Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Title: Talon
Author: Julie Kawaga
Series: Talon (#1)
Genre(s): Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Publication Date: October 28, 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.
Talon is the first book I've read by Julie Kawaga, and I was wildly impressed with Talon, one of her new dragon-fantasy series. Perfectly paced plot with a captivating romance, Talon will definitely not disappoint its readers.

Talon revolves around Ember, a dragon who's feisty and wild, but a teenage girl at heart and the dragon hunting organization, Order of St.George. Ember does not want to be forced to abide by Talon's rules, she wants to be free and be able to live a normal life, however, being a dragon, she does not have opportunities to make her own choices. I could understand her constant struggle and what she would give to not have her life controlled by the organization. 

The writing in the book was spectacular, and I was surprised how easy it was to read despite the descriptiveness and how quickly the plot moved. At the same time, it gave us a lot of insight on our characters because of the switching POVs. Ember was a main character I really enjoyed, I loved her personality and how independent she was. She's confident, fun, and real, and I was relieved when she wasn't afraid to make the first moves towards Garret (who is definitely a book boyfriend!) and I will admit that I was astonished when she did. We don't see too much of Dante's presence in Talon, although he plays a much larger role in Rogue.  

Garret was a favourite of mine. Being a perfect soldier of St. George, his mission is to hunt dragons to extinction. We learn so much about Garret, and the enemy, St. George, so when he is assigned the mission to kill Ember, it was a thrill ride to see him hang around Ember--and unintentionally fall in love with her. His character development was phenomenal; we see him go from an emotionless killer who kills without batting an eyelash to a teenage boy who fell in love.      

          I found myself hating him, wanting to hurt him, to drive him away from the red-haired girl who was supposed to be mine.
          Breathless, I slumped to the wall, numb with the realization. This anger, these illogical feelings of rage and possessiveness...I was jealous. I was jealous of a girl I was supposed to be stalking, seducing, for the sole purpose of revealing her true nature. This had become more than an objective, more than a mission.
           I was falling for her.

The romance was fantastically written--it was not insta-love, but a slow burning relationship that had stages of development. I didn't really like Ridley, although he would have been the right choice for Ember. Ridley is badass and caring in a way that I hadn't expected, but falling in love with the enemy is so much more of a love story. I did predict that Garret would somehow have to face Ember and kill her, but what happened in the end just adds 100000% more to the romance between the two. 

Kagawa left me with an exceptional first impression with a dragon-fantasy intertwined with a forbidden romance. In spite of the fact that the focus of the novel was more towards the romance than plot (not that I mind), the setup of the plot, St. George, Talon, dragons, and romance, made it a fantastic beginning to a trilogy with much potential. 

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Olivia

Olivia is a fangirl from Canada with too many book boyfriends who also adores sweets, drawing, and watching anime. She started off trying to write a full length novel, but some things are just easier said than done, so Olivia spends her days writing blog posts instead. That is, when she's not spending her free nights playing League.

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20 comments :

  1. You know, this is actually the first positive review I've seen for Talon. Back when I read it, I liked it A LITTLE, but it just felt way too similar to Twilight for my taste. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, though, Olivia! Julie Kagawa's books are amazing! Well, her other books. :D

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    1. Ooh that is a little true now that I think of it lol! I can definitely relate Cobalt to Jacob, although Ember is a bit more likable than Bella Swan!

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  2. This series is the best she has written in my opinion. Her Blood of Eden trilogy is very good,but I was disappointed by her Iron Fey series, even if I want to give a try at the spin-off series. Rogue, the second book in the Talon series, is also fantastic. I can't wait to read Soldier.

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    1. Yes, I agree! I loved Rogue as well. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like her other series as much, but I'm going to give it a try ;)

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  3. I love anything Julie Kagawa writes, so I'm happy you enjoyed this! This is one of the best dragon stories I've read! Great review! :)

    ~Erika @ Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between.

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    1. Oh I haven't read too many dragon books, but I really enjoyed the aspect of this one! Thanks :D

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  4. I've never read a Julie Kagawa book, but I have read a very similar-sounding book about dragons who hide in human form... I did enjoy that book although it wasn't my favorite, so perhaps I will give Talon a try, but I haven't decided yet. Lovely review!

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    1. What's the name of it?? I'd love to check it out :D

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  5. I couldn't get into the audiobook version of this so I put it down a while back. I'll have to pick up a physical copy, this seems like a book better read than listened to anyway. Gotta get the full effect of Ember :p

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    1. I've actually never listened to an audiobook before although I'd say I'd prefer reading books, because I feel like listening takes longer than reading. But I do sometimes wonder what the characters would sound like ;)

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    2. I like audiobooks for when I'm at work (like now) or doing laundry. Helps the time go by faster, but I'm VERY picky about narrators!

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    3. Do you have any audiobooks that you like better than the books or anything you'd recommend?

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  6. You're review is beautifully written! I have been meaning to pick up this book for a long time and your review totally made me want to read it more. I love easy to read books with slow burning love. Thanks so much for sharing!


    Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road

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    1. Thanks Emily! You should totally check it out, it's the perfect mix of slow-burning romance with fantasy. And the last book is coming out SOOOON :D

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  7. Julie Kagawa is a favorite author of mine, so I might be biased by saying I love all her books. Talon was awesome, I'll admit it didn't start out so good, but in the end I loved it. Great review.

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    1. IKR?!?! That ending though! It really set up Rogue and I was shocked and relieved and heartbroken at the same time :P

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  8. Omg this is so annoying, just commented but I don't know if it worked or not.

    Anyway, said it's good that I read your review 'cause have seen book but didn't know if I was going to buy. But I like what I read in your review (love a good romance) *who doesn't* so will look into adding this to my to-buy-list.

    Hope all is well love.
    Miss Ya.

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    1. KYM I MISS YOU TOOO! Blogging and school have been so tough I've kind of disconnected :( I really recommend reading this book, definitely let me know what you think :D

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  9. I am so glad to know you were able to enjoy this one so much! I have been meaning to read it for a while and have it on my TBR. I love dragons, so if that didn't hook me, or the beautiful writing then it might have been the slow burning romance <3

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