Talon by Julie Kagawa
Digital Audiobook narrated by Caitlin Davies, Chris Patton, MacLeod Andrews
Published by Blackstone Audio, Inc., Harlequin Teen on October 28, 2014
Series: Talon #1
Genres: Dragons, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Length: 449 pages or 12 hours, 32 minutes
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THE DRAGONS OF TALON: Once hunted nearly to extinction, they are now poised to take over the world.
THE ORDER OF ST. GEORGE: The legendary dragonslayers will stop at nothing to wipe dragons from the face of the earth.
These mortal enemies are locked in secret and deadly combat, with humanity none the wiser.
To take her rightful place in the Talon organization, young dragon Ember Hill must prove she can hide her true nature and blend in with humans. Her delight at the prospect of a summer of "normal" teen experiences is short-lived, however, once she discovers that she's also expected to train for her destined career in Talon. But a chance meeting with a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught.
As Ember struggles to accept her future, St. George soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian is tasked with hunting her down. But when faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything the Order has ingrained in him—and what he might be willing to give up to uncover the truth about dragons.
DNF @ 47%.
Talon is the story of a girl who is also a dragon, but works for an organization that isn’t as pretty as she hoped it would be. Like in Bloodlines, she believes she is doing the right thing until faced with an authority figure and a situation she doesn’t respect and she starts digging a little on her own. Like so many other books, this is about an attractive sixteen-year-old who just moved to the California area and is in awe of the beach and a boy.
The instalove kills me. It’s not bad from Ember’s POV, but when we switch to Garrett’s, it’s just sad. We’re looking at a hardened killer who immediately falls head over heels for the wrong girl. Take out the romance and I really liked his perspective. The romance spoils it. His personality changes, complete with phrases like, “I couldn’t believe myself!” and “Only a month ago, I would have…” and I couldn’t find it in my heart to forgive that.
Add a developing love triangle, and I am all set on this romance.
There are moments that are genuinely interesting. At one point, Ember’s trainer has her go through a simulation to learn how to protect herself, and that was really interesting. The surfing aspect was interesting, although very cliche for a California setting (more on that in a bit). A lot of characters seem to exist only for the purpose of telling Ember “no”, which I found frustrating. Doubtless we get more of her brother Dante in the continuing story, but so much of the story comes down to, “I am Ember, trying to be a human even though I am a dragon! I really wish I could be in my dragon form, and I’m doing all these things that are soooo against the rules.”
I find it really interesting to see that Julie Kagawa is from California, because she must have a very different experience than many of my friends from that state. While I was listening, I was getting frustrated by the Beach Boys-esque setting – the sufing, and the tans, and the blondes in bikinis and mall prowling, etc – because I know people who emphasize how not like the movies California is. “Nobody calls it Cali, and nobody says ‘dude’,” a friend from LA told me once. Maybe it depends on where you come from? Either way it was a cliche extravaganza.
I mean, it was fine, really. I just didn’t really want another book in this setting, with this plotline. I like Sophie Jordan’s Firelight better, even though that’s also cliche and has instalove… but there are way more dragons and it’s more Romeo and Juliet.
I probably could have trudged through this book.
I did it earlier this year with Evermore and I was fine. It’s only a thirteen-ish hour listen and it switches perspectives so it’s easier to handle than it could have been. But when it came right down to it, Talon wasn’t for me. I moved on.