Series: Talon #1
on October, 28 2014
Pages: 449 pages
Amazon • Indiebound • Barnes & Noble • Goodreads
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.
I didn’t know I needed a book about dragons masquerading as humans until I found one. Talon is about a world where the remaining dragons hide in plain sight in human form in order to stay alive and a girl who wants more for her life than what has been laid out for her. Although I had some issues with it, I liked the interesting characters, their relationships with each others, and the dragon culture.
The book follows multiple perspectives, but the main character is Ember. She and her twin brother, Dante, have been moved to a small beach town for the summer by Talon so they can learn to blend in with normal human teenagers. For Ember, this is her one, brief period of time where she can have fun and do whatever she wants before the next stage of her mysterious training begins and she is officially locked into the dragon organization permanently. She has lived in seclusion for her entire life, her brother being the only person her own age she’s known, and is itching to have some freedom.
While in this town she meets two boys—Riley, a rogue dragon, on the run and living outside the control of Talon, and Garrett, a member of the organization out to eradicate her race, who is there undercover with the sole purpose of finding and killing her. If you guessed love triangle, you guessed right. Luckily, though, the focus is mainly on the developing relationship between Ember and Garrett. Riley is not given a whole lot of page time for most of this book, though I think that will be changing as the series goes on.
Garrett and Riley are more of a representation of Ember’s battle with the two sides of herself—Riley representing her dragon nature and Garrett her desire to fit in with human society and make connections with others her own age. Both pull at her desire for freedom outside of Talon’s control, as neither boy is feasible for her while living under Talon’s totalitarian rule. I liked that even though there is a lot of focus on the developing romance between Ember and Garrett, and a little bit of angst when Riley is thrown into the mix, the story always remained centered on Ember and her desires for herself. Her frustration with the lack of choice in her life, her brother’s inability to understand her problems with Talon, and her inability to talk to anybody with total honesty, rang very true to me and made her really relatable as a character.
I also enjoyed Garrett quiet a bit. He is not just the love interest and he has more issues than just maybe being in love with a dragon. Going undercover to find the sleeper dragon is his first time being in a situation where he has to interact with other teenagers. Much like Ember, he is not completely happy with his life being laid out for him and he struggles to connect with and interact with his peers. It is their outsider status that draws them together, even though they don’t know the truth about each other. Although at times I thought it was silly how long it took Garrett to realize Ember was the dragon (come on, her name is Ember), I thought it was more about how the Order’s prejudices kept him from seeing the truth. The fact that Ember was not the cold, power-hungry creature he was taught she should be, caused him both to doubt whether or not she was a dragon and if the organization he devoted his life to was as infallible as he was lead to believe. Garrett’s journey was just as intriguing to me as Ember’s, just in different ways.
Although I really liked the emotional arcs of Ember and Garrett, there were still some things I wasn’t as crazy about. At over 400 pages, this is a pretty long book, and a lot of it follows Ember doing normal teen things, like going to the beach, going to the mall, and going to the smoothie place. Seriously, the smoothie place is mentioned so many times I think it could be a character in its own right. In a book about dragons, I wanted more dragon stuff. More shifting into dragon form, more doing dragon things, anything. The beach-going and surfing lessons started to drag after a while. I thought it could have been cut shorter to make more room for awesome dragon battles!
I did enjoy Talon and I will definitely be reading the next one. This book ends on a pretty serious cliffhanger. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dragons and cute romances, but if cliffhangers drive you crazy, maybe wait until it’s a little closer to when book two is released.
I am sad to say this will be my last post here on The Midnight Garden. This is something I have to do, but I am still very sorry to have to go. I am so glad for all the friends I made here and all the thoughtful comments I have received on my reviews. Thank you everyone for making my time here so amazing!