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Thursday, January 29, 2015

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Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa (Sophia is Highly Disappointed and Hollywood Must Be Royally Screwed)

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Talon Saga #1
Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Reviewer: Sophia

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.

You know, when I first heard the movie rights to Talon had been bought before the book had even come out, I thought Talon would be as amazing and fantabulous as Kagawa's other books. Perhaps even the best book I would read in 2015, even better than Who R U Really, who currently reigns the top of the top books of 2015. (That probably sounds weird.)

Right now, Talon reigns as the worst dragon book I've read – and I mean worse than Going Down in Flames by Chris Cannon, which at least had an idea extraordinary enough that I would give Cannon a second chance with the sequel. Normally I'm excited when it comes to Julie Kagawa's writing. Fangirling. Anything you would do when you get a book written by one of your favorite authors. But with Talon though....

I feel cold. Unsatisfied. A little bored.

And certainly not a happy camper. Those are never a good sign that a book is going to go well. Plus, when I dislike a book... you're not a favorite author anymore. You're a former favorite author. Don't worry, it happens a lot.

Talon, as Jeann from Happy Indulgence has said, is your typical paranormal romance. And as I once said, I hate it when an eclipse happens in a book – where the romance overshadows the plot. Ember and Garret's romance so overshadows the plot, a whopping 77% – that's more than a bleeping three-fourths of the book – is focused on Ember Hill's developing romance with Garret Xavier Sebastien (what a mouthful), Ember's training, Ember beginning to question Talon and its motives, Ember and Riley feeling very attracted to each other yet they don't want to be attracted to each other, and the characters walking on water with each other while figuring each other out and where each of their loyalties lie, before something actually happens. It's pretty much halfway through the book when an epiphany happens (perhaps earlier), and you realize there is nothing much happening aside from what I listed earlier (and I'm not listing it again because that's a mouthful to write).

I basically spent the next unknown percent of the book trying to look for where and when and how – all those fabulous question starters (to which I can say with lightning speed and I enjoy spinning some people's heads around with that) – the fun actually begins. And by fun, I don't mean my definition of fun is screwed (like someone I know, who's definition of fun is crushing an opponent in chess and literally grinning slyly throughout the entire game, among other "fun" things). By fun, I mean something happens. Explosions! Ambushes! Running from an evil emperor (or anyone hunting said characters)! Brink of death by talking equations (only time that'll happen is science if you're not careful when experimenting with hazardous chemicals)! A mind-blowing epiphany!

Let's face it: It's great if you're all going undercover and trying to figure out who's on whose side, but seriously. Blaring alarms. Signs. Symptoms. Does anyone feel the pain? Yes? No? Then I can't help you, dear character. You are hopeless. I can merely dial 911 if you're bleeding profusely and try to staunch it.

And let's also face this fact: Hollywood is a little screwed. No offense, but they're obviously just looking for another franchise to replace Twilight, and turn everyone's minds away from the brightly burning embers of The Hunger Games and Divergent. Besides... 5 books right? That'll last 6 years before they need to go on another Twilight hunt if Talon is a blockbuster (considering the fact the last book is divided into Parts 1 and 2, of course).

2.5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.