Talon (Talon Saga Series #1)

Talon (Talon Saga Series #1)

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by Julie Kagawa
     
 

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THE DRAGONS OF TALON: Once hunted nearly to extinction, they are now poised to take over the world.

THE ORDER OF ST. GEORGE: The legendary dragonslayers will stop at nothing to wipe dragons from the face of the earth.

These mortal enemies are locked in secret and deadly combat, with humanity none the wiser.

To take her

Overview

THE DRAGONS OF TALON: Once hunted nearly to extinction, they are now poised to take over the world.

THE ORDER OF ST. GEORGE: The legendary dragonslayers will stop at nothing to wipe dragons from the face of the earth.

These mortal enemies are locked in secret and deadly combat, with humanity none the wiser.

To take her rightful place in the Talon organization, young dragon Ember Hill must prove she can hide her true nature and blend in with humans. Her delight at the prospect of a summer of "normal" teen experiences is short-lived, however, once she discovers that she's also expected to train for her destined career in Talon. But a chance meeting with a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught.

As Ember struggles to accept her future, St. George soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian is tasked with hunting her down. But when faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything the Order has ingrained in him—and what he might be willing to give up to uncover the truth about dragons.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/13/2014
Flame-haired Ember is a dragon and part of Talon, a secret organization of dragons who, throughout history, have taken human disguise both for self-preservation and to control human society. Garret belongs to the Order of St. George, an equally hidden militia whose purpose is to wipe Talon out of existence, dragon by dragon. When Ember and her twin brother, Dante, are sent to a California beach town to blend in with the local teens and begin rigorous Talon training, Garret and his fellow soldier, Tristan, are instructed to hunt and kill Ember without mercy. Garret, new to teenage freedoms, starts to fall for her, knowing he may have to eliminate her; meanwhile, the human in Ember is drawn to Garret, while the dragon in her favors Riley, a "rogue dragon" targeted by both Talon and St. George. Kagawa (the Iron Fey series) uses alternating points of view—chapters shift among Ember, Garret, and Riley—to good effect, weaving a dance of adolescent desire. It's a strong, promising start to the Talon Saga. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laurie McLean, Foreword Literary. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Kagawa...uses alternating points of view...to good effect, weaving a dance of adolescent desire. It's a strong, promising start to the Talon Saga." -Publishers Weekly

"This modern-day fantasy with a splash of romance is an entertaining read. Kagawa weaves an evenly paced narrative with a strong theme of loyalty." -School Library Journal

"The militarized conflict between Talon and St. George provides plenty of excitement...and Kagawa knows just how to end a first volume for maximum cliff-hanger drama." -Booklist

"Kagawa's fine storytelling elevates this novel within the crowded field of fantasy romance. The first in a new series, Talon leaves readers perfectly balanced between satisfaction and anticipation." -BookPage

"A believable, exciting world...readers will swoon." -RT Book Reviews

School Library Journal
09/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—In this fantasy set in present-day California, Ember and her twin, Dante, are sent to live with guardians in a beach town for the summer. It's supposed to be their last period of free time before they start training for their life's work. Ember and Dante are dragons, and Talon is the government agency that assigns their work, educates them, and makes sure they blend in well with their surroundings and fellow humans. Talon has an ancient enemy in St. George, a militia whose sole purpose is to seek and destroy all dragons. When Garrett, one of St. George's most promising soldiers, is sent to find a sleeper dragon in the same small beach town, he and Ember cross paths. With a rogue dragon as a catalyst, the two must sort through the truths they thought they knew about each other's sides—their lives depend on it. Ember is a strong-willed heroine who isn't afraid to take risks and questions the motives of those who run Talon. Her twin brother is much the opposite. The story is told in two parts, the first offering alternating perspectives from Garrett and Ember. The second includes the rogue dragon, which feels unnecessary and distracting. This modern-day fantasy with a splash of romance is an entertaining read. Kagawa weaves an evenly paced narrative with a strong theme of loyalty. Readers who have outgrown Christopher Paolini's Eragon (Knopf, 2003) and those who appreciate a good old-fashioned love triangle will enjoy this first installment of the saga.—Stephanie DeVincentis, Downers Grove North High School, IL
Kirkus Reviews
2014-09-03
Dragons dwell among us in this contemporary romantic fantasy. Sixteen-year-old Ember and her twin brother, Dante, are dragon shape-shifters living in a world oblivious to their existence. Raised in secrecy and isolation by the ruthless dragon organization Talon, they've come to Crescent Beach for a summer of relative freedom to learn how to assimilate into human society. Restless and rebellious, Ember has been anticipating this summer for years, but it proves to be anything but carefree when she meets Riley, a dangerously appealing rogue dragon, and develops very undraconic feelings for Garret, a human boy she meets on the beach. Little does Ember know that Garret is a veteran soldier from the dragon-slaying Order of St. George, and his mission is to identify and assassinate any dragons hiding in Crescent Beach. Ember and Garret's star-crossed romance is par for the course for teen paranormal romances, as is Riley's role as a jealous rival, but readers swooning over the kisses are unlikely to complain about the familiarity. Kagawa rotates the first-person, present-tense narration among the three leads. Though the prose is often repetitive, the insight into their respective experiences is welcome, and Ember's and Garret's outsider perspectives on teen social rituals are reliably amusing. Fans of the genre will be happy to overlook this series opener's occasional lapses of style. (Paranormal romance. 14-18)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780373212156
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
04/26/2016
Series:
Talon Saga Series , #1
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
52,007
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Talon


