Monday, December 29, 2014

Until it Gets Its Talons in You

Adolescence should be a time for freedom, rebellion, and learning about who you are, but if you are part of Talon, your life is never yours. In the first book of Julie Kagawa's new series, Talon, a unique young woman fights rules and restrictions like every young teen, except she is the furthest from a normal teenager as one could be. 

Ember Hill is unique. She has a brother. It is very rare for a dragon to have a sibling hatched alongside them. Dante is her best friend, but not only because they have been hidden away by a secret dragon society for most of their hatchling years. She trusts Dante completely. Now she and Dante are being moved to California to learn to assimilate with the humans so they can eventually live among them without detection once they are trained for their careers in Talon. Talon understands that if humans knew about the dragons, they would hunt them to extinction, so they protect their hatchlings and their way of life. Although they haven't been able to keep their existence a secret from everyone. An equally secret order of humans called St. George lives and dies by hunting dragons. They know they have to do away with female dragons and hatchlings to keep the next generation from taking over the world. All this is important to Ember, obviously, but what she really wants is one summer of freedom and "normalcy" for a girl her age at the beach. Unfortunately, her summer, like her life, is anything but normal. 

Ember and Dante's human guardians have strict rules, but it doesn't mean they aren't allowed to have some fun. Ember loves her freedom as much as she loves the beach and surfing. Since she isn't allowed to fly under any circumstances while she is off Talon controlled property, surfing is the closest she can come to that feeling of exhilaration. When she meets a boy named Garrett, she can't help but be drawn to him, even if her inner dragon is screaming at her to run away. But Garrett has a secret, too. As an elite member of St. George, he has been sent to California to find the new hatchling their sources say has been infiltrating the town. He suspects Ember, but he has always known dragons don't have siblings. That, among other St. George facts, might be completely wrong. For Ember, everything she knew about Talon might be wrong as well. This is a story about two young adults who come from opposite ends of an ancient war who really know nothing about the sides they have been born into fighting for. 

I really love Julie Kagawa's books. I still haven't read her lengthy Fae series, but her vampire series was a breath of fresh air in a genre that is stuffed with "same ole, same ole." Now she takes a dragon story and makes it fresh, new, and exciting! I loved how Ember was going through the same kinds of struggles as any teenager: boys, friends, parties, feeling stifled by rules and restrictions, etc., yet she was as different as different can be. It made her relatable yet completely interesting, and I absolutely loved it. She was even stubborn and petulant at times, just like every teen we know and love. I also loved Garrett for the same reasons. The only character who was really flat for me was Dante. I just couldn't get over how unwilling he was to even consider there might be other answers out there that contradict what Talon always told him. He was naive and unimaginative, and therefore, I found Ember's devotion to him difficult to tolerate. 

The story itself never had a dull moment, and you will find yourself questioning everything right alongside Ember. She is inquisitive and skeptical, and I think a lot of teens will really relate to her, even if she is a mythical flying reptile! Kagawa has done it again with this story, giving readers an exciting and thrilling story that when it ends, you will find yourself screaming, "NOOOO!" because you just want MORE! Loved it!

No comments:

Post a Comment