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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 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.

449 pages, Hardcover

First published October 28, 2014

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Julie Kagawa

116 books24.7k followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,824 reviews
December 23, 2015
DNF at 25%. I have theories about what happens throughout the rest of the book. Read my theories at the end, those who have read this series, and tell me if I'm wrong.

I fully expected to enjoy this book, or at least find plenty of entertainment value, given that it was written by Julie Kagawa.

I was wrong.

Last week I read the fantastically craptastic Firelight which was essentially Twilight with dragons. So my standards weren't high to begin with. This book was only marginally better, and only so due to Kagawa's writing.

Kagawa is a writer whose works I enjoy. Fuck, I liked the much-reviled and oftentimes stupid Meghan in the Iron Fey series, I overlooked the tragic love triangle, because those books were fun. Not so with this one.

I could tell from the first few chapters that this wouldn't be a book I enjoyed, and the fact is reinforced throughout the story. Dragons are cool. Dragons are deadly. They breathe fire, they kill people, they're awesome! I wanted a main character like that. Instead, I got a main character who's a dragon but really just wanted to fit in with the humans. There is literally no distinguishing her from every other rebellious teenager ever besides for the fact that she can turn into a dragon. She's rebellious! She wants freedom! She wants to go to the beach and chill and have friends, yo. So badass. Not.
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.
There is nothing original about the main character that would make her different from every other Mary Sue in existence. For example, she is one of a super super rare couple of dragon twins, and besides, she's designed to be physically stunning.
When choosing the form that would be ours for the rest of our life, everyone in Talon was groomed to the highest standards of human beauty.
Fuck that shit. I don't want a stunning human girl, I want a bad-ass fire-breathing, ass-kicking, princess-eating dragon.

“Gorgeous Biker Boy,” Lexi replied as the strange dragon continued to stare at me, almost challenging. “No one knows who he is. He showed up a few weeks ago, and has been coming around all the popular hangouts. He never talks to anyone, just checks the place out, like he’s looking for somebody, and leaves.” Her knee bumped mine under the table, making me jump, and she grinned wickedly. “But it seems like he’s found what he was looking for.”
“Gorgeous Biker Boy,” Lexi replied as the strange dragon continued to stare at me, almost challenging. “No one knows who he is. He showed up a few weeks ago, and has been coming around all the popular hangouts. He never talks to anyone, just checks the place out, like he’s looking for somebody, and leaves.” Her knee bumped mine under the table, making me jump, and she grinned wickedly. “But it seems like he’s found what he was looking for.”And then there's the insta-love. Come on, now!
But I remembered the strange dragon’s eyes, the look on his face as he’d stared at me, the way my blood had warmed at the sight of him. I remembered the heat of his gaze, the instant awakening of something fierce and primal inside me when our eyes met.
The rogue dragon was trouble. Plain and simple.
And I was intrigued.
All of that idiocy is uncovered within the first few chapters. And I have a clear idea of how things are going to go.

From her rebellious and not-so-charming-free-spiritedness, I'm going to guess that Ember constantly does stupid shit to put herself in danger. Like changing into human and back into dragon form because it's so important that the dragons keep their existence a secret.
The art of Shifting—changing into human form—was so widespread it was common dragon knowledge now. All our kind knew how to do it. And those that couldn’t were either taught very quickly, or they were hunted down by the Order of St. George, the terrible cult of dragonslayers whose only purpose was our destruction. Shifting into human form was our best defense against genocidal dragon killers and a world of unsuspecting mortals; one did not just wander about in full reptile form unless one had a death wish.
I'm going to guess that she flouts the rules every chance she gets. I'm going to guess that there's a love triangle, involving that gorgeous forbidden dragon from the quote above, and someone else. That other someone will either be her long-lost friend or an enemy whose purpose is to kill her, à la Firelight. Am I wrong?
Profile Image for Jordan.
29 reviews
Want to read
April 20, 2013
April 2013:
Lets be honest, I'd read this woman's grocery list if she published it.
Profile Image for Iris.
312 reviews318 followers
July 28, 2016
Challenge #7 A book with non-human character (popsugar 2015 reading challenge: http://tinyurl.com/mmbkthd)

***Two stars only because 1 star is for DNF's***

Today! On our segment of "REALLY?!?!"

1. Dialogue so cheesy you could grate it...

2. Heroine too trusting of the wrong people in very bad situations...

3. Frustrating amounts of NO ACTION...

4. Love triangle introduced in the last 20% of the book...

5.One guy has rape-y vibes and one guy wants to shoot her in her head...

6. Cliff hanger ending with no resolution as a marketing ploy to get you to buy the next book...


Thank you this has been your segment of "REALLY?"
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,964 reviews294k followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
August 21, 2014
I just... can't... finish it.

I tried, really I did. I'm a big fan of Kagawa's work and I've enjoyed both her Fae books and her vampire trilogy; it was only natural that I was dying to get my hands on her brand new series about dragons who take human form.

But there was a missing spark for me that I managed to find in her other two series. Plus, throw in a bunch of regular YA paranormal cliches like a love triangle and this book, despite the original-sounding premise, was nothing special. You can tell almost immediately who the love interest is going to be, just from the description of his badass smirk.

And it wasn't even the cliches and transparent plot line. Kagawa's other books aren't exactly dazzling with originality, but they are compulsively readable and addictive. They move along at a pace that demands to be read. They introduce us to characters that interest, intrigue and piss us off.

It's possible that I took too long to read Talon. I've had less time lately and maybe the constant putting it down and picking it up made it difficult for me to become fully invested in the story, but I'm not going to waste any more of my precious reading time on a book that isn't doing it for me. As always, if positive reviews roll in, I might try again.

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Profile Image for Steysha.
109 reviews212 followers
September 6, 2014
What I expected:

What I got:

I love Julie Kagawa. I’ve read her Iron Fey series and I liked it. So I had great expectations upon this book. I mean… it’s about dragons! But I’m actually disappointed.

Ember and her twin Dante are exceptional. Dragons usually lay only one egg a time, so they don’t have siblings. They live in a Talon – organization that helps them to survive in a world, where dragons are killed by St. George – military forces, created to drive dragons to extinct.
Ember and Dante are supposed to learn how to assimilate with humans during their summer in California, while training to become actual members of Talon and start to work for the organization. But Ember doesn’t want to work – she wants to have fun with her friends, go surfing and do pretty much nothing.
Then she meets a rogue dragon that puts under question all she knew before, and falls in love with a boy, which is strictly forbidden and unnatural for a dragon. And yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have a love triangle.

Ember is soooo annoying. She’s whiny, childish and irresponsible. I felt like I was reading about a 10-year-old. All she does is rambles about how bad is Talon, because they make her listen to the rules and train her to become a real dragon, while she wants to go for a walk with her friends.
For example, she instantly thinks her trainer is a Bitch, because she teaches her how to fight St. George when our girl dreams about boys, and never pats her shoulder when she does something good (which isn’t often). She isn’t your loving mother, moron, she trains you how to survive in a world where dragons are killed!

Which was why I had so been looking forward to the summer, one final hurrah before I had to become a responsible member of the organization. Before I became a full member of Talon for life, which was a very, very long time for us. Three months, that was all I wanted. Was that too much to ask?

Um, let me get this straight. She trains in the morning. That she can do whatever she wants. She has a lot of time for surfing, shopping and for going out with her friends. But she never. Stops. Whining.