By Julie Kagawa

Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Copyright © 2014 Harlequin Enterprises Limited
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-373-21139-5


CHAPTER 1

Ember


"Ember, when did your parents die, and what was the cause of death?"

I stifled a groan and tore my gaze from the car window, where the bright, sunny town of Crescent Beach shimmered beyond the tinted glass. The air in the black sedan was cold and stale and, annoyingly, the driver had engaged the child safety locks so I couldn't roll down the window. We'd been stuck in the car for hours, and I was itching to get out of this moving prison and into the sun. Outside the glass, palm trees lined the road, and charming villas shared the sidewalk with weathered gray shacks advertising food, T-shirts, surfboard wax and more. Just beyond the pavement, past a strip of glistening white sand, the Pacific Ocean shimmered like a huge turquoise jewel, teasing me with its frothy waves and countless beachgoers splashing freely in the glittering water.

"Ember? Did you hear me? Answer the question, please."

I sighed and settled back against the cold leather. "Joseph and Kate Hill were killed in a car accident when we were seven years old," I recited, seeing the driver's impassive gaze watching me from the rearview mirror. Beside him, Mr. Ramsey's dark head bobbed in affirmation.

"Go on."

I squirmed against the seat belt. "They had gone to see a Broadway musical, West Side Story," I continued, "and were struck by a drunk driver on the way home. My brother and I went to live with our grandparents, until Grandpa Bill developed lung cancer and could no longer take care of us. So we came here to stay with our aunt and uncle." I snuck a longing gaze out the window again, seeing a pair of humans on surfboards, gliding down the waves. My curiosity perked. I'd never gone surfing before, not in my dusty little corner of desert. It looked nearly as much fun as flying, though I doubted anything could compare to soaring the air currents, feeling the wind in your face and beneath your wings. I didn't know how I was going to survive the summer completely earthborn. Humans were lucky, I thought, as the car sped on and the surfers were lost from view. They didn't know what they were missing.

"Good," muttered Mr. Ramsey, sounding distracted. I imagined him scanning his ever-present tablet, scrolling through our files and background. "Dante, what is your real objective while in Crescent Beach?"

My twin calmly pulled his earbuds down and hit the pause button on his iPhone. He had this uncanny ability to zone out to music or television and still know exactly what was going on around him. I did not have this talent. My teachers had to smack me upside the head to get my attention if there was anything remotely distracting around. "Observe and blend in," he stated in his cool, unruffled voice. "Learn how to engage with humans, how to be human. Assimilate into their social structure and make them believe we are one of them."

I rolled my eyes. He caught my gaze and gave a small shrug. Dante and I weren't really twins, not in the truest sense of the word. Sure, we were the same age. Sure, we looked very similar; we had the same obscenely red hair and green eyes. And we'd been together as far back as I could remember. But we didn't come from the same womb. We didn't come from a womb at all, really. Dante and I were clutchmates, which was still highly unusual because our kind normally didn't lay more than one egg at a time. Making us strange, even among our own. But Dante and I had hatched together and were raised together, and as far as anyone was concerned, he was my twin, my sibling and my only friend.

