In Julie Kagawa's groundbreaking modern fantasy series, dragons walk among us in human form.
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 becomestrong 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.
©2014 Julie Kagawa (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks
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"Satisfactory from a Contemp YA Romance standpoint"
Going in, I knew that this audiobook was probably going to be a letdown given how the reviews were stacking up, but I got it as a daily deal, so no big. The blurb is misleading with its “groundbreaking modern fantasy series” because Sophie Jordan wrote a very similar story back in 2010 with FIRELIGHT. Those points aside, Julie Kagawa has been on my radar for a while, and I love dragons. Overall, I did enjoy TALON from a Contemporary Young Adult Romance standpoint even though it was super predictable, and not overly avant-garde.
The love triangle was a given; book 1 focused on the ‘forbidden boy’, and if the author stays true to the YA course, 2 will be about Ember’s dragon’s mate, and the conclusion will be her making the inevitable choice. Oh wait, there are five volumes planned, so expect a few filler installments in-between. Still, I liked Garret. My #1 gripe with this novel was the absence of dragons. TALON (the organization) is all about assimilation, and the author fixated on that; there were a total of four shapeshifts, and two of them happened in tandem at the end.
I enjoyed the alternating POVs because they allowed listeners to come to their own conclusions about each of the characters, and went a long way towards establishing their back stories. Ember’s on her way to being a hellraiser with her defiant nature, and relentless quest for the truth. The plot did have some noticeable holes in it though like for instance TALON’s pathetic attempts at hiding their sleepers. Dead parents, recent transplants, and draconic names were major red flags, and made it almost too easy for St. George to track them down.
The narration was this audio’s strongest suit with three seasoned performers; all were new to me, but that didn’t stop me from being dazzled by their deliveries. As the lead, Caitlin Davies captured the heroine’s teenaged voice to perfection; my only criticism of her was her pronunciation of ‘room.’ It was quite noticeable because the word appears repeatedly, and she didn’t enunciate the second O. MacLeod Andrews was a pivotal factor in me being pro-Garret early on, and Chris Patton’s role was minor, so I won’t weigh-in on his narration just yet.
TALON didn’t soar, but it didn’t crash & burn either—typical YA.~3.5 stars
Spoiler Alert: It was a rehash of twilight. Instead of vampires there are dragons. Instead of werewolves there are dragon hunters. Instead of a human being torn between supernatural lovers there is a supernatural girl torn between her dragon half and her human half; each half having it's corresponding lover. People have to make a buck so I get it but creativity did not drive this project. Profits did.
I didn't like the romantic crap at all because I'm an adult male, but the story was semi interesting, even if it was a retread.
"Doctor's Notes Review"
This book was one that I was waiting on for a while so when I got a chance to listen to it for review I was so excited. I am a huge fan of the author's work but I have to say this one wasn't as good to me as her other works. The narrator did a good job of bringing this story to life and making Ember and her brother Dante more than just the dragons that they were. They became way more human and as I continued to listen to the story I started to see just how misunderstood they really were. I was quickly interested in learning more about Talon and what they were really about because I knew it was more that they were hiding.
Ember and Dante soon adjust to living life as humans but still training with Talon. Ember even makes friends along the way some of them being Riley and Garret. I liked Riley from the start and liked that he encouraged Ember to be who and what she was but Garrett made her a better person also. I could quickly see the author was going to go the love triangle route but in this case it made sense and I was ok with it. I found myself torn between the boys too and the narrator made them both so different and unique. The book was pretty fast paced and I listened to it fairly quickly and was surprised at how fast I finished it.
Overall this was an ok audio listen but it wasn't due to the narration because that was spot on. I just felt that alot of them book was predictable and early on I figured out how things would play out. In short it was an ok listen but nothing that blew me away. The characters were ok but I wasn't that invested in them but regardless with the way things ended I will have to get the next book in the series. If you are looking for an ok listen but one full of awesome narration then you may want to check this one out.
"Breath of fresh air..."
The narrators made this story so much more enjoyable. The characters were written well for the age group represented and the storyline itself brought a really interesting spin to a dragon story. Preordering the next book right away. This looks to be a very promising new series.
"Amazing, Romantic and Dragons!"
Yes, because it's a great story with great and gripping narrators that brings the story to life.
It's nothing like I've ever read before. This is not the first book I've read with different points of view but it is the first that involves dragons.
Caitlin Davies, I'm familiar with from Penryn and the End of Days and MacLeod Andrews from The Iron Knight. Both of them I love. Chris Patton is new and I like him.
No, but it was gripping and I couldn't wait to read again once I stopped at a chapter.
I love this new series by Julie Kagawa. She is an amazing writer. I also love the narrators. They bring the characters to life and hope they continue to read the series.
"Not what I expected"
I was enticed by the publishers statement. This book however is sophomoric. Not for Adults.
"Kagawa + Dragons = Brilliant!"
The good: The world building - even though it seemed slow sometimes, I really got a feel for the characters and the world. I was left with a ton of questions about "Talon" and it's purpose with it's dystopian-like insidious society and I can't wait to learn more about it.
The characters- Most of the characters seemed authentic and I always love that Kagawa doesn't take it easy on them. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, her main characters get the crap kicked out of them which makes it easy for me empathize with them and root for them throughout the story.
The action - once the plot started moving - there was dragon fire and bullets flying and daring escapes that kept me up long into the night finishing this audio!
The Bad: BOTH of my pet peeves - a love triangle and a cliffhanger ending. Ugh. But I guess I can't have it all.
It was still worth waiting for. I loved it - can't wait to read the next.
Loved the voice actors! They made me believe they were Ember, Garrett, and Riley/Cobalt. I read this book before I had found the audio and enjoyed reading it with it as well. Can't wait for Rogue! Already have it preordered for book and Audio. Simply amazing
"predictable and trite"
This is definitely a YA novel. The story is the tired love triangle tangled up with a mediocre fantasy narrative. I found it predictable, but maybe that's because I've read an incredible amount of fantasy. I imagine that someone newer to the genre might find Talon more palatable.
A story with multiple narrators is only as good as the narrators themselves, and sadly other than Macleod Andrews, the readers for this book weren't up to snuff. Their interpretations of what are already fairly one dimensional characters only made the super trite dialogue sound even more so.
At least there are dragons.
I could not get through this. Between the writing and the acting, it was like watching Sharknado. The plot may have had potential, once upon a time, but by the time this train wreck of an audiobook happened, it was lost.
I have loved listening to this. It's not my usual go to genre but I would recommend. my only think is I tend the think if the people as being older than they are. can't think of them as teenagers. ....
"Could have been better"
It had three good strong sentral characters
Garret. I have a soft spot for the quiet, brooding type.
The two men in particular really brought the male perspectives across well.
It was emotional as all books of this genre are, but my main feeling was frustration because it was obvious how the story would go.
Julie Kagawa is a good writer. I discovered that when I read her Iron Fae series, which insidentally, I hope Audible gets soon. But it seems she's another Author who can't break away from the formula established by Stephanie Meyer of one girl being torn between two guys. If that doesn't bother you, then this book is great. For my part, much as I enjoyed it, I live for the day when Authors of this genre will do something original. Although I'll read the next book and probably enjoy it, it's depressing when you can already predict the story.
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