Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.
Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.
Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.
I am quite excited to write this review and break down all my thoughts about this book. Well, I’m a big big fan of Julie Kagawa because of The Iron Fey series, so hey now… This is also my first dragon
novel, so I was kinda expecting a lot of adventures from this book.
I liked it!
But honestly, as much as I really hate to admit this, all my expectations were only met halfway which made me a little disappointed. Just a little. I still like this all the same, but not as much as I’m in love with The Iron Fey series.
It hurt me to keep seeing lots of negative reviews about the book before I started reading it. I ignored all those. Like, yeah, whatever. This is Julie Kagawa, so I’ll read this no matter what.
First of all, let’s talk about the fantabulous
cover design of this book! Admit guys! The first time you saw the cover, I know you fell in love with it, just like me. Well, all Kagawa books have gorgeous covers, so yeah. (And besides, Julie Kagawa is on my auto-buy list. Ha ha.)
Just look at how badass the cover and the front and back end-papers are. (The end-paper is not pink, it’s red, dunno why it turned out like that.) And since this is not available on local stores, thank you The Book Depository, you’re always a life-saver!
The world-building and the writing style. The book has two parts. The first few chapters from Part I introduced me to the world of Talon, and the Crescent Beach. I actually got bored a lot on those first few chapters. It’s kinda dragging. I’m waiting for something that will make me more interested, but it got way too long before I came to that. I was expecting for this to be more of a fantasy with just shared modern/contemporary settings, but it’s actually more of a modern/contemporary with bits of fantasy.
I expected more like this:
But I got this:
I mean, hey, I don’t mean it bad. It’s just, there’s not much action. Well, just dragons dressed as humans in the human world, trying to fit in. I hope you get what I mean.
But the writing style is still incredible on its own way. If it’s Julie Kagawa, you’ll never question her writing style. The way she described the dragons is awesome. And it might be lacking some action, but when there’s one, it’s epic. The first one, the battle of St. George with a dragon, oh that’s when I finally got hooked!
“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. “
“They wanted me to sit, listen, learn, be quiet, when I wanted to run, shout, jump, fly.”
The characters. I actually liked Ember Hill, the female protagonist. Though she’s stubborn and whinny at times, I like how carefree and so hungry for adventure she is.
“I was a soldier, trained to keep emotions in check at all times. I could face down a charging dragon and show no fear.”
“The rogue dragon was trouble. Plain and simple.”
I liked how the supporting characters where given more exposure. Like their Crescent Beach friends, Tristan, the trainers, even the guardians. Even though they’re only supporting characters, their roles where properly executed and they didn’t look like just plain sidekicks where you will easily forget about whatsover. Garret is my favorite character from all. No more explanation needed. Riley’s character was not developed until part II, and he didn’t grow on me that much.
TEAM GARRET PEOPLE! WHO’S WITH ME?!
“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.”
For some unknown reason, I’m not swayed by the romance. It’s not as strong as Puck-Meghan-Ash of Iron Fey. Maybe it’s way too cheesy? Or maybe because it’s so instant? Like, I-saw-him-for-the-first-time-and-I-had-this-butterflies-in-my-stomach-
feeling. And on about 30% before the ending, a love triangle bloomed out of nowhere. Which is to me, will obviously not work. But whatever, I love Garret, and that’s all that matters. lol.
A TOTAL CLIFFHANGER.
Even though I was a little disappointed, I still liked this book. A breath of fresh air! I’m new to dragons and I thank Julie Kagawa for a good dragon introduction. One thing I think of as a reason why I got bored at some points was because I didn’t read this continuously. I mean, I read this from June 21 to 30. Can you even….??? I was always distracted and interrupted because of work, and I have no excuse for that because I have to work.
So I’m considering of rereading this some time in the future. But I’m also excited to read Rogue (book 2), so I don’t know. I read the excerpt of Rogue and I want to start reading it immediately.