"Mmm." Apparently satisfied that we had not, in fact, forgotten the made-up backstory drilled so deep into my head that I could recite it in my sleep, Mr. Ramsey went back to scrolling through his tablet, and I went back to staring out the window.

The ocean receded, the sparkling horizon dropping from view as we turned off the main stretch and entered a subdivision with impressive white-and-rose villas lining the streets, surrounded by perfectly manicured lawns and palm trees. Some of these dwellings were truly enormous, making me stare in amazement. I'd never seen such huge houses except on television, or in the documentaries the teachers made us watch years ago, when we were first learning about humankind. Where they lived, how they acted, their behavior and family units and language—we'd studied it all.

Now, we would be living among them.

Excitement rose up again, making me even more impatient. I wanted out. I wanted to touch and feel and see the things beyond the glass, to finally experience it. My world, up until now, had been a large underground facility that I never saw the outside of, then a private school in the middle of the Great Basin, with no one around for miles, and only my brother and teachers for company. Safe, protected, far from prying human eyes…and possibly the most boring spot on the face of the planet. I squirmed against the seat again, accidentally hitting the back of the chair in front of me.

"Ember," Mr. Ramsey said, a note of irritation in his voice,

"sit still."

Scowling, I settled back, crossing my arms. Sit still, calm down, be quiet. The most familiar phrases in my life. I was never good at sitting in one place for long periods of time, though my teachers had tried their hardest to instill "a little patience" into me. Patience, stodgy Mr. Smith had told me on more than one occasion, is a virtue that holds especially true for your kind. The best-laid plans are never conceived in a day. You have the luxury of time—time to think, time to plan, time to calculate and see everything come to fruition. Talon has survived for centuries, and will continue to survive, because it knows the value of patience. So what's the blasted hurry, hatchling?

I rolled my eyes. The "blasted hurry" was that I rarely had any time that was truly my own. They wanted me to sit, listen, learn, be quiet, when I wanted to run, shout, jump, fly. Everything in my life was rules: can't do this, don't do that, be here at this time, follow the instructions to the letter. It had gotten worse as I got older, every tiny detail of my life regulated and laid out for me, until I was ready to explode. The only thing that had kept me from going completely nuts was looking forward to the day I turned sixteen. The day I would "graduate" from that isolated corner of no-man's-land and, if I was deemed ready, begin the next stage of training. I'd done everything I could to be "ready" for this, and it must've paid off because here we were. Observe, assimilate and blend in, that was our official mission, but all I cared about was that I was out of school and away from Talon. I'd finally get to see the world I'd studied all my life.

The sedan finally pulled into a cul-de-sac of smaller but no less elegant villas and rolled to a stop in front of a driveway in the very center. I peered through the window and grinned with excitement at the place that would be home for an indefinite length of time.

The structure looming above us sat across a tiny lawn of short grass, scrub and a single palm tree encircled in brick. Its walls were a cheerful, buttery yellow, the tiled roof a deep red. The top floor had huge glass windows that caught the afternoon light, and the front door stood beneath an archway, like the entrance to a castle, I thought. But best of all, through the gap between the house and its neighbor, I could just make out the silvery glint of water, and my heart leaped at the thought of the ocean right in our backyard.

I wanted nothing more than to yank open the door, jump out and go sprinting down the sand dunes until I hit the ocean waiting for me at the bottom. But Mr. Ramsey, our official escort for the day, turned in his seat to eye us, particularly me, as if he knew what was going through my mind. "Wait here," he said, his rather large nostrils flaring with the order. "I will inform your guardians you have arrived. Do not move until I return."

He opened his door, letting in a brief, intoxicating rush of warmth and salt-drenched air, slammed it behind him and marched up the worn brick path to the waiting villa.

I drummed my fingers against the leather seat and squirmed.

"Wow," Dante breathed, peering over my shoulder, craning his neck to see the whole house. I could feel his presence behind me, his hand on my back as he steadied himself. "So, it's finally happening," he said in a low voice. "No more private school, no more getting up at 6:00 a.m. every single day, no more being stuck in the middle of nowhere."

"No classes, no study hall, no evaluators dropping by every month to see how 'human' we are." I grinned back at him. The driver was watching us, listening to us, but I didn't care. "Sixteen years, and we finally get to start our lives. We're finally free."