Moreover, it gets her a lot of time for doing stupid things. Her brother asked her repeatedly not to bend the rules, because if Talon finds out, they’ll be sent back. This is their only chance to prove themselves. Pfff, like this girl cares. She’s attracted by everything that is forbidden: hang out with a rogue? Check. Turn into a dragon? Check. Get attached to humans? Check.

The story was also predictable from the very start. We knew that Garret is from the St. George, and maybe that’s the reason why every time Ember met with him it looked obvious to me. But seriously: this guy has never heard about arcade, he has no friends, everything is new to him, as it’s for Ember. But that doesn’t ring a bell, for he seems perfectly normal to her. Garret also shows her that he is good at combat and that he’s a perfect shooter. But the girl doesn’t even ask where he learned it. For a dragon who all her life was taught that St. George is after them, she’s incredibly oblivious. All she cares about is for her feelings for him.

Also, this book is cheesy and full of clichés. Like the part where Ember and her friends met some strangers and decided to ride with them to a cave. As Ember thought, these guys were looking “for fun”. Then girls are saved from those rapists by a knight in shining armor, and guess what? It taught them nothing, they sat in the car with another stranger and immediately invited him to a party in the house of one of the girls. What the hell??? You don’t even know him!
I remember watching some documental film about dinosaurs, and there was a scene where one tyrannosaur killed another, so that he could leave its prey for himself. You get it, Ember?

The girl also does this strange thing when she talks about herself as a dragon and herself as a human, like they are two different persons. For instance, she-human liked Garret, while she-dragon bristled at the thought of him. Sounds like she has a split personality.

There were three POVs, Ember`s, Garret`s and Riley`s – the rogue dragon. And while I was annoyed by Ember, boys were actually good, if you don’t count their endless praises for her when she doesn’t deserve it.

The writing was good, I liked the battle scenes, it was epic. Also I loved the description of Kagawa`s dragons, it was pretty realistic. I mean:

Something dark, scaly, and massive erupted from the hacienda, sending tile and wood flying as it launched itself into the air. My heart jumped as I watched the monster soar above the canopy. It was huge, a full-grown adult, the height of a bull elephant and three times as long. Curved horns spiraled up from its narrow skull, and a mane of spines ran down its neck to a long, thrashing tail. The sun glinted off midnight scales, and leathery wings cast a long shadow over the ground as the dragon hovered in the air, glaring down at the battle below, then dove to attack.

The plot wasn’t very interesting, because, as I said, it was predictable. The characters made me feel like banging my head against the wall, though I really liked Riley. Unfortunately, I expected much more. 2,5-3 stars.
Profile Image for Angelica.
805 reviews1,132 followers
April 11, 2020
well that was painfully average.

I love Julie Kagawa. Truly, I do. Her Iron Fey series was once my favorite YA series. She’s awesome. This book… not so much.

This book is an average YA novel, at best. It has average, unimpressive characters. An average plot. Average writing. And of course, average inta-love with an average love triangle.

This is the kind of book I feel that I’ve read before if only because of how uninspiring it was. There was nothing too original or intriguing about it. There was nothing memorable.

Overall, it was just…meh.

So, is it wrong that a small, strangely masochistic part of me kinda wants to continue this bland series? I suppose we’ll see what happens. I might get desperate one of these days and pick up the sequel. Knowing me, the chances of that are actually quite high.

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Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 18 books13.3k followers
January 5, 2015
Hear goes another review!

So I will start by letting you know I read this whole beast of a book in 5, 30 min reading sprints. Yes it was that good!

I loved the fact it was a fantasy based in modern time all about kick ass dragons that roam around as humans. Almost like the fantastical version of Hannah Montana!

I can not wait for the second book! I currently have a headache from reading so much but just believe that this book is amazing! you all must read it!

Ben ox
Profile Image for Arooj .
529 reviews317 followers
December 30, 2017


And if you're wondering, then yes, it was definitely worth the wait.

First off - this book was different than Julie Kagawa's usual adventure type of books. If you've read her Iron Fey series, or her Immortal Rules series, you'd know that adventure is a big part of the story. It's one of my favourite things about her books. But Talon didn't really have any of that - and I actually didn't mind. I still enjoyed reading this. And I have a feeling that there will be a lot of surprises in the next books in the series, so I'm really looking forward to that.

The characters - gah, I loved them all! Ember did seem a bit immature at first, but I still liked her. Garrett was awesome. I loved reading in his point of view. And Riley...okay, I love Garrett, and I know that Riley probably won't end up with Ember, but goddammit I want him to!

The romance was so sweet. Ember and Garrett's attraction towards each other did seem a bit too sudden, but the more I read abut them, the less I cared. They're just too cute together.

And...dragons, guys. DRAGONS. Like...wow. I had so much more to say, but I'm kind of speechless right now.

But again, I have to go back to my first point: this series is a lot different than Julie's other series. It has a slower pace and is set in the regular human world. It would be easy to become disappointed if you're expecting this series to be like her other works. I still loved it. It may seem like I'm biased towards JK, but had a feeling that this series would be different, and that I would read it with an open mind. So I hope you all give this book a chance.

So there you have it, guys. Julie Kagawa has done it again. I don't think she's capable to write a book that will disappoint me.

Shit, now I have to wait a freaking year for Rogue. *sighs*

Let the waiting begin!








EDIT October 14th 2014: 2 FUCKING WEEKS.



EDIT September 28th 2014:

I'm gonna be checking Chapter's website every day starting October, in case the book is released early somehow. THEN THAT BABY IS MIIIIIINE. Mwahahahahaha! (Don't ask me why I did that horrible evil laugh, I'm not in the right state of mind right now)


EDIT August 21st 2014: What month is it now? *stares at calender*

Two months and one week left.




I'm going to go insane.


EDIT May 6th 2014: To all those people who have their hands on the arc...


(No I won't, I'm just bluffing, but in my mind I am definitely planning something.)



Dragon scales. Holy. Shit.

I love how the cover is simple, yet very eye catching. I bet the details on the dragon scales will look more enhanced on the actual book. And I absolutely love the dragon in the "O".

I WANT THIS BOOK NOW, DAMMIT. NOW. Because I'm this close to exploding my brains.


EDIT March 16th 2014: 7 months and 12 days left.



EDIT January 11th 2014: 9 months and 17 days until we're united, Talon. XD


EDIT Oct 7th 2013: It's about dragons.

Oh my god.

Oh my fucking god.




February 26th 2013:

Julie Kagawa is writing another series?!


Honestly, I don't even care what the book is about. If Julie's name is on it, I'm definitely reading it. And the synopsis of this book already sounds so freaking epic. Oh my god. I'm so excited I could throw up.

Profile Image for Kristina Horner.
157 reviews1,812 followers
May 9, 2015
Okay. I have seriously been looking forward to writing this review. Because I HATED Talon with every fiber of my being and can't even think of ONE redeeming quality, aside from perhaps the fact that my roommate and I had a joyous time bonding over our simultaneous hate-reads of this audiobook. Sometimes reading a bad book can be fun, I'll admit it. But other times, it can make you want to drive your car off a cliff as you BEAT YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE STEERING WHEEL BECAUSE EVERYONE IN THE BOOK IS SO STUPID.

To back up - I got this book because it was an Audible daily deal, which meant it was $2. A fun YA romance about dragons pretending to be humans -- sounds at least entertaining, right? Definitely at least worth $2.


