Saturday, 26 December 2015

Talon by Julie Kagawa - non-spoiler review

Hi booklovers

When I went to FACTS convention, HarperCollinsHolland had a booth there and they were advertising that Julie Kagawa was going to be at the Antwerp Bookfair for a workshop on making dragons. (If you follow her on Twitter, she regularly posts picture of the dragons she makes.) I didn't really feel like taking the workshop, but I also found out that she was going to have a signing session.
I (almost) immediately decided I wanted to go, because here in Belgium we don't get to meet American authors that often, so it would be a unique opportunity. 
Unfortunately, I hadn't read a single book by her. I've heard mixed things about her Iron Fey series, so I decided to read the first book in her Talon Saga: Talon. I wasn't able to finish it before the bookfair, but I finished it soon after the fair, so here is my (long overdue) spoiler-free review.

Title: Talon
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA, fantasy
Publication date: 2014
Format: Paperback
Talon is about Ember and Dante Hill, 'human' twins who are actually dragons hiding in human forms. Of course, the world is not aware of dragons living amongst them. Except for the Order of St. George, whose only mission is to track down and kill all the dragons.
Talon also tells the story of Garret, St. George's 'perfect soldier', who is sent on a mission to sniff out the possible dragon in Crescent Beach. Ember and Garret get to know each other. They both have their own mission: Ember needs to learn how to blend in with the humans but still maintain her training as a dragon and Garret has to find out who the hidden dragon is. As Garret gets more and more convinced about Ember possibly being the dragon, he also learns that there is more to dragons than meets the eye. Maybe all he has been taught about dragons isn't necesarily true.
Ember also starts to realise that Talon, the organisation responsible for the training of the dragons, isn't what it appears to be. There is Dante, who very much believes everything Talon says and does. And last but not least we have Riley, a rogue dragon who tries to convince Ember that Talon isn't the perfect organisation.

-Ember: She is the female dragon in human form. She has some difficulties fitting in with the young people in Crescent Beach, because this is the first time she has to live amongst humans. She adjusts rather quickly and is able to fit in. However she keeps struggling with all the human emotions that she isn't supposed to feel, both with Garret and Riley (although with Riley it's more her 'dragon' feelings stirring). At the same time she has to keep up her training as a dragon and deal with all the stuff she has to endure from her trainer.
-Garret: Garret is St. George's perfect soldier, who is determined to kill all the dragons there are. His motives are mostly based on revenge because both his parents were killed by a dragon. When he is sent to Crescent Beach to sniff out the sleeper dragon, he has to try and fit in with the young people there. As time goes by he starts to realise that dragons aren't necisarrily the bloodthirsty beings that St. George says they are.
-Riley: The rogue dragon. His mission in Crescent Beach is to convince Ember and Dante to leave Talon behind, because they are a manipulative bunch of dragons.
-Dante: He is Embers twin and he is the complete opposite of Ember. He always follows the rules and believes wholeheartedly in the goodness of Talon. He tries to convince Ember that Riley is bad for her and that he is lying to her.
I really liked the fact that dragons can shapeshift into humans in this story. I absolutely love dragons and if they would excist, I would definitely have one as a pet :-) So I really liked the idea of dragons secretly living among humans and trying to fit in. Of course, there will always be people who fear the unknown and so the organisation of St. George thinks they know all there is to know about dragons and wants them exterminated. This is the classic 'good' vs 'evil' part of the story.
The story unfortunately also has the typical YA love triangle - this isn't a spoiler, it's pretty obvious Ember will develop feelings for both boys! - which probably wasn't the best thing for the story. There were some typical YA tropes in this book.
*Overall rating:
I gave this book 3.5 stars, but now I'm actually leaning more towards 3 stars.
The book isn't bad. Like I said, I liked the idea of shapeshifting dragons living amongst people. What I didn't quite enjoy was the love triangle and Ember's personality. She's a bit too indecisive for my liking.
I do plan on continuing with the story, because I hope the story will become better, but I won't pick it up straight away. Maybe I'll pick up the first book in one of her other series first, I just don't know yet.

I have to admit that meeting Julie Kagawa was really nice, it's really cool to have an autographed book :-)


Have you read Talon or any other book by Julie Kagawa. What did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Bye for now


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