Talon || A Unique Concept, but a Tired Execution (And Hey, It’s Julie Kagawa So I Enjoyed It — Plus, DRAGONS!)

talon-by-julie-kagawaTitle: Talon

Author: Julie Kagawa

Format / Length: Paperback / 449 Pages

Publisher / Date Published: Harlequin Teen / October 28th 2014

Category / Genre: Young Adult / Paranormal

Source: Bought

| TALON on Goodreads |

Description: 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.


| It’s been wonderfully green what with all the rain out here, so this time I thought I would take Talon for a walk outside |

You know when you read a book by an author you like… and you’re inclined to like that just bit more than if it was written by an author you’d never read before?

Yeah. That. I’ve been a fan of Julie Kagawa ever since I fell in love with her Iron Fey series, and thoroughly enjoyed her take on post-apocalyptic vampires in her Blood of Eden books. So imagine how excited I was, a year or so back, when I saw she’d made a deal on a book about dragons? DRAGONS, PEOPLE. DRAGONS. I dare you to defy the greatness of dragons, in all their fire-breathing, scaly glory. So on the day of its publication I raced out and bought a copy.

And then… and then the reviews started pouring in.

Some people liked it — others were disappointed. And Talon became that book which sat a little forlornly on my shelf waiting to be read. A year later I braved it, and picked it up. It didn’t take me long to read, of course — I don’t think any Julie Kagawa book could do that — but once I was done I was left with a bit of a frustrated, empty feeling.

In short, Talon left a lot to be desired, but it was not a bad book.


| Dragon symbol = epicness |

I would even go as far to say that I enjoyed it… to a certain degree. The novel follows the story of Ember and Dante Hill and it’s soon established that Ember, our heroine, is the rebellious questioning one, whereas Dante was the meek, follow-the-rules brother. As soon as I figured that out I had a pretty clear idea of where their character relationship was going, confirmed by the end of the story. So perhaps in some regards Talon was a predictable read — but who ever said predictable can’t be enjoyable, too? Besides, I love Julie Kagawa’s writing style… and this book was no different.

So, Kara, what didn’t you like about it?

Strangely enough, while sitting down to brainstorm this review, I was finding it difficult to articulate what it was about Talon that left a lot to be desired. So I figured I’d fall back on an old comfort and write a list.

  • I felt like Talon dropped into too many YA tropes for it to be truly original.
  • The romance. It was a touch too… “forbidden” for me. Hey, don’t get me wrong, I like forbidden romance, but here I am comparing it to Kagawa’s another novels. Particularly Ash and Meghan. I just loved them so much, okay!? And I haven’t felt like any other romantic interest in Kagawa’s novels have quiiiiiiiiiiite lived up to that. (Maybe I’m just being picky??)
  • Parts of it dragged. Not really a lot happened? I kept waiting for a scene that would have me on the edge of my metaphorical seat, but it didn’t come.
  • I didn’t hate the characters. But neither did they have the spark I’ve come to love from this author.

| More symbol goodness |

But enough negativity! What DID I like?

  • As mentioned above, THE WRITING. She writes in a clean, simple way not overbeared with descriptions or fancy words. No, Kagawa writes the story as it is, and I think that sort of writing style takes a whole lot of effort.
  • There were parts where I thought, “Now THAT’S the Julie Kagawa I know and love.” Yet not enough.
  • The ending. Saw pretty much everything coming… but the next book might be interesting.
  • DRAGONS. (Do I really need to elaborate here?)

To sum it up, disappointing… but I’ll read Rogue to see where the author takes the series. If you liked Firelight by Sophie Jordan, this book might be for you.

Have you read Talon? Yea, nay, what did you think? And oh, please tell me you’re a dragon fan. If not you might be visiting the wrong blog here. ;)

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17 thoughts on “Talon || A Unique Concept, but a Tired Execution (And Hey, It’s Julie Kagawa So I Enjoyed It — Plus, DRAGONS!)

  1. I do the same with authors I love – Fangirl was probably 3 or 4 stars but I gave it 5 stars because of Rainbow Rowell’s awesomeness (I probably wouldn’t do that if I read it now, though). BUT YAY DRAGONS.

  2. Author love does get in the way of my enjoyment too sometimes like Rick Riordan and his last few Heroes of Olympus books.

    I haven’t read a single Julie Kagawa book, shame on me, but now I really want to. Should I give Talon a chance or start with her Iron Fey books? I think I have her “The Lost Prince” as an ebook but I’m not sure whether that’s a spin-off or a novella or a sequel oops I probably shouldn’t have bought it off a whim!

    • I’ve been meaning to read those Heroes of Olympus for ages now. I will get to them. Eventually… Hmm, I’d say start with her Iron Fey books. I loved them. (I read them when I was much younger, though, so I don’t know what I’d think of them now — considering my reading tastes change so much.) Yep, The Lost Prince is a spin-off series from her Iron Fey one.

  3. Nope, nuh uh, I didn’t like this book at all because of how tropey and eye-rolling the romance was. I’m sorry! the dragons were good, as was the writing, but it made me so frustrated. I was so disappointed with Kagawa because I’ve loved all of her other books that I’ve read! Great review Kara!

  4. Haha, yep I love dragons. Haven’t read this one but I’ve seen lots of mixed reviews as well. It doesn’t seem to be getting the book community all flustered (ah, but dragons). Man it sucks when your favourite author doesn’t live up to her other books, but I think that it will still be a good read, you can’t really fail when it comes to dragons… :D

  5. The reviews are the reason I haven’t read this yet, everyone that I’ve read seem to be disappointed in this book. I love Julie Kagawa and don’t want to be disappointed with one of her books. I loved, love, love Ash and Meghan too, they are one of my fav couples ever, so I want romance like that in her other books. I will read this, I LOVE dragons, but I’m not rushing out to buy it. Thanks for your review :)

  6. The consensus for this one is more along the lines of disappointment :( I know I loved her Blood of Eden series (well, hated AND loved it at the same time; we have a strange relationship, you see), and I loved dragons, too, but so many people were so disappointed with this one that it has shied me away from reading it. That’s why I haven’t started it yet, and it is uncertain that I will in the future. I’m better off reading her Iron Fey I think (I haven’t read it yet either!)

    Faye at The Social Potato

    • Yeah, I’ve found that most people are being disappointed by this one, too. What a shame. But I guess every book by an author we love can’t be perfect, right? If you ever get a chance reading this or the Iron Fey novels — enjoy!

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