First off, THEY'RE BARELY EVEN DRAGONS. THIS IS JUST A TERRIBLE CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE. They only seemed to remember they were dragons when it was convenient. "I don't understand human emotions," Ember says, instantly falling in love with literally the first human boy she meets even though its explicitly stated dragons don't love, all while effortlessly referencing NCIS. "I've been a rogue, living away from everything," Riley says, then proceeds to quote Shrek before insisting they need to "get the hell out of Dodge". "All I know is murder and killing and war," Garret says, insisting he's a hardcore soldier but also instantly falling in love with the girl/dragon he's supposed to kill, forgetting his life-long mission over a girl he like, played video games with once.

This book is about 2 dragons and a solider who are actually the worst 2 dragons and soldier that ever existed. All dragon and solider aspects of this book just get in the way of the messy, forced, unbelievable "romance" that Julie Kagawa has cobbled together and she fights it at every chance she gets, often contradicting parameters she set up earlier in the book about being a dragon.

My roommate said he got through the book more easily pretending that these were people with mental disorders who just THOUGHT they were dragons. I tend to agree. That was a vast improvement.

There was so. much. repetitive. writing. If I had decided to drink every time someone ran a hand through their hair, I'd be dead. If I have to hear the phrase "looked up at him through my eyelashes" again, I will rage. And seriously, what does "scrubbing" your hands over something mean? Ember scrubbed her hands over literally everything. Her hair. Her eyes. Her face. Constantly. Why.

It made me so made that Riley kept teasing his ~secrets about Talon~ and I was really hoping for something shocking or bad because his whole schtick was "but I have ~secrets~ about your world" and then in the end it was just like "they're bad lol run away with me!". UGH.

NOTHING was logical. At all. From the fact that Ember's cunning human disguise was to be a red-headed human whose name LITERALLY TRANSLATES TO FIRE to the fact that the elite order of St. George sent two teenagers to pal around all summer with girls to find the "deadly dragon" rather than I dont know, inventing some sort of way to test it to the fact that Riley suddenly just decided he and Ember were going to be in love and carried this decision out in a super rapey way... ugh. Just ugh.

I wasn't expecting a good book out of Talon, honestly. I was expecting it to be silly, or at least fun in an eye-rolling sort of way.
But this pile of nonsense is so bad I can't even deal with the fact that I listened to the whole thing. And guys... there are MORE in the series. WHY. Why.

So... that was Talon. I am not taking chances on $2 books ever again, unless they have glowing reviews on goodreads. I think reading this book took years off my life, and all I wanted was a fun dragon romp.

Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,037 followers
November 12, 2014
2.5 stars, as much as it pains me to do this.

Julie, oh Julie. Why you gotta do me like that? u_u

Prior to reading this book, I was like:

Because it's Julie! I adore her to pieces. The Iron Fey series to date is one of my favorite series' of all time, and so is Blood of Eden. She put out constant masterpieces that, naturally, I put her on a pedestal.

After reading this book, I'm starting to think that was not a very wise idea. ._.

This book suffered a massive case of blandness. It was extremely formulaic and seemed like it didn't even try to get much originality in. I mean, granted, Julie's series' were never really that original either, but at least things actually happened in those books, and the characters were wonderful. Talon, however, just dragged and dragged, and the characters felt lifeless to me. Not to mention the plethora of cliches and age-old YA tropes.

And yet, I pressed on, because I kept telling myself, "This is Julie effing Kagawa! A new series! Squeeee, much?!" So I kept reading, hoping it'd improve down the road. I was all, "Come on, Julie, where's all that awesomeness you have in you? Don't tell me you've used it all up already!"

But the further I read, the more she was all,

There were sparks--so to speak--of Julie's magic in there, though. It's not as if I completely hated the book or anything, because there were tiny bits I liked. But they were just that; tiny bits. Sparks. Most of the time it didn't even feel like this was her book, because I know for a fact that she can do so much better.

But the big question is, do I still have hope for this series?


Fuck, I have no clue. On the one hand, yeah, it may end up being great. But on the other hand... I really don't care for these characters. >_< I mean what do you do with that, y'know? When you read the first book in a series and barely give a crap about the characters, how would you continue on with the sequels?

*sigh* I don't know, you guys. I'm just overwhelmed with crushing disappointment right now. I don't really wanna think about it yet. I'm just trying to convince myself that sometimes, people who are amazing at what they do, still stumble. That's exactly what happened here, but I still have a special place in my heart for Ms. Kagawa and have hope that she'll pull through.

This book is a big no-no, and yet there is still a 2% chance that I may end up continuing the series, regardless of my lack of care for the characters. It's just... It's Julie, goddammit! >_<

Profile Image for Twila.
128 reviews116 followers
January 11, 2020
What I THOUGHT Talon would have:
• Epic dragon battles and wars
• Dragon lore
• Dragon politics
• Awesome dragon heroine
• Epic romance

What Talon ACTUALLY had:
• Beaches, parties, the mall, boys, surfing
• Very little action, with a super slow pace
• Practically NO world building
• Girl kicks guy where 'the sun don't shine'
• Insta-love... TWICE!
The LAMEST dragon ever!

This is a book about dragons right?!


I could count the number of times in ONE HAND that Ember shifted into a dragon.
All I wanted was an epic dragon book and instead I got a pretty typical teenage girl book, with a small dragon element on the side. Like,"I'm pretending to be a regular teenage girl, but I could shift into a dragon if I wanted to. Remember that." Meh.

And that cliff-hanger at the end! Ugh.
There's going to be five books in this series. Five???

Ember was so hot-headied, whiny and constantly made rash decisioncs without thinking anything through.
And then there's the love triangle that came in for the last 20% of the boook. Really?!

"Well, to paraphrase a famous fictional ogre, dragons are like onions - we have layers."

Okay, so I did like Riley/Cobalt a little. He sort of reminded me of Damon from The Vampire Diaries :D

Overall, this is definately not compareable to a dragon book like Seraphina, with its depth and sophisticated world building. Guys, just go read that instead.

I buddy read this with Elizabeth. If it wasn't for her optimism, I most likely wouldn't have finished this.

I loved Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series, but this just fell really flat.
November 11, 2014
A ruse. That's all it was. Pretend to like this girl. Pretend to have feelings, to pursue some kind of relationship. Earn her friendship and trust, knowing I might have to destroy it, and her, in the end.

Ruthless. Julie Kagawa is ruthless. Mad. Intoxicating...Brilliant. I just....I don't get why people aren't loving this one. Is it the content? Is it because it's about dragons and you just can't get past it? Is it the non-existent love triangle? The not-so-insta-love? Is it because it isn't over-packed like an action movie full of explosions and power-plays? Is it the substance? OR, is it because it isn't all about her abilities as a dragon and it focuses more on the romance? Well...see...that's the problem: That's why I loved it so much.

Those eyes. I felt like they pierced right through me; that if I didn't break away now, they would peel me open to see what lay beneath. Deep within, the dragon stirred, growling. She didn't like this human, I realized. Maybe he scared her, or the intensity of his gaze reminded her of a predator. Or maybe she felt that, if I stared at him much longer, I would lose myself in those stormy eyes and forget all about a certain golden-eyed rogue, waiting for me in the darkness.

