Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Title: Talon
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Buy this book: Amazon / Book Depository 
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.
Oh dear, where to begin with Talon.

It's hard to know where to begin with Talon, especially considering how excited I was to receive this one for Christmas. It's not that my expectations were ridiculously high, it's just that I was expecting more than what I got. I think I was imagining this rather cool book that was going to be filled with action and dragons, with a hint of romance too. I wasn't expecting it to be an angsty teen romance, with dragons mentioned every now and again. That wasn't what I signed up for.

I think the main problem I had with the book was that the main reason I wanted to read it so badly was because it had dragons in it. The books dust jacket is beautiful, it's made to look like shiny dragon scales. The book itself has the outline of a dragon on it, as well as some of the inside pages. Dragons everywhere. Except in the story. Ember, along with all other dragon characters, spend almost 99% of the book in human form. There's not much dragon to be found in a book that screams dragon! I don't think it was wrong of me to expect this book to contain lots of cool, hardcore, fire-breathing dragons.

Hate Hate You animated GIF
Me and every character.
This book was so frustrating for me because it read like every other YA out there. It contains so many YA tropes that it's hard not to laugh about it. It contains not one, but two super secret organisations. It contains the lead heroine who is 'special' for some inexplicable reason that everyone seems to get but me. Then there's the pointless love triangle. The insta love feel. Everything! I can definitely say that this is one of the most disappointing reads I've come across.

There was quite a lot of this book and the main storyline that confused me and didn't make as much sense as I would have liked. I think that's because it has barely any world building at all. We are told that Talon exists, the secret dragon organisation, and that the Order of St. George exists, the secret organisation that tracks down and kills dragons, but that's about it. We don't find out anything more about them. Or why they are hunting one another. Talon have yet to take over the world, they stay hidden, don't reveal themselves to humans nor do they go around massacring hundreds of people. So why are the Order of St. George so determined to hunt them down and kill them. I want proper explanations because it all felt rather pointless when reading it.

Then we have the characters, who are all flat, flat, flat, flat... FLAT! There is nothing to them, at all. Ember is just one big eye roll for me. I just felt like there wasn't one thing about her that I liked. She bugged me so much because she was a complete idiot. But I don't know if she is an idiot or it was the writing that made her seem like an idiot. There was a point where she mentions about 5 times on one page about a person being unable to look her in the eye. COME ON! We all know that means that person is lying and will clearly do something they shouldn't. I SEE IT. How does she not see it!?! Gah, stupid woman. Then we have the two love interests, who offer up nothing. The romance was terrible in this, not only do we have a pointless love triangle, we also have inner monologues that are cringe-inducing to read. You get cliched line after cliched line and I was beginning to lose all patience with this book.
'I wondered if I would ever see him again. And if I did, I wondered if I could somehow break through that dignified shell to the person beneath.'
"And that he wouldn't need to feel jealous or afraid, because she's right here. She's standing right in front of you.'
confused animated GIF
'I didn't know what I was missing, until I met you.'
Attorney Disgusted animated GIF

This book was all romance, and not the swoon-worthy kind that you can really root for. This was that cringe-inducing, teen-angst, embarrassing-to-read type romance. Complete with the really pointless love triangle and a girl who talks about her 'inner dragon' the way that Anastasia Steele talks about her 'inner Goddess'.

And also there's the fact they stole the Mortal Kombat symbol.


1/5 Butterflies

I originally gave this 2/5 when I finished it, but reviewing it has made me realise that I don't even feel I can give it that many. It might be considered an okay read if it had been billed as a teen romance/drama. But it wasn't, everything about the physical book screams dragons! I wanted dragons, which didn't feel like too much to ask for but apparently it is. All the dragons in this seem to spend almost all their time in human form. It also doesn't help that Ember seems to act and think more human than dragon, she even refers to it as her 'dragon'. It's not your dragon.... you are a dragon! 


38 comments:

  1. I've heard a lot of people feel the same way as you. I haven't read it but I have a feeling I'll feel the same way too. Probably won't be picking this one up. Thanks for the review Charnell!

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    1. I wish I had avoided it... felt like I wasted hours of my life. Wait, I did! ;)

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  2. wow I am shocked. I have heard so many good things about this book. Maybe won't be picking this up anytime soon.

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    1. I hated it, but I have seen some good reviews too so there's always the chance that it could work for you.

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  3. I have seen a lot of reviews that have the same feelings as you, that this just didn't live up to their expectations from this author.
    Great honest review!

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    1. Thank you. I still get annoyed just thinking about this book and the hours I wasted reading it.

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  4. :( :( :( :( :( I have adored Julie Kagawa ever since I read The Immortal Rules and I feel like Talon is the complete opposite of everything I loved about her vampire series!:( It sucks that there aren't much dragons involved - I myself am looking forward to read it for the dragons too. Guess I won't be picking this up anytime soon.
    Great review! :)

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

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    1. I hope you enjoyed this if you did get around to reading it. This just didn't work for me at all. Hopefully something else by her will though.

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  5. OMFG your gifs are so on point Charnell! I've been hearing a lot of the same things for Talon. I don't think I'm going to be reading this because I HATE love triangles and with instant love? Please, just no.

    Fantastic review, hun <33

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    1. Thank you!!!! :) I really enjoyed writing the review, but still didn't make reading the book seem even remotely worth it.

