by Julie Kagawa
Narrated by : Caitlin Davies, Chris Patton, MacLeod Andrews
Series: Talon #1
Published by Blackstone Audiobooks Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link) • Audible
Add to: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: 2016 Audiobook Challenge, ROCK MY TBR
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 was one of my MUST SNAG books at BEA 14. Yeah, that long ago. I adored Julie’s The Iron Fey series, so I knew (finally) going into Talon, I would not be disappointed.
But well, I kind of was.
One thing I must point out. This is not a high fantasy. It’s not even a fantasy period in my eyes, because it’s set in current day California. While there is minimal world building, there’s a lot to learn about Talon & St. George (dragon slayers), which I had fun doing. Still, this read more as a contemporary romance with a dash of paranormal.
That being said, I was not disappointed by the lack of “fantasy.” I had a sneaking suspicion anyway, based on the premise and early reviews previously. What was disappointing was the typical cookie cutter young adult paranormal troupes. Special girl doesn’t know she is special. Forbidden love. Love triangle. I mean, the list goes on. It wasn’t something I was expecting, and it threw me for a loop.
Ember was a hard character to like, to be honest. While I understand her desire to be free and live her life how she wanted, I didn’t know where her desire stemmed from. Her and Garret are in similar situations, but Garret starts to want things after experiencing it. Ember had never experienced it before, so how did she know what she was missing? It really makes much more sense in my head. She was selfish and bratty at times, and it drove me MAD. I also thought she was pretty gullible when it came to the rogue dragon, and her blindness when it came to others. Yet on the other hand, I admired her spunk and wit.
I thought it was weird that Ember refers to her Dragon as another person. Like, she is somehow split down the middle. It’s “my dragon.” But, YOU ARE THE DRAGON. This irritated me on many levels, but especially when it comes to the impending love triangle. Basically, “her dragon” is attracted to the rogue while Ember the “person,” is attracted to the human. It was like “the dragon” was this alien form within her she was trying to suppress. She could have said, “my dragon instincts” or something of the like. But, it was THE DRAGON. This is why the love triangle bothers me, because it’s there because THE DRAGON wants another dragon.
I don’t know. I’m weird, okay?
Anyway, I actually liked Garret. His inner turmoil about his developing feelings for Ember, verses doing his duty was well written and believable. There were many awkward moments with him and Ember, and there were so cute. As for Riley (I think that is how you spell his name) I didn’t care for THAT much. I admire his ambition for sure, and everything that he does, but I never felt like he was trying to HELP Ember, but sway her away from Talon for himself. The spark wasn’t there like it was with Garret. I also go for the first love interest anyway.
Looooooooved this on audio. I have this new habit of listening to audios on 1.5x speed, so when Riley’s POV (Chris Patton) came in, it threw me because his voice took some getting use to on that speed. Other than that, I had nothing negative to say about the narration at all. MacLeod Andrews & Caitlyn Davies both did an amazing job and I adored their narration from the beginning.
Overall – I liked Talon. Although there are a few things that bothered me, and Ember was hard to relate to at times, I think it was solid start to the series. I will be continuing the series for sure.