This story isn't about learning her abilities, about Talon itself, or even how she got to where she is now: It's about being free. It's about having one summer to be free from the system, to have fun, to not look at her past, to not face her chosen future, to fall in love. And, not only that, it's about falling in love with the enemy. You know, that person that is sworn to kill you without batting an eyelash? That person that would soon rather stab themselves in the eye than to be in the presence of the very thing they fear and loathe more than anything in the world. I mean, how could that ever work? A human and a dragon? But, as they find themselves wrapped in each others' embrace, one undercover as a ploy to get close to the 'sleeper' and one actually being said sleeper, they start to wonder what it would be like to be normal, to stay frozen in that moment together and to never face those harsh realities and responsibilities ever again. But how could they ever be normal when they are both hiding a deadly secret-a deadly secret that could kill one another?

I wanted to spend more time with her; she was constantly in my thoughts, and right now the only thing I wanted was to lean in and kiss her. Which was, of course, disastrous for the mission, but I couldn't help it. Somewhere between that day on the beach when I'd met her for the first time and the night of the party when we'd kissed in the ocean, she had become something more than a potential target. She had, very inexplicably, become the most important thing in my life.
And that terrified me.

This is Julie Kagawa-Her romance is unrivaled and she embraces forbidden love like she would coddle a child. No one compares and I admire her work greatly. Kagawa is the type of writer that can suck you in without you ever intending for it to happen. She writes beautifully and has a way with words, as my friend said, erasing any remnants of the novel before that you read and loved dearly and she holds nothing back-Kagawa takes no prisoners-you will succumb to her writing and drown in her expertly woven pages...there is no way around it.

I clenched my fist around the railing, finally forcing myself to acknowledge what that meant. I'd always known, of course. It was always there, at the back of my mind; I just didn't want to think about it. But if Ember was the sleeper...I would have to kill her.

If it's possible, I think her writing is even better than before. This is so different from her previous novels and it really showed in this story. I didn't once feel she was drawing ideas from her previous works and nothing felt recycled. It was fresh, clean, like a whole new slate. And despite the fact that I had my doubts on whether I would like this story or not, I never once thought, 'oh, this might be a four,' or 'should I take a .5 star off?'. No, this was a five through and through-and as another friend said-she finally beat the 3 star book one curse! I always three star her first books in her series only to love and adore the rest of the remaining books. I am so happy with this book, it's unreal-seriously.

I sighed again, tipping my head back. My skin was still flushed, whether from anger or adrenaline or both, and my dragon crackled and snapped in myriad different directions. I needed to calm down. I wished I had my board. It was impossible to stay tense while floating on the surface of the ocean, its cold, dark depths lulling you to sleep. The sea was fascinating. It always amazed me how calm and peaceful it was one moment, only to bear down on you a moment later with the power and savagery of a hurricane.

Ember and Garret were just...so fun to follow. Maybe at first I was skeptical as to how the alternating POV would work because she's never done it before, but I loved every minute of it. I was never mad it switched to one or the other and I loved seeing the events through each of their eyes. I didn't think it was possible, but I fell in love with yet another of her male leads. Garret, for real, doll, you better watch out-I. Am. Obsesssssed with you.

I found myself hating him, wanting to hurt him, to drive him away from the red-haired girl who was supposed to be mine.
Breathless, I slumped to the wall, numb with the realization. This anger, these illogical feelings of rage and possessiveness...I was jealous. I was jealous of a girl I was supposed to be stalking, seducing, for the sole purpose of revealing her true nature. This had become more than an objective, more than a mission.
I was falling for her.

An undercover soldier out to kill the girl he's falling in love with??? Come on. Come ooooooon. How. HOT. is. that? Every look, every touch, every caress...every kiss.....I couldn't breathe. I was choking on butterflies, my heart swelled to immeasurable proportions. I was biting my lip and covering my mouth with the largest smile on my face because I couldn't contain my geek out. I don't know when or how, but he got under my skin...and every time he doubted himself or how he would ever be able to kill this girl he was holding and hoping wasn't the sleeper, my heart broke a little more...and my evil side cackled without remorse.

At certain (okay, many) points near the end of the story I was gasping out loud, shooting my hand up to stifle my weird sounds, chanting 'oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no...'. I was smiling so big and then tearing up when the hard decisions had to be made. It was a roller coaster of emotions-up, then down, up, then down, thrown to the side against a massive rock and then pummeled with the ocean waves, then up again. Not once was I bored and it came to a point where this was unputdownable, because I just didn't know when that ball would drop and they would find out they were sworn enemies...and, hey, I loved those stolen kisses-I am a girl, after all.

Being with him did strange, twisty things to my insides. My dragon instincts did not approve; they still didn't like this human with his amazing reflexes and bright, intense eyes. The eyes of a predator. But there was another part of me that couldn't resist. And the thought of never seeing him again was unfathomable. Even if I knew it was probably for the best.

Jealousy (yaaas), lies, betrayal, true love, angst, and much more, this story became an instant favorite. The beginning was mild, I'll give you all that. But I know Kagawa, and if I know anything, she's hiding in the shadows with a malicious smile and steepled fingers because the pain will come. Oh, she'll bring it. I don't doubt that even for a second. I know her, and I know the end of this book was just the beginning of what we'll face in the future books. Our little Ember (on a side note, how damn cute is that name? Ember. Like a spark, a flame, a fiery soul trapped and hidden in a tiny, harmless body. So clever and fun-I love her spirit.) and my dear Garret are in for a world of trouble. I don't know what all is to come or what's up Kagawa's sleeve. But I do know one thing: She is a genius and I'll never doubt her ideas again. Because, in the end, she got me, I'm rooting for the impossible: I want that human and dragon together, damn it!

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Urrrmmmmmmm....another book by Julie fuckin' Kagawa??

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In 2014, you say?

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PLEASE! ! ! ! !

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Never in a million years would I have guessed that a book about dragons, DRAGONS, would excite me...but I would read ANYTHING this woman writes-now.....GIVE IT TO ME IMMEDIATELY

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Profile Image for Taschima.
860 reviews394 followers
November 13, 2014

I am a huge, huge, HUGE Julie Kagawa, fan. Her Iron Fey series as well as Blood of Eden are on my list of favorites, which is why it pains me so much to say that Talon did not deliver as I thought it was going to. It did not hook me until the very very end and by then I was looking at the Epilogue. I thought Talon focused too much of its efforts on the wrong stuff, mainly the romance and the painfully obvious love triangle. It should have focused more on world building and a more epic plot… this IS dragons we are talking about here after all.

Ember is a little dragon who just got her biggest wish granted; to spend all summer doing things she wants to do with minimal adult supervision. She will get to spend her time with her twin brother Dante, learning to ride the waves and blend in with their fellow humans. She will also get to make a lot of friends, instantly it seems, and even some enemies. But most of all, quite seriously, she will get to develop forbidden feelings for a striking human who is hiding dark secrets. Garret is of course that human, and he is tasked with the mission of finding the hatchling and putting an end to its life.

There is something about Ember that I just don’t like. Yes she is adventurous, and strong, and reckless… but perhaps she is too damn reckless. At first her spirit reminded me of Rose from Vampire Academy. They are both wild and independent, but Rose has something that Ember doesn’t. Maybe it is Lissa who keeps Rose grounded, or maybe it is Rose’s sense of duty that keeps her from becoming too much. Ember on the other hand doesn’t have a sense of duty, and she doesn’t have a Lissa. She has a twin brother, one she is supposed to be SUPER connected to but one which we barely see throughout the novel. If Ember had an anthem it would be “Girls just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper. Ember is just too much, and what is worst is that she is not the brightest of the bunch. She doesn’t trust her own instincts and instead of questioning this random human boy who is TRYING SO DAMN HARD to get close to her and get her info all she can think is “but well, he makes me FEEL things in my tummy!”