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  6. Err, yup, this is basically my review, well, the review that will go on goodreads anyway, so yeah. Pretty disappointed, it was a let down, it was bad bad bad, I just, where the hell am I getting my 1.5 from? I have no idea, honestly, it could be a 1 star really. You hit the nail Charnell, this book was just, no. Brilliant review though! :)

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    1. Haha thank you! THIS JUST SUCKED! I wasted hours of my life on this trash and I will never get them back.

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  7. BAHAhahA (wow I need to sleep or leave or something LOL) FAB GIFS, FAB REVIEW. I'm stepping FAR FAR away from this one. I'm not strong on the dragon front to begin with but then people told me that the dragons weren't even done justice and I just thought "nope, not going to even try". FLAT CHARACTERS? TROPES TROPES TROPES?? Gah, yup, not for me at all. Fantastic, honest review, Charnell! I really appreciate it! <3

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    1. You're very welcome. If I can save one person from the mind-numbing experience that is reading this book then I have done some good in my life!!! ;')

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  8. It's like you read my mind, it feels like Julie Kagawa hired a ghost writer for this book.
    Paulina @ The Little Book Pixie

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    1. YUP. Not good and it put me off trying anything else by her.

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  9. Oh wow, the more I read about this one, the less likely I am to want to read it. I thought there were going to be more dragons in this one too, and knowing there isn't is a big enough disappointment already. This is the kind of book where I want to read it even though it has negative reviews... not sure what to do here :/

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    1. Yup, was not a fan at all! I really wish I hadn't wasted hours of my life on this book.

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  10. *Jaw is on the floor* I cannot believe you didn't like this one. I've been so excited to read. From the moment the cover showed it's pretty little dust jacket I was excited about a YA dragon novel. I am crushed that it's another YA angst story with little dragons. That cover and synopsis had such potential. *super sad puppy dog face*
    I recently read Chris Cannon's Going Down in Flames novel about dragons and it was pretty good. It does have a love interest but a lot of the book focuses on Dragon traditions, learning to shift and harness their powers.
    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

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    1. I hope you enjoyed it more than me if you got the chance to read it. It just didn't work for me at all.

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  11. Oh my gosh, I totally know how you feel! How the romance just took over the story with super flat characters. I gave the book (Born at Midnight) a 2/5... Sigh. It's really unfortunate when books like these happen. Especially since I love Kagawa's Iron Fey series. I love the cover too, and whenever I see it at the book store, I'm always tempted to get it. Although, now I am rethinking doing so...

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    1. I wish I hadn't wasted my time on this book, it definitely wasn't worth it.

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  12. Erk. I have only heard that this book is a sad little mess and I don't even think I want to try. *sighs* I'm sooo disappointed because DRAGONS. I love dragons! And the cover is so shiny and scaly and beautiful. So maybe I will try it, but I think it'll just make me cry.

    It's almost like authors don't...um....read?? Do they not know what is incredibly overdone and tiresome and which tropes to avoid??

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    1. And yet you ended up LOVING it! You lil' freak ;) haha

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  13. I was so hesitant to put this on my TBR list but then I thought, no I've liked her other series I should just read it but now I haven't seen anyone that has feeling different to yours. I'll possibly still read it but it's not high up on the list. What a shame.

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    1. I'd be interested to hear what you thought of it! :)

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  14. Bummer! I haven't read this one yet, but I'm a huge fan of anything involving dragons (obviously) and want to read this one really badly. I'm a little curmudgeonly when it comes to romance, so your review has me worried. Hope it works for me better than it did for you. And I hope your next read is better!!

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  15. I haven't read this but this was a pretty awesome review.

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  16. The world building in this book was so freaking flimsy- especially how dragons were supposed to be all "emotionless", yet we have TWO dragons who exhibit some form of love...I mean, really?? I totally agree, the "inner dragon" stuff was weird as well... this book was definitely not one of Kagawa's best :/

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    1. It's really put me off trying anything else by her in the future. This was just completely terrible, made no sense and was very poorly written.

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  17. Oh no! I'm scared to read your review because 1. I LOVE Julie Kagawa and 2. I'm super excited to read this. :/
    I'm not sure when I'll get to this, but maybe I should come back and read your review at that time?...
    Okay, I just read your ending remarks. I love me some romance, but I would also be reading this for the dragons. Hmmm.... Maybe I should be going in with much lower expectations.
    Sorry this one sucked for you.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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    1. I'm really interested to see what you made of it!!! :)

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  18. I got this one from the library, started it, and had to put it down because of all the reasons you mentioned. I felt so bad for doing that, but life's too short to read something like this! I still haven't taken it back, but I'm just going to do it because I have absolutely no desire to pick it back up. Sorry you were so disappointed…I feel the same way. ~Pam

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    1. I was hoping that it was going to be an amazing read, I ended up being so disappointed by it. Has put me off the authors work for good.

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  19. Awwww crap :( I was SO EXCITED about Talon, and as you said dragons! I was expecting the book to be focused on said dragons, preferably the fearsome fire-breathing kind, not on a teen romance :( Such a let down!

    I'm so undecided whether I want to take a chance on it - maybe one day down the road if I find it second-hand or maybe I'll borrow it from the library... but I don't think I'll fork over the cash for a new copy :( Or, maybe I'll just skip it *sigh*. Sorry you didn't like it Charnell, these kind of bookish disappointments are the absolute WORST!

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    1. I'd be really curious to see what you make of it. It just didn't work for me at all and was probably one of my least favourite reads of the year.

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