My twin chuckled. "I wouldn't go that far," he murmured, gently tugging a strand of my short red hair. "Remember, we're here to blend in, to study the humans and assimilate into the community. This is just another phase of training. Don't forget, at the end of the summer, we start our sophomore year of high school. But more important, our real instructors will show up, and they'll decide where we fit into the organization. This is a brief respite, at most, so enjoy it while you can."

I made a face at him. "I intend to."

And I did. He had no idea how much. I was tired of rules and isolation, of watching the world go by without me. I was tired of Talon and their endless string of policies, laws and restrictions. No more of that. The summer was mine, and I had big plans, things I wanted to do, before it ended and we'd be forced back into the system. This summer, I was going to live.

If I was ever allowed out of this stupid car.

The front door opened again, and Mr. Ramsey waved us forward. But instead of disengaging the child locks, the driver himself got out of the sedan and opened the doors for us. Of course he let Dante out first, and I almost slid across the seat to exit the car behind him. I was literally bouncing with impatience by the time the driver walked around to my side and finally let me out.

When my feet hit the ground, I stretched both arms over my head and yawned, breathing in the sun-soaked air, letting it warm my skin. I already loved how this place smelled. Ocean and sand, surf and hot pavement, the sound of distant waves caressing the beach. I wondered what Mr. Ramsey and my future guardians would say if I blew them all off and went skipping down to the ocean without looking back.

"Ember! Dante!" Mr. Ramsey stood in the shade of the archway, beckoning to us. I sighed and had taken one step toward the trunk to get my bags when the driver stopped me.

"I'll bring in your luggage, Miss Ember," he said solemnly. "You go on up to the house."

"Are you sure? I can get it." I stepped forward, holding out a hand, and he cringed back, averting his eyes. I blinked and stopped, remembering that some humans in the organization—the ones who actually knew what we were—were afraid of us. Our teachers had told us as much; though we were civilized and had slipped perfectly into human society, we were still predators, higher up on the food chain, and they knew it.

"Come on, sis," Dante called as I stepped back. He stood at the edge of the walkway with his hands in his pockets, the sun gleaming off his crimson hair. He already looked perfectly at home. "The sooner we meet everyone, the sooner we can do what we want."

That sounded good to me. I nodded and followed him up the walk to Mr. Ramsey, who ushered us into a charming, well-lit living room. Through the large bay windows off to the side, I could see a rickety picket fence and, beyond that, the beach, a long wooden dock and the ever-tempting ocean. A pair of humans stood in front of a green leather sofa as we came in, waiting for us.

"Ember, Dante," Mr. Ramsey said, nodding to the pair, "this is your aunt Sarah and uncle Liam. They'll be taking care of you until further notice."

"Nice to meet you," Dante, ever the polite one, said, while I hung back and observed our new guardians curiously. With a few distinctions, all humans looked basically the same to me. But our teachers had instructed us that it was crucial to see the differences, to recognize the individual, so I did that now. "Uncle" Liam was lanky and wind-burned, with russet hair and a neatly trimmed beard peppered with white. He had a stern face and unsmiling, swamp-water eyes that swept over us critically, before he gave a short, brisk nod. "Aunt" Sarah was plump and cheerful looking, her brown hair pulled into a neat bun, her dark eyes watching us with hawklike intensity.

"Well," Mr. Ramsey said, tucking his tablet under an arm. "My job here is done. I'll have Murray deliver your bags to your rooms. Mr. O'Conner, you know who to call if there is an emergency. Ember, Dante." He nodded to us, fixing me with a firm glare. "Obey your guardians. Remember your training. Your evaluators will be in to check on you in three months."

And, just like that, he swept from the room, out the front door and was gone. He didn't say goodbye, and we hadn't expected him to. Sentiment was not a big thing among our kind.