"I felt like he was hiding so much, that I wasn't even seeing the real Garret at all, and the more I hung out with him, the more I would learn.
Also being with him did strange, twisty things to my insides. My dragon instincts did not approve; they still didn't like this human with his amazing reflexes and bright, intense eyes. The eyes of a predator. But there was another part of me that just couldn't resist."


Oh, he looks like an enemy, talks like an enemy, behaves like the enemy… But he is just so DREAMY! LOOK AT THOSE EYES!! You can safely say me and Ember did not click. She was naïve and gullible until the very last page.

Though to be honest Garret, the epic soldier, didn't fare much better. He should have been better at this job of infiltrating the enemy, but he was just so obvious about his awkwardness around civilians and about anything that was remotely NORMAL that I couldn't believe this girl couldn't spot his act from 10 miles away. Wake up sunshine and smell the flowers!

"Startled by my own thoughts, I leaned back and rubbed my eyes. What was wrong with me? I was a soldier, trained to keep emotions in check at all times. I could face down a charging dragon and show no fear. I could endure two hours of my superior screaming in my face and feel nothing. What was it about Ember that was different?"


If I had to choose sides in the love triangle I would have to go with Riley. He is your typical bad boy (no english accent required) but the interesting thing about him is that he wasn't just out for himself, he was taking care of many other rebels which gave him this HUGE responsibility. That made him attractive in my eyes, he is more than what his attitude may portray, he cares more than just about himself. Not that he doesn't have his moments of selfishness, but at least he is fighting for a bigger cause. Plus, he is the rogue dragon. I mean, come on, no contest.

Talon has a very obvious love triangle, and while it is not completely off-putting... I mean I get why the love triangle is there, to reflect Ember's inner struggle between her human side and her dragon side, but I would appreciate it if it would focus less on that and more on other devices because If I had to point to one thing that dragged throughout the story it would have to be the romance.

Talon was so focused on the romance that it kind of lost its edge. We only got some interesting action by the very end of the story, and even that was fairly predictable. I guess I was expecting more action and plain old epicness from this title and less gushy romance. I had been expecting an imaginative world and instead got the same old story only wrapped in a newish package. Maybe I am a bit disillusioned but I can still see myself picking up the sequel. I always give second chances.

OLD Update:

When I first read the news I was very excited.


I mean, come on, it's Julie Kagawa!! I mean, it's dragons, and I am no fan of Dragons, but if anybody can pull it off it is most definitely her.


As usual this woman is going to write a great story and I'm going to be all like...


And at the end she is going to be bathing in piles of her own money. Because everybody is going to buy this book, EVERYBODY.

Profile Image for Tomoe Hotaru.
248 reviews850 followers
October 11, 2014
Disclaimer: This is a review of an uncorrected Advanced Reader Copy.

Know how to ruin a potentially great fantasy novel?
Cram it up to the brim with Young-Adulterism. That's what I'm coining this phenomena.
When, at around 60 pages I'm already smacked in the face with:

- beautiful main characters
- beautiful love interests
- a third party making unwanted sexual advances to female MC just so male LI can step in and rescue her
- a beautiful bad-boy to possibly serve as a future love-triangle
- said beautiful bad-boy already demonstrating interest in female MC
- plus female MC seems to be ignorant of the fact that beautiful bad-boy shows interest in her
- the impending over-used snoozefest that is Paranormal/Fantasy-Tropes-Somehow-Forced-Into-High-School

then you can kiss me goodbye because I'm done with you.

Look, I know this book is Young Adult. But that does not mean that you have to be so banal. Young Adults have interests that extend beyond hot boys and teen drama, mmkay?
I was expecting a Young-Adult novel, focusing ON this wicked new dragonlore. Instead, it was this new dragonlore focusing on young adults. Dragons here are just used to spice up what is otherwise just your usual, been-there, read-that Young-Adult fluff littering the marketspace nowadays.

So nope, ain't nobody got time for that. Pass me the next book, please.
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
593 reviews3,542 followers
December 22, 2014
3.5 stars (0.5 stars for sentimental value)

"We were taught their entire blood-filled history, from the dragonslayers, to the fanatical Templar Knights, all the way up to the militaristic order they were now... St. George was ruthless and cunning and unmerciful, the enemy of all of our kind."

Look at that passage. Just look at it. Does it not reek of potential? Does it not guarantee High Fantasy epicness in the form of dragon vs human smackdowns? Does it not promise you incredible things??

Now take a look at this:

"I remembered the heat of [the strange dragon]'s gaze, the instant awakening of something fierce and primal inside me when our eyes met."

And this:

"Those eyes. I felt like they pierced right through me; that if I didn't break away now, they would peel me open to see what lay beneath."

Now imagine pages and pages of that. You start to get bored, then worried that you're bored because this is Julie-flipping-Kagawa! She penned the fantastic Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series and from her head, sprung a certain green-eyed, redheaded prankster that you are way too obsessed with for your own good.

But it's undeniable; your interest is waning. This was not what you signed up for—this is Contemporary Romance bullshit, interspaced with glimpses of plot and action. It would've been fine as a 2010 Paranormal Romance, but you signed up for man-eating dragons, dammit, and you want them to fry a man's eyeballs off!

Then it happens. Near the end of the book when you've lost nearly all the fucks you can give: an epic dragon fight. It's intense, crazy, and exactly what you've been yearning for since you've laid eyes on that blurb.

But too little, too late. The book ends with the promise of more fights and dragon action. But nothing can redeem it from the 300+ pages of a predictable love triangle, lack of long-lasting female friendships, lackluster world-building evident by a unexplained 'magic' suit that won't rip when the MC shifts into dragon mode, and bland as tofu slice-of-life storyline.

In the end, you're left with nothing more than the sour tang of disappointment and an angry Taylor Swift gif.


Pre-review: I will read anything this woman writes.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,034 reviews1,421 followers
September 12, 2017
"The human race is weak and self-destructive, and the only thing they know how to do is destroy."

I was genuinely excited to begin this book and, judging by the synopsis, I felt it had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, I was left disappointed for a large portion of the book. The premise of a book about a teenage dragon assimilating to life amongst the human race, whilst in her human form, was intriguing, but whilst reading, this felt like more of a straight-forward romance for the most part. Romance, as a main theme in novels, is ordinarily not my thing and I felt myself getting bored of all the coyness, teen angst and love at first sight. It felt like the fantastical element were almost surplus to the romantic overdose on times.

I felt like the central portion of the novel was almost solely dedicated to an endless sea of love scenes and any forward movement in the plot was halted. The last 30% of the novel really picked up, for me, and I felt myself once more invested in the outcome of the novel. I still can't ignore that I felt like this novel could really have been halved in size and made much more impactful.

I also disliked that the human female characters were displayed as vapid and shallow with an interest only in clothes and cute boys, and it annoyed me that there wasn't a more meaningful representative for the female human race. It seemed like all the humans, in fact, were displayed as fun-loving, talkative and easy-going. Not a bad thing, in itself, but there was a lack of deep conversation and real bonds being made beyond their love of the beach and the junk food served there. If our main character was on such an advanced level to this then why did she continue to form bonds with these air-headed individuals? I would have liked to form more of an emotional investment with the characters, but I felt it difficult when I was only given this side to them.

