Buy it on AMAZON
☆ ☆ ☆ THREE STARS
Talon was a book that took me by surprise and then hurled me down a VERY LONG and PREDICTABLE rabbit hole and yet, I STILL ENJOYED reading it. Which is really strange as I generally dislike books that are easily predictable and seem pointlessly long. My love for character-driven stories was definitely a perk in reading this. If that’s not your thing, the middle of this book may lag a little. The saving grace for Talon were the characters and their dynamics. There was just something so appealing about them. So, my true reaction to this book is one of slight disbelief and grudging respect. Kagawa can spin a line and keep you interested… even if it’s something you’ve read many times before!
The story follows dragon cructchmates (AKA twins) Ember and Dante Hill, two teenagers apart of the secret Talon organisation, as they assimilate among human society. Their training at Talon had been focused on learning how to survive by blending in amongst humans in order to avoid their merciless enemies, The Order of St. George. St. George are constantly on the look out for dragons to slay, as they view them akin to murderous beasts. The ensuing story of Ember and Dante’s survival when members of St. George start sniffing around their new town is one full of action, drama and unexpected loyalties.
I could imagine this story being turned in to a popular Netflix show. Hot characters. Sand. Sun. Secret organisation. Corruption and the temptation to go rogue. It has that teenage angst flare deeply inserted in to the premise which aims to gain your approval in a similar vein to Ember and Dante having to insert themselves in the popular group to ‘assimilate’ as per Talon’s instructions. Is anyone else imagining Archie and Cheryl from Riverdale as Dante and Ember (not in a romantic way of course! Just their appearance)? Let the teen drama commence!
While there were a lot of predictable and unoriginal aspects of this story, I still enjoyed the reading experience overall. Ember was a feisty, independent and compassionate character that was easy to like. Her vulnerable side and confusion at the hinted corruption in Talon was interesting to read about. She was a very well-written and flawed character. Kagawa managed to capture my heart with almost all of the characters. Even those that weren’t overly likeable. They were still interesting and that, along with great dynamics between them, made up for a lack in the story’s originality.
Besides for originality, I also had an issue with the story’s pacing. This book was near 500 pages, which I don’t usually mind but it felt like it could have been condensed in to a fast-paced and impactful 300 pages. The world building was done well, despite the fact that it followed some well-known tropes. It was easy to imagine the places, events and get an understanding of the intricacies surrounding St. George, Talon and the Rogue dragons.
Overall, this book was still an enjoyable read and I’m keen to see where the series leads in the sequel. Talon finished off with a cliff-hanger of sorts, so there are still quite a few questions unanswered. One namely being the outcome of the budding love triangle that slowly began to emerge in this story. I’m looking forward to trying out Rogue next to see where it goes!
// have you read Talon or any other books by Kagawa? what were your thoughts on them? //