"Ember and Dante Hill, welcome to your new home," Uncle Liam announced, sounding like he'd done this speech before. He probably had. "I'm sure your instructors have informed you of the rules, but let me remind you, in case you forgot. While you are here, Sarah and I are your guardians, thus we are responsible for you. Meals are served at 8:00 a.m., noon and 6:30 p.m. You are not required to be home for mealtimes, but you are to call to let us know where you are. You should already have the numbers memorized, so there is no excuse not to. Talon has provided you with a vehicle—I understand you both have driver's licenses—but you must ask permission before taking it out. Curfew is strictly at midnight, no exceptions, no questions asked. And, of course, the most important rule." His green-gray eyes narrowed. "Under no circumstances are you to Shift into your true forms. And you are never to fly, for any reason whatsoever. With the amount of people, technology and hidden threats, the risk of being seen is far too great. Your old school was on Talon property and they controlled the airspace around it, so the risks were minimal if you needed to Shift, but that is not the case here. Unless you receive a direct order from Talon itself, flying around in your true forms is strictly, one hundred percent forbidden. Is that understood?"

I managed a brief nod, though the thought made me physically ill. How did they expect me to never fly again? They might as well just tear my wings off.

"If you fail to comply with these rules," Liam continued, "or if we deem you unfit for human society, Talon will be informed at once, and you will be evaluated to see if reeducation is necessary. Other than that, you are free to come and go as you please. Do you have any questions?"

I did. I might be completely earthbound, but that didn't mean I had to stay here. "So, the beach," I said, and he arched an eyebrow at me. "Can we go down there any time?"

Sarah chuckled. "It's a public beach, Ember. As long as you're home by curfew, you can spend as much time down there as you want. In fact, it's a good place to meet the locals—a lot of kids your age go there to hang out." She turned, beckoning to us with a chubby hand. "But here, let me show you to your rooms and you can unpack."

Music to my ears.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Talon by Julie Kagawa. Copyright © 2014 Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Born in Sacramento, CA, Julie Kagawa moved to Hawaii at the age of nine. There she learned many things; how to bodyboard, that teachers scream when you put centipedes in their desks, and that writing stories in math class is a great way to kill time. Her teachers were glad to see her graduate.

Julie now lives is Louisville, KY with her husband and furkids. She is the international and NYT bestselling author of The Iron Fey series. Visit her at juliekagawa.com.