I will continue with the series as I am interested to see where the novel goes but I am hesitant that it will only have more of the same superfluous love scenes and little actual plot development. This is probably due to my own personal tastes, in relation to romance novels, so please don't take this review as a verbatim portrayal of the novel. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in romance with a light speckling of fantasy.
Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
301 reviews40.3k followers
August 6, 2016
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

I received this book for free from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

An exciting start to what should be a promising series. It is an intriguing concept, with dragons hidden amidst a modern setting, and I really loved progressively learning more about Talon and St George.

It took me a little while to get really invested in the story. The beginning is slower in pace and I didn't find myself connecting with the characters until later on. However the ending definitely makes up for it. The tension and pacing quickly escalates into some crazy action and leaves room for plenty of excitement and drama to come.

Full video review on Little Book Owl
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
841 reviews3,775 followers
April 29, 2015

Book 2 : Rogue ✬✬✬ (2.5)

Actual rating : 3.5 stars

Deciding to read Talon was an instant-jerk reaction for me. After reading a bunch of mixed reviews, I reached the decision to never, ever read it. Guess I was fucking wrong. Because what happened next is kind of a blur : reading Chelsea's review - downloading it - eating it - loving it.

I ended to disagree with almost all the warnings I read before. Go figure. Maybe I'm a weirdo. *shrug*

About what have I been warned?

Be careful, the main character is plain blank.
Here's the thing : I loved Ember from the beginning - she was a fierce and strong-minded character, and I really enjoyed following her during her let's try to live as humans journey. Funny, sometimes over-confident but never conceited, she tries to seek the truth out behind the welter of stereotypes she received since her early childhood. What stereotypes? In a world, Damn, the dragons are going to rule the world man!! Dragons powaaaaa!!

"All right, you bastards, I though, lowering myself into a stalking position, my belly scales nearly brushing the crates. We're changing the rules a bit. This time, I'm coming for you."

What I appreciated the most was the fact she never turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the overwhelming evidence - That is to say, nothing is as simple as it seems at first, and humans can be pretty interesting too, for a reckless two-legged animal.

As for Garret, his journey in life appears to be utterly similar as Ember's. Except the fact he's human, he was also filled with craps at first, that is to say, the human version of world domination : Let's kill dragons, they're all Evil, but we have guns, woohoo!! Since the first time I met him, I was eager to see him reject this bullshit and begin to think by himself.

He didn't disappoint.

Here's a male-lead completely swoon-worthy, loyal - and adorably poorly adapted to the regular teenage life. Gah, I loved him so much.

"A ruse. That's all it was. Pretend to like this girl. Pretend to have feelings, to pursue some kind of relationship. Earn her friendship and trust, knowing I might have to destroy it, and her, in the end.
It felt wrong. Dirty and underhanded, something they would do. But... I was a soldier, and this was my mission."

Do you want to know my thoughts about the second boy, Riley? Strangely, I really liked him too. Yes, I know, I'm stunned too - because usually, I seem to develop a strong hate toward the other guy, where here, well, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself laughing at his jokes and rooting for him - to a certain extent, of course, these boundaries being Garret's happiness.

"Can't anyone ever start a fight without all the posturing and cheesy Bond-villain threats? It's not that hard. Here, let me demonstrate." And he smashed a fist into Colin's nose."

Be careful this is boring .
Well. I must be weird, because that was such a page turner for me. Go figure^^. I found the plot captivating and the twists enthralling, and as usual, I loved the fact the fantastic world could emerge in the real world. As I said earlier, I used to read a tons of fantasy and after almost 10 years I grew tired of learning a fucking lexicon each time I begin a new series. I know, I'm such a lazy reader.

While in Talon, the story is beautifully written in a way which draws us almost instantly in the life of the characters - in my case, anyway. That's true the romance overtook the plot at some point. But I don't care, because that romance? Beautiful. If you can't stand paranormal romance, it might annoy you though, I guess. Personally I found this first installment quite effective, even if some parts were predictable.

Be careful there is a love triangle in it .
When I checked reviews before taking the decision to read Talon, here's what made me really wary : Watch out!! Love triangle hell! Because as you may know, I despise them something fierce. Verdict? What was my surprise when I discovered it wasn't a love triangle for me. I know what you think : a girl, two boys? Love triangle! What is she trying to say here?

So, let me explain : I loathe it when characters - usually, the female lead - spend all their time to hang back between two boys. Perfect example? America Singer.

Oh, I love him - But He's amazing too, you know, I'm in love with Him. What? Did I say I loved him? I meant Him!

What? What do you mean Go screw yourself?

Nothing like that in Talon. Yes, we have two boys. Yes, they're both interested in Ember. Okaaaaay. But for me there isn't a love triangle because what links Ember and Riley is lust, attraction. On Garret's side? Love.

"Tonight, Garret the soldier didn't exist."

To conclude, I have to tell you to give it a try, because some crazy people like me end loving that dragons' story Julie Kagawa delivered here. That might not be your case, but come on, what are six hours in a life? At worst, you'll write a rant review, and ranting is fun, right?

But if you love it like me? Dammit, you'll spend an absolutely delighting moment with Ember and Garret.
All right guys!

Knock knock.

Postman - Hey, see, you received your copy of Talon
Me - Oh yes OMG I was sooooo looking forward to read it because -
Postman - You know there's a public debate on it right?
Me - What? No. Come on, dragons.
Postman - Yes but you know *whisper* it seems not as good as usual. For Kagawa, I mean
Me - Oh! I don't care, never read any of her books
Postman - *shocked face*
Me - Yes, because I've been on a fantasy break for years. There's only so much creepy elves a girl can take, you know?**

**Because I spent years to read only fantasy, yes, years, and at some point, I just couldn't enjoy it anymore without comparing and comparing with my absolute precious aka Robin Hobb's books - yes, all of them.

Actually, I downloaded it on my reader. But I do talk to my postman sometimes. But you saw my point, right?

Here I am, Because Chelsea convinced me here

Ready to enter the arena! TRANSFORMATION!! (omg. omg. I dreamt to write this so many times)

How in the world am I not credible? Duh, that's Sailor Moon for God's sake!
Profile Image for Hermione.
596 reviews206 followers
August 16, 2017
2 stars. I read this book a while back, and tried re-reading it this past month before I realized I had already read it. I'm not too sure how I got through it the first time. Talon read like a cookie-cutter YA novel. I am extremely disappointed in it, especially since this is Julie Kagawa. I don't think I have it in me to read the sequel for such a lackluster start to this series.
update: Oh my God. This is so badass. OMG.

She could be writing a book about how a llama and a panda fell in love and I'd still read it.




And why is everybody freaking out over the love triangle issues? Guys, this the legendary Julie Kagawa. She can do this, and she can do this well. (Except ... if she does it too well, then I won't be able to choose between two characters ...)
Profile Image for Carol.
727 reviews39 followers
April 12, 2022
What and amazing first book.📚

I have to say I loved everything about this book. Ok so the whole book is set in Crescent Beach, you have two dragon shape shifters in there teens drying to fit in with humans for the first time in their lives. This book is full of Surfing, Boys, Training and a whole group of humans dedicated to wiping out the dragon race, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. I was interest all the way through the book, and like that there was no slow parts in the storyline loved it.

moving on to the next book.

Happy Reading📗📘📕📒📓📚📙📔📚📔📗📘📚📗📖📕📙📚📓📒📔📕📖
Profile Image for Penny.
741 reviews209 followers
July 21, 2019
Actual rating 2.5 stars
Weak and Undeveloped, but entertaining enough.

