{Audiobook} Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

January 19, 2015 Book 19 ★½

{Audiobook} Review: Talon by Julie KagawaTalon by Julie Kagawa
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Series: Talon #1
Published by Harlequin on 2014-11-01
Source: Audiobook Jukebox
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one-half-stars

In Julie Kagawa's groundbreaking modern fantasy series, dragons walk among us in human form. 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.

My Review:

Well, that was a disappointment.

What makes Talon such an utter and complete disappointment is the fact that you go in expecting awesome dragon mythology with some kickass characters and some pretty intense plot twists. What you get instead is a cardboard cutout of every single bad YA book out there and the occasional mention of the word “dragon”. 

The story itself begins on the wrong foot, when immediately we are introduced to Ember. So begins the immense suffering of having to hear her whine, complain, and act stupid and recklessly throughout the rest of the book. 

The whole book supposedly emphasizes how amazing, and powerful, and brilliant Ember is, but all I saw was an annoying, ignorant, and idiotic brat. 

I could’ve looked past this if I hadn’t immediately been thrown into some insta love. I’m telling you, one conversation and suddenly it’s  “oh there’s something about him… He makes me feel so different”. 

And then… The next chapter or so gives us a love triangle. By this point (10% into the book or so) I felt like the book was just checking off a list which tropes to introduce next. 

The writing itself wasn’t my cup of tea, and I know many others will disagree with me but I’m starting to think Julie Kagawa isn’t the author for me. I read The Iron King and disliked how juvenile the protagonist was plus was pretty annoyed at the extremely simplistic writing (when it wasn’t in detail). Same thing happened to me in this book. I deplored Ember. Really I did. Never once do I think I liked her. When not describing the dragons or action scenes, the writing turned dull and sometimes even amateur. I cannot begin to tell you how many times (in the first chapter alone) was it mentioned that Ember’s hair was red and her eyes were green. I wanted to stop listening to the audiobook altogether but thought against it believing that it would get better. 

I didn’t even get to read about dragons all that much! Instead I would get endless scenes with Ember hanging at the mall with her friends, or surfing at the beach, or going to an arcade to play games. 

However, the audiobook narrators were pretty good. I mainly didn’t put the book down because they made it much more tolerable. It was weird when the female narrator tried to do the male voice and vice versa, but it’s something that not many narrators can achieve. 

Overall, if you expect an awesome book about dragons, don’t read this one. It is entirely disappointing and filled to the brim with tons of YA tropes that’ll make you want to rip your eyes out. The audiobook narration however is great in comparison with the story, which disappoints because it was severely wasted on this book. 

Rating Report
Plot
one-half-stars
Characters
one-star
Writing
two-stars
Pacing
one-half-stars
Romance
one-star
Overall: 1.4

If my review was helpful in any way, please consider voting for it on Goodreads or Amazon.
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I'm Marianne. Professional Fangirl, part-time Blogger. Full-time college student. GIFs are a natural part of my posts, so be warned. I LOVE reading, so definitely feel free to discuss books with me. Opinions are welcome.
  • This is so disappointing to read!! I haven’t heard great things about this one and that makes me sad. Because dragons are awesome and I was looking for an awesome dragon book. Damn. Thanks for the honest review!

    • I had heard a lot of bad things before reading it, but thought I was maybe overreacting. Sad to see it didn’t go well. I still haven’t found a good dragon book, but I’ve heard of one called Seraphina. Maybe check it out?

  • Oh no D: I totally thought this would be dragon centric, given the name and all; I have seen a lot of unfavourable reviews though. Pity, it could have had so much potential if it didn’t have all those tropes thrown in (insta-love, really? And since when do dragons hang out at the mall? :/ )

  • Ha. I love the Kaleesi’s GIF. I second that. I find that the annoyance I feel towards a character multiplies when I listen to an audio rather than reading a physical book. Sorry this was fail.

    • I think because the narrator emphazises everything. It’s like you were actually watching the character be their most annoying self.

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  • Melanie Z

    Aw this sounds so disappointing. I’