Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 464 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Talon Saga
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 2/5 stars
I read the first 100 pages of this book and really did not enjoy it. I debated whether or not I should even write a review based on the first 100 pages, but that really does say something about the book, so I decided to give it shot. I just could not get into this story, the story was very bland and the characters very blah.
This story is told from two different perspectives. The first is that of Ember and Dante who are two dragon siblings who are supposed to infiltrate human society. The second of that is Garrett, a soldier in the Order of St. George who has spent his whole life hunting dragons. Ember and Dante are looking forward to a summer of playing on the beach and learning to blend with the other humans there, but the appearance of a rogue dragon throws all of those plans into disarray.
I was super excited to read this book and just so very very disappointed in the non-existent world-building and the very vanilla characters. You hear a little bit about the dragon colony that Ember and Dante are from, but most of their time is spent in modern day San Diego goofing off on the beach. Really not much world-building at all and very bland/boring settings.
Garrett’s parts of the story are pretty much military missions in a remote jungle. I am not a huge fan of reading about modern military exercises, so I really didn’t enjoy these portions either. Again there wasn’t any world-building here.
So, yeah, the story was pretty boring and the world-building non-existent. Kagawa usually has incredibly engaging characters in her stories, but none of the characters here really grabbed my attention. Ember is your typical slightly rebellious teenager who happens to be a dragon and wants to spend her summer as a beach bunny. There is nothing interesting about her (yeah she is a dragon but somehow she made even that seem boring). Dante is a like a slightly more mopey version of Ember. Garrett is your very typical military soldier type; yes he belongs to an ancient dragon slaying order of soldier…but there wasn’t anything here to differentiate him from any other soldier type character I have read about a million times before.
I have always admired Kagawa’s ability to embrace both the darkness and light in a story; her stories usually have more edge because of this. They can be vicious but they can also be beautiful. None of this is present in this story; everything about it is bland and very vanilla. The story was a like a million other mediocre YA paranormal books I have read; I was so very sad.
Overall this is a bland and boring book with mediocre characters, no world building, and none of the usual edge Kagawa’s stories are known for. I do not recommend picking it up.