It is fine, interesting. But there is something missing here.
The story is not all there, and the romance is too superficial. More development and connexions between the characters are needed, more deepness.
The characters and fantasy are feeble. The dragon part is too weak. To me, it needed to be more prevalent and powerful in the story. More fantasy. The dragon characters are puny and too human. Ember is too high-school to be believable as a dragon who grew up in a different community.

I might give the second book a chance, but I am not very hopeful.

P.S.:I am a bit surprised this is a Julie Kagawa's book. I looove her Blood of Eden Series and it is a great contrast with what we have here.

Rogue (Talon #2)
Profile Image for Wren (fablesandwren).
675 reviews1,501 followers
September 17, 2020
I'm not going to spend too much time writing a review on this book.

I did like it, don't get me wrong, but it was just so predictable to the point that I was skimming some of the pages.

You have a Romeo and Juliet thing going on in two different corners.
St. George: Killing dragons
Talon: A big organization of dragons
Rogue: Dragons not in Talon.

Girl: Talon
Boy 01: St. George
Boy 02: Rogue

It's very youngly written, so it's towards the younger age of young adult, which as a early twenties woman, probably why I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have if I was fifteen or sixteen.

I am going to read the next book because it does have potiental. I mean, this book felt like a set-up book in all honesty, so maybe the next books are going to blow my mind and I am going to fall in love with the writing as it matures?

Here's hoping!
Profile Image for Brigid ✩.
581 reviews1,820 followers
Want to read
February 12, 2015

Damn, this sounds really cool. And I really liked Julie Kagawa's Blood of Eden series.

However, I see a lot of people are saying it's disappointing so I'm a bit hesitant.

But I will probably still read it at some point, because ........ DRAGONSSSSS
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,470 reviews9,636 followers
September 27, 2015

I thought this book was really good! I love dragons and the thought of dragon shapeshifters, so to speak, really got me stoked for this series.

I wasn't impressed with Ember's brother Dante, I really wished he could have been more like Ember, although she was a bit careless at times. I think you have to have the good cop / bad cop thing going on to create this particular story though. And it's not that Dante was bad, he just wanted to believe Talon and what they stood for.

I loved the characters of Garret and Riley! Garret is in the Order, which is trying to take out all dragons. Riley is a Rogue dragon that left Talon because he knew they were full of crap. And Ember is caught up in all of this.

I loved Ember's character because she wanted nothing more than to be free to do what she wanted and to be a dragon when she wanted. She tried so hard to follow Talon's rules and listen to her brother, but when you need to be free and you know something isn't right with the group your with then you have to spread your wings and fly. (Pun intended)

In the end a few different eyes were opened from all different groups. I think/hope this is a good thing because not everyone is what they seem and it just goes to show you should never just trust in the operation/group that you are in.

I loved it and I hope I love the next book.. Rogue!

PS ~ If your looking for an epic dragon fighting book, this is not the book. There are plenty of high fantasy dragon fighting books out there and hopefully we will see more of the dragons in the next book :)

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Profile Image for Krystal.
1,456 reviews364 followers
December 9, 2018
I came here for dragons. Was not disappointed.

Summary: Ember and Dante are dragons disguised as humans. They are learning to act human by making friends with humans and doing fun human things, while doing secret dragon training on the side. Garret is a dragon-hunting human, whose latest mission involves pretending to be a normal human. He does this by making friends with humans and doing fun human things.

I liked these characters. Ember is so feisty and I loved that inner fire (haha) that made her so headstrong and determined to do things her own way. I liked that, even though she wasn't allowed to dragon-up, she still wasn't afraid to kick boys in the balls when they were jerks.

Garret was a little bit too mopey and rigid but I liked when he got sassy. That little glimpse of cheekiness was FUN. Plus - here's a new one for me - I liked that he had 'gunmetal eyes'?? Such a ridiculous thing but I was so very attached to this description. Not that I've ever seen anyone with grey eyes in my entire life. Is this actually a real thing?

Anyhoo. Their whole relationship is entirely predictable and full of inevitable drama, but I enjoyed it with lots of heavy sighs. They were just CUTE.

Dante ... oh, how he disappointed me. I wanted more of him, and I wanted him to be less straight-laced. I wanted to read about him having his own fun, and being an annoying older brother, and doing stupid things ... his part in this book was incredibly underwhelming. Overall, he turned out to be a pretty dull character.

You know who was fun though? RILEY/COBALT. Oh, hey, look - I'm keen on the bad boy again. *dramatic sigh* He was also not in it quite as much as I'd have liked, and I appreciated his edginess so he was less fun when his edges were softened, but he was fairly entertaining. I do wish he'd been a little more badass, though. More rebel, more fierce, more sassy. Oh well. I'll take what I can get.

I enjoyed the fun human things, and was surprised at myself enjoying all that bloody surfing. I mean, it's just surfing. I don't get it. But they were fun interactions so okay then! I liked the group of friends, too, though I never became particularly attached. Was secretly hoping at least one of them would turn out to be a dragon.

The book is divided into two main chunks, and the second part is where we get the most fun dragon action with teeth and claws and scales and, like I said, I came here for dragons. That amped things up and made it all much more fun and entertaining. The first part is mostly boy/girl drama, which is fun but less dragon-y. I liked the action, and there was much more to be had in the second part of the book, which gives me abundant hope for the next book.

Beyond the original idea of dragons shapeshifting into humans to fit in, there's nothing terribly unique in this book. It's very Romeo and Juliet with its forbidden romance, even if neither of our loved-up puppies realises; it's quite obvious that it's all a disaster waiting to happen. The characters are familiar enough, as are the events, and even the training. The rebelling against a structured society. The rebels who are actually the good guys. The oblivious friends. Not a lot that I haven't read before. But I still really enjoyed it, and I'm so glad there was still vicious dragon action because that was the 4th star for me. Without the dragon action, this is a pretty average, 3-star read.

It's not exactly a work of genius but it is a fun story with likable characters and plenty of drama. I'm looking forward to reading the next book. Hopefully there'll be even more dragons.
Profile Image for Suzzie.
908 reviews164 followers
April 13, 2017
I really enjoyed this book. It was entertaining and the characters were likeable. It was predictable but still enjoyable. I will continue on in the series for sure.

Fun and easy read that was amusing and lighthearted.
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,034 reviews2,605 followers
December 7, 2014
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2014/12/06/y...

I was a bit taken aback by the tepid to cool reviews I’ve been seeing for this one. Not that my own review is all that glowing, I realize, but while Talon probably won’t rank among my favorite Young Adult novels read this year, I had a lot of fun with it. By all means not a bad book. Surprisingly, most of the disappointment appears to be from fans of Julie Kagawa’s other series. I’ve never read anything else by her though, so there’s really nothing for me to compare this to.

But let’s move on to what the book is about. Talon is about dragons…but also not really. If you’re looking for a novel featuring these magnificent creatures in all their winged and scaly fire-breathing glory, you’re not going to find much of that here. What you have instead is a small group of dragonkind who spend most of their time in human form, hoping to infiltrate our society and one day take over the world again. A secret faction of dragon slayers called the Order of St. George is determined not to let that happen, and their members continue to hunt dragons like they have for time immemorial.

