Talon by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
**Choice Read 1st Quarter Reads (Fantasy) 2015 for the Quarterly Book Club
So this is the third series I’ll have read from Julie Kagawa. Sure, I wasn’t that overly ecstatic about her Fey series, and while I liked her vampire series well enough, there were, like always things that I disliked. As for Talon, I’m finding myself in a half half place. I’ll actually give this a rating of 3.5 because while I did enjoy it, Ember was a character I could dislike as much as like. She was very unpredictable, even if her plot and character development in the book was very predictable.
I suppose it’s difficult to really judge this book with a fresh memory of another series by the same author. It makes it harder to be impressed. Reading her vampire series did catch my attention and perhaps like the genre a little more. Or maybe it was just what’s-his-name who was just such a great anti-hero character that I really had to read more about him. But for Talon, I can’t decide how I feel about it. I mean, it wasn’t crap, by all means it wasn’t. But Talon, to me, resonated a very ‘Blood of Eden’ vibe, just different character, setting and genre as well as supernatural species. Between the both, there are similarities, main girl is a supernatural creature who has to hide her true nature and meets a guy who she falls in love with and then eventually the secret is revealed explosively and then the story ends with them helping each other before parting.
In saying that, both this series and her previous one are very different. There were just some things that seemed too familiar, asides from the cheesy cutesy moments.
SO the pros…
>> Ember Hill has a very distinctive name, which I swear makes her seem more like a dragon than anything, same with her brother Dante. ‘Ember’? But still, it’s not a bad name for an MC. Character-wise, I liked her. I might have liked her more because of the alternating POVs. Without them, it would have probably been hard for me to like her because she had a personality that is so unpredicatable, she could have seemed too perfect. I didn’t really like her personal journey in this book. It was more about Garret than anything, but I guess I liked that between her and her brother, she was the naive one. Characters who know too much, sometimes find it difficult to not sound ridiculous to me.
>> Dante you rat. At the end, even though it was predictable, I feel sorry for your sister, but well, guess I’m curious about you and your character in the next book. I want to see what kind of person Dante is, other than the sketch of him that we were given in Talon, because I feel like he has the potential to be a very interesting character.
>> Garret for now, I have nothing to say about you. So far you are like the classic brooding heroic type of guy with steely grey eyes and muscles to envy. Nice as you might seem, you remind me all too much of how two-dimensional you can be if that little description I just gave is all that I can remember of you. But no, Garret is a St. George soldier, a human who is the enemy of the dragons of Talon, and therefore Ember’s natural enemy, and trained to kill dragons. He meets Ember while looking for a sleeper dragon, dragons that are assimilated into society such as Ember and Dante, and falls in love with her. That’s pretty much all I can say about him. I’m just waiting for him to inflate into a 3D guy now….because although he has a personality, hates and likes, I don’t know, I just don’t feel his character much. Maybe this is because of the alternating POV style Kagawa has adopted for Talon.
>> Riley the rogue whose POV was added later on in the story. I don’t like him, hot as he sounds. I feel like there was too much, ‘Ember must come with us’, ‘We won’t leave without her’, and ‘I can feel he belongs to me’ kind of crap. I don’t like him. Not because he’ll probably serve as the third party to a potential love triangle (though I get the feeling there won’t be one), but because I just don’t like his over confident, cocky ass.
And now, with that aside…the plot of Talon was simple and straightforward enough, but nothing really to fangirl over. While this was a very interesting read, it was also not as interesting as other things I’ve read. And reading this after Clariel, you can definitely see the difference of strengths between two different and experienced authors. In this case, if I had to pick between the two, I would probably pick Clariel over Talon, because while yes Talon suits what I”m looking for now–something contemporary (reallyyyyy craving it)–I feel I was more engaged with Garth Nix’s story than with Julie Kagawa’s.
In light of this… I’ve read quite a few dragon books, and this one does hold it’s own against other great stories I’ve read. However, I guess it lacks and which I hope to see it pick up in the next couple of novels, which it might, since that was the case with the previous Kagawa series, is the plot. Something epic would be nice, something that escalates and escalates and than explodes in bright heart wrenching explosive pieces that also melds your heart back into one whole piece and back into your chest. This is something I feel Kagawa lacks, even though she is good, somewhat, in building a relationship between two people. Well. I do intend to read Rogue next, sometime soon. Not sure when though!
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Other Worthy Reviews:
~> The Day Hagrid Hired a Sub: Talon by Julie Kagawa// @ Howdy YAL
~> ‘Talon’ by Julie Kagawa// @Emdoesbookreviews