serious, perfect for getting out of a reading slump.
That’s essentially what this book was, and it’s really interesting to reflect on my previous book obsessions and just know how past me would have loved this book. However, present me wasn’t too blown away.
To be quite honest, this book is a cliche. It’s nothing special, it’s not memorable in the SJM-JK Rowling-other major YA authors-kind-of-way. It’s pretty run of the mill, but it was still enjoyable. I saw a lot of Goodreads reviews shitting on this book and it was DNF after DNF, but honestly what were you expecting? It’s freaking Julie Kagawa. If you’re going into a book like this expecting a literary masterpiece you are going to be really, really disappointed. Julie Kagawa writes easy-to-read paranormal books for teenagers – the book is literally about a 16 year old figuring out her life and how to fit in with humans. Don’t put this book on a pedestal it doesn’t need to be on, it’s unnecessary. Do you really expect a 16 year old to have her shit together? Do you expect her to be this complex book of emotions of bravery? No! She’s a teenager, he’s a teenager, they’re all teenagers.
This book is perfect if you’re looking for a fun and easy paranormal book. Perfect for if you need a breather from the serious epic fantasy world. Perfect if you’re just looking for a taste of paranormal cliche in a teenage-setting. Honestly guys, I’ve been trying to swallow The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman for two weeks and I just gave up because it was so serious and dull. So what did I do to get out of that slump? I picked up this book and inhaled it in 24 hours.
I didn’t expect much from this books characters so my expectations didn’t really fall flat. Everything and everyone was pretty cliche, average, and expected. The MC was relatively plain in terms of personality and really didn’t have any character development. The male love interest(s) were also unremarkable and didn’t stand out. The one character aspect I did like was that Kagawa used twins. Seeing a strong “twin” bond really was an interesting dynamic to the storyline and did have a good role.
Although this book was a paranormal romance, it was really interesting to see how relatable it could be to the real world. You have a MC who is trying to fit in and make friends, have fun for the summer, meet a guy and fall in love, figure out what to do for her future. It’s all very relatable, especially to a typical teenager / young adult.
In terms of storyline, it’s 100% YA paranormal romance cliche. You don’t have to read the rest of the trilogy to know how it will end. I’m not even sure I’m going to pick up the next book because honestly? I really don’t have to. The plot twists weren’t surprising and the epilogue didn’t do anything for me. Maybe if I’m bored one Sunday I’ll pick it up again but for now it seems unnecessary.
My rating: 3/5 stars.