The book begins as two young dragon siblings, Ember and Dante Hill travel to California in their human forms to begin training for their future positions to serve their home base of Talon. Ember is fascinated with humankind, and wants nothing more than to enjoy the summer living out the full teenager experience – beaches, arcades, ice cream parlors, the whole shebang. Her brother Dante on the other hand is a lot more disciplined, and does not like it one bit when a rogue dragon shows up in their territory, distracting Ember from her training. Meanwhile, St. George has received the rumors of new dragon recruits in the area, and the young soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian and his partner are tasked to hunt these Talon agents down and kill them.

Encouraged to mingle and blend in with other teenagers, Ember and Dante spend most of this book as humans. But unlike other books with shape-shifting dragons (like Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina for example, which I thought did a really good job developing the culture and world of the draconic characters), it’s difficult to think of the dragons here as anything but human. This is what I meant when I cautioned not to think of Talon too much as a “dragon” book. Despite a few scenes of Ember thinking as a dragon and being a dragon – and they are quite few and far between – the author often seems to put her human persona before her draconic one. Plus, the setting is modern and urban. Ember’s life revolves around surfing, parties, friends and boys. Very little is known about the dragon home of Talon and Kagawa doesn’t really get into it. For those craving a bit more fantasy and world building, I can see how that could cause some frustration.

As such, this ends up being your rather typical contemporary young adult novel with a light fantasy twist, complete with love triangle and just a dash of forbidden love. Despite being exactly what I expected, it was undeniably entertaining.

After reading this, however, I admit to being skeptical of Kagawa’s writing. It’s obvious that she can spin a good yarn, but there were some plot elements that were so illogical and downright silly, it can be difficult to take these characters seriously. First of all, if you can take any form and you’re trying to covertly infiltrate and gain influence in human society, I would not do it as a teenager. Good luck gathering any useful information to bring back to your overlords, unless they’re interested in how your airheaded friend thinks so-and-so is so totally gorgeous and has nice abs. Talon is also so bad at this undercover secret agent stuff, I’m not surprised St. George managed to narrow their search down to Ember and Dante and their group of beach bum friends in like all of two seconds. You’re a dragon spy, and you’re seriously going to stick with Ember for your name? You might as well paint a target on your back and wear a big sign that says “I’M THE DRAGON!” and hang it around your neck. The Order of St. George doesn’t seem that much more competent either. At one point, Garret admits to his partner that he is getting too close to Ember and recommends stepping back from the mission. Instead of allowing Garret to do so, what does his partner do but tell him to take advantage of this new development to go even deeper into the case. Um, no! As soon as one of your soldiers gets emotionally involved and becomes compromised like that, you pull them the hell out. A lot of the problems that St. George experience near the end, they brought most of them on themselves.

These little moments aside, not much else detracted from the experience. Yes, the story is pretty standard but ended up being more interesting than the description made it sound, and it held my attention to the end, which isn’t something I can say for a lot of YA. The next book, predictably called Rogue, looks like it will delve deeper into the both the secret Order of St. George and the dragon organization Talon, so hopefully readers get the world building we want there.
319 reviews1,884 followers
Want to read
April 20, 2013
"[...] as is the case with YA books, a love triangle."

Profile Image for Sophie.
1,179 reviews438 followers
December 31, 2015
Seeing as I was approved for an eARC of Rogue, I though it was time to give Talon a go, and I wasn't disappointed.

Talon tells the story of Ember Hill, a female shape-shifting dragon (dragonelle) who is tasked with blending in with the humans for the summer in California. Whilst there, she faces many difficulties, including falling for a human (a big no no), and becoming close to a Rogue, a dragon who has left the Talon organisation (an even bigger no no).

Talon is a secret society, a secret dragon society, who has to blend in with humans in order to avoid detection from the Order of St George, whose sole aim is to eradicate the world of the dragon problem. The problem, however, is that the member of the Order sent out to kill Ember, also happens to be the human she falls for, and who falls for her just as hard.

This is my first book by Julie Kagawa, and her writing was fantastic. I really enjoyed the various plot twists, and especially the changing PoV's, making the story pace very well. Ember was a wonderful protagonist, though at times very, very naive. I definitely liked her character development throughout the course of the novel, especially with her beginning to question the organisation she belongs to, and their treatment of the human race. Her relationship with Garret was so sweet, and although I knew it would all end badly, I was on tenterhooks between each of their scenes.

With the way Talon ended, I'm so glad I'm able to dig into Rogue straight away, and I'm sure that will be as enjoyable, if not more so, than the first book of the series.
Profile Image for Maria (highinthebooksky).
322 reviews43 followers
December 4, 2014
Talon is my third dragon book , the other two are eon and firelight and while I loved eon/eona I HATED firelight ! Sooo I had mixed feelings with Talon because the description really reminded me of Firelight ... but boy was I wrong ...it was SO much better !!!

Talon is about Ember a drongongirl trained to infiltrate human society.And while she and her brother want to live their teen experience and enjoy their last free summer without Talon ( the secret dragon organisation) getting in the way she finds herself questioning Talons intenison,rules,and falling in love with a human boy. What she doesnt know is that this boy is actually a Soldier trained to kill dragons and on a mission to kill her!

Well I dont know if this sounds intersting enough or intrigued you to read this book and if not let me just tell you more about it !

Blinking, I craned my head up and looked into the face of a boy. My heart gave a weird little flutter . (...) Maybe all the boy-watching had finally sunk in,because the stranger was, to use two of Lexi´s favorite words,absolutely gorgeous.

Let me tell you here that this story isnt about Ember finding new and strange abilities or her struggeling with her dragonside or whatever ...It´s about her finding her humanity and falling in love for the first time and in this case with her greatest enemy as it seems :P I think exactly that made the story so beautiful ... It wasnt insta-love, no love-triangle ... it was forbidden-love in the coolest way possible :D

"That´s one is for me " she announced as more zombies lurched towards us with arms outstretched. A grin quirked her lips as she glanced at me , smug and challenging " Come one , Garret ,aren´t boys good at this kind of stuff?"
I looked back at the approaching zombie horde, raised my gun and smirked .All right , I thought , imagining myself back in the Vasyugan Swamps , facing a murderous juvenile dragon and its gang of human smugglers. You want me to shoot that thing ? Here we go.

This scene was sooo funny ! I liked how they did normal things together for the first time ,like zombie shooting in a mall ! How both of them were so unexperienced with the whole dating and emotion thing . They both had no clue what they were feeling for each other or what they were doing . It was so cute to see them slowly falling in love and at the same time questinign what they have been taught all their lifes...

Breathless, I slumped to the wall , numb with the realization . This anger, these illogical feelings of rage and possesiveness ... I was jealous of a girl I was supposed to be stalking , seducing , for the sole purpose of revealing her true nature . This had become more than an objective , more than a mission .
I was falling for her .

Well well well Garret this doesnt go as planned huh??? ;) Oh my ... How I loooved this scene !!!! Him being jealous, realizing that he is falling for his target aaaaahhhh !!!! Soooo goood !!!! Couldn´t stop myself from smiling ! Everything between them was sooo INTENSE ! heart`s beating faster ,hands are quickly turning the page for more , eyes scanning the page for his name ! yep exactly what I did the whole time !!! I couldn`t get enough of them ! even a shy touch or the
smallest smile was HOT !

Julie really has her way with stories ! She did an excellent job with Talon . It wasn´t boring or predictable ...and although it wasnt action-packed or anything it still could catch my attention and made me fall in love with the characters :D
The ending was ...well... a typical julie Kagawa ending! :P ( if you know what I mean ) I just couldnt believe that the last page was actually the LAST page !!! just NOOOO JULIE stop doing that !!!
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