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Talon 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I borrowed someones ARC copy and it was sooooooooo good! It meets all my expectations and surpasses them! Well, there is a reason that julie kagawa is my absolute favorite author...
artNpen More than 1 year ago
This cover is absolutely beautiful and makes me happy. I will begin by saying that I read some really mean reviews about this book on multiple sites. I will say that the scathing reviews are completely unwaranted. I agree with many that Ember's character is a little lack-luster, but I don't think she was written as immaturely as others claim. I really enjoyed the build up with the supporting characters. For the entirety of the novel, the story is centered on Ember's inner struggle with her desire for the relaxing and fun human world, versus finding her place in the cut throat and scary world of Talon. This book has action, romance, drama, and DRAGONS! The premise of the book is very interesting, with two secret societies being at war with each other. Not original, but it translated well in the book. I have a deep love for dragons, and I really liked how Julie Kagawa portrayed them. The Elders were especially cunning and arrogant--their words and body language dripping with the superiority I expect and love. A quick note: the book is arranged in two halves. The second half of the book is absolutely stellar. Had there been as much action and development in the first half, I would have rated Talon higher. My biggest complaint, and the main reason why I'm rating this book 3 out of 5 stars, is that I wanted to see more dragon stuff. The book is long--a little over 400 pages. There could have been so much more character and plot development had there not been multiple points of view in First Person. It gets annoying. Ember, Garret, and Dante fell a little flat for me. I could have ignored one flat character, but when all three of the leading characters are flat, it really begins to bother me. Furthermore, there was something about the interactions that just seemed artificial. I didn't bond with these characters. Despite that, I think this series has great potential and I recommend that you at least check it out and give it a try.
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
A highly addictive read with loads of action, adventure and YA romance!  I can't wait for the next installment!!!!! "For one moment, with Garret’s lips on mine and his arms trapping me against him, I was neither human nor dragon. Just me." TALON by Julie Kagawa is an epic young adult fantasy! It's a thrilling debut for Julie's new Talon Saga series teeming with secret societies, forbidden loves and a good vs. evil theme. I'd previously inhaled Julie's awesome Iron Fey series and with my current anything-dragon infatuation, TALON was a must-read for me. I was certainly not disappointed! I've read that Hollywood has already optioned it for film and I hope they follow through. It would be so awesome to see this tale played out on the big screen! The book features two competing secret societies. There's the organization of Talon, a clandestine dragon network with a purpose shrouded in secrecy and there's the Order of St. George , a society of dragon killers. Both are controlling, hush-hush organizations whose followers must fall in line... or else. My full review has been posted to Reading Between The Wines Book Club.  5 WINE GLASSES!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LITERALLY LOVED THIS BOOK AND WHEN I REALIZED THAT THERE WAS A FREAKING SEQUEL I KINDA JUST DIED AND THEN YOU KNOW WHAT READ IT JUST LITERALLY READ IT NOW OKAY on a less insane note... Why the crap are so many other people hating? This book is one of the freaking best books if ever read. Literrally. Just read it. READ. IT.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cannot wait to get this horrible thing off my nook. I like dragons (who doesn't?), but the mindlessness of this immature would-be rebel is so distasteful and ungrammatical. Delete, delete, delete.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a different take on dragons. The book Firelight is similar to this, but I think that Kagawa did a better job developing the characters, motives, and plot than the author of Firelight, Sophie Jordan. It was really great. I cannot wait for the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say, I have a deep love for dragon stories, I'm not sure what is it but the ideology of dragons just fascinates me. So when I read the description for this book, my inner kid started screaming in delight. This books was a must read from start to finish. I got it Christmas day on my nook, and I finshed it probably within 2-3 days. Other then when I HAD to put it down, I couldn't stop reading this book and I am so looking forward to the sequel! Id you loved any of Julie Kagawa's other books, like I did, then you will LOVE this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! Flawless writing, gripping story line, and believable characters. A new twist on fairy tale stories meets modern times. The writer made me question, get mad, and fall on love with both Riley (Cobalt) and Garret all at once. Ending in a cliff hanger that made me want to start the second book now. Can't wait for the next book to come out in April!
avidreaderMO More than 1 year ago
I finished this book last night and am so disappointed that I have to wait for the second book. The characters were so realistic. It felt like dragons could be anywhere. I loved the way they grew, the emotions she made them feel and the depth they each had. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was goin to be another Firelight series. Very surprised! It was a great book with a twisting story line. This is for sure a must read for dragon fans. Cannot wait for second book to be released!
Anonymous 24 days ago
Good
Anonymous 24 days ago
Caught me by surprise, I love the new creative take Talon brings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
St. Gorge killed all the dragons!!!!!!!! It mist be a horibul book if dragons are good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Hello."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont bother with this book unless you dont care about story or cheracter development and are only interested in a never ending mush-fest of hearts stopping and stomachs fluttering and breaths catching on literally every single page. Both Ember and Garret are flat and uninteresting and the situation set up seems somehow thrown together but utterly predictable at the same time. I read half the book telling myself that it couldnt really be this boring, that something was bound to improve. I finally realized i was fooling myself and gave up.
jcsbookhaven More than 1 year ago
I read the first chapter a while ago, and have been on pins and needles to get this one ever since. I’ve loved everything I’ve read of Kagawa’s so far (The Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series) so a series about dragons from an author I love is hard to pass up. Did I mention DRAGONS? Nothing but Sunshine I haven’t read a book about dragons that can appear as humans yet, so this one was unique for me in that aspect. I’ve enjoyed the fantasy books that have to do with dragons and how they think so I’ve been looking forward to seeing this take on these huge mystical beasts. Ember and Dante are twins which never happens for the dragons. They are teenagers who are now being thrust on the human world from a life of isolation and training. Watching them adapt to their new environment (a beautiful beach setting) mingling with normal teenage humans was a fun experience. The characters are well developed and easy to love. Ember is head-strong yet flexible. She forms her own opinions and then does what she thinks is right. Dante is the by-the-book, straight-laced one and actually quite boring, but truth be told, he’s not in the story a lot. The POVs are between Ember, Garrett, and Riley. Garrett is a disciplined soldier through-and-through and is forced to experience life as a normal boy through going undercover. Riley is the bad boy you can never tame with a soft side. One of my favorite things to read is when enemies come together to fight a new enemy. I love seeing that adaptability that even though you are in a particular ‘group’, the individuals and the bonds formed matter more. Flames Die Eventually Oh the inevitable love triangle. It definitely makes an appearance. I also found some of the actions in Talon predictable. Fire in the Heart, or Fire in the Soul Ember has never had any sort of romance in her life since she mainly spent time with her brother and trainers growing up. She is now faced with two options who on the surface seem like they couldn’t be more different but deep down they both have the same drive to protect what they think is right. Both enemies to Ember, but both friends. One she is drawn to through her dragon side, and one through her human side. It seems apparent how this one will pan out in the end. A Fiery Start, an Inferno in the Making This is an excellent start to what is a must-read series for me. Talon kept my interest from beginning to end and I read it very quickly. The characters are easy to love, there’s plenty of action, and the setting is fun. The world and the groups of Talon and the Order of St. George are explained well. It all concludes in a way that I absolutely have to know what happens next. Very recommended. Originally given 4 1/2 stars at JC's Book Haven
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book
archetype67 More than 1 year ago
Kagawa's YA novel, Talon - the first in a series, is a fast moving, enjoyable novel about Ember Hill, a teenager who happens to be a dragons who can take human form. She and her brother are being trained as possible sleepers to live among humans for the mysterious Talon - the dragon 'government' organization that determines what each dragon will do when they mature. But dragons have been hunted by the mysterious Order of St. George for hundreds of years. Ember meets Garrett who has been raised by the order and is searching for sleepers. Of course, neither knows. Throw in the rogue dragon who helps other dragons who don't fit into Talon. He tries to convince Ember that Talon is a brutal, totalitarian government and she should come with him. While there is the expected tension between the two male potentials, Ember find herself frustrated by her domineering trainer, the growing distance between her and her brother, and trying to find time to surf - the closest thing she can have since she isn't allowed to transform and fly. The characters were well drawn, although I found Garrett and the rogue somewhat typed. The story it self was fast paced and moved along. The parable aspect of the novel wasn't overdone and the writing and dialog was entertaining.
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
Talon is the first installment in Julie Kagawa's young adult, fantasy series titled Talon. Good versus evil, shape-shifting dragons, dragon slayers, with human freedom hanging in the balance? Unfortunately, Talon's story was less about this promising plot and more about a dragon/girl who wants to experience the teenage years of her human side, and wait for it... a love triangle. Yep, and both love interests are forbidden romances. Imagine that... Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed; however, there were things that I liked enough to continue the series. The strategic storyline referenced in the synopsis may be hiding in the background of this book, but it's still there and that gives me hope that future installments might really get to the meat of this fantasy thriller. Let's just hope the love triangle gets quickly resolved...maybe by death or something. After all, this book is about dragons!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book I really like the fresh story line. Ive read a lot of her work and enjoy seeing her improve as a writer. Not sure I agree on the hefty cost as I read so quickly and I find 10$ books aren't any better than 2$ ones though I did buy the second book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me of the edge of my seat the whole time. Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lots cussing in it
lrhubble More than 1 year ago
An Excellent Book Contemporary Paranormal Romance, YA California Long ago, the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers hunted dragons to near extinction. The dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning by hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret. Now with humans none the wiser the dragons are now positioned to take over the world. Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Ember has been trained to infiltrate society but before she takes her destined place in Talon she wants to experience life as a teen and enjoy a summer of freedom. Destiny though is a matter of perspective. Ember soon has everything she has been taught challenged by a rogue dragon. Ember and her brother are being hunted by the Order of St. George and at the same time she is struggling to accept her future. Garret Xavier Sebastian is a soldier whose sole mission is to seek and destroy all dragons. Particularly Talon’s newest recruits. First he has to be certain that he has found his prey before he can kill. He also learns that when it comes to Ember Hill nothing is certain. Garret begins questioning everything the Order has taught and ingrained in him when he faces Ember’s confidence, all-too-human desires and bravery. He also questions what he is willing to give up so he can find out the truth about dragons. This is an amazing book that readers will find hard to put down once they start. It is full of action and adventure and the reader is never sure what will happen next or where this one will end up. The plot is well written and the characters are great and complex. It will also have readers wanting to read the next book in the series to see what will happen next. As Ember and Garret have their beliefs and everything they have been taught turned on its head you never know just how either will react to what is suddenly happening in each of their worlds. This book is just different enough to really stand out for readers and will be a book that will be hard to forget once the reader is done.
AllisonMM More than 1 year ago
I was shocked at how good this book was. The characters were interesting, it wasn't predictable, and it had an ending that makes me want to read book 2.