Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa (Talon #1)


Talon by Julie Kagawa // VBC ReviewTalon (Talon #1)
Julie Kagawa
Published: October 28, 2014 (Harlequin Teen)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: purchased

Reviewed by: Jannelle

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Ember Hill is a member of the secret Dragon organization Talon along with her twin brother Dante. Dragons have learned to shift into human form, so Ember and Dante are sent to a small beach town in California for the summer to acclimate and understand human behavior. These are the last three months before they return to a Talon camp and receive their official career assignments that will determine what they will be doing for the rest of their lives.

What Ember is hoping to be a summer of freedom away from the claws of Talon (pun intended), soon turns out to be a summer full of self-discoveries as well as revelations about the organization she once relied so heavily on.

Juxtaposing Ember’s story and her life believing in Talon’s ideals, is Garret Sebastian, who is a soldier of The Order of St. George, training and fighting an ongoing war to discover and kill all dragons. Garret and his partner Tristan are sent to do some undercover work in the same beach town, attempting to single out the dragon sent there and kill it.

Talon and The Order of St. George are sworn enemies and, dramatics aside, hate each other so deep that they are willing to do away with innocent bystanders—both within and outside the organizations—to destroy each other.

Im not going to lie: My anxiety while reading Talon was on another level. From the start you’re hyperaware that there will eventually be a giant earth-shattering brawl and you’re just waiting to find out exactly when it’s going to happen. I can definitely appreciate the excellent writing skills and storytelling that affected me on such an emotional level. Julie Kagawa did a phenomenal job at creating and building the tension between both groups. By showcasing both Garret and Ember’s perspectives, you are completely aware of the storm brewing with the characters walking right into it. The plot was also excellently paced—evenly paced at the start and steadily picking up, the closer I came to reaching the end.

I also enjoyed experiencing the slow development of Ember and Garret’s relationship. I think it’s the whole “star-crossed lovers” thing. You know they’re mortal enemies and should stay away from each other so as not to start a war, but it’s too romantic to stay away from.

Adding another level of romance, intrigue and mystery is the love triangle that creeped into the story with dragon Cobalt (or Riley—his human name) who is hiding from Talon as a rogue and risking his life to fight for beliefs that go against Talons’. Riley recognizes Ember right away and they build a quick bond. As they become closer, Riley shares secrets about the organization that, in turn, have Ember questioning herself and her future within Talon.

I thought I was all Team Garret, but theres something about Riley I dont know. You need to read and decide to help me figure it out.

I will say, however, that the characters weren’t completely relatable. So while the storytelling and pace was just about perfect, the slight disconnect I felt held me back from giving Talon a full five stars. Of course, there are a lot of reasons that could factor in to me not being able to relate to the characters (like not being a dragon—whatever), but it is my job to give you all my feels.

With a unique storyline and an underlying level of suspense, I am giving 4.5 stars to Talonone of my top reads of 2014.

Sexual content: kissing

2 Responses to “Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa (Talon #1)”

  1. Amy says:

    This is on my TBR list, but I haven’t really heard much about it. Your review makes me eager to read it.

  2. Margaret says:

    I didn’t love it THAT much. All that angst gets old for me. But it does have an amazing ending. I’m definitely going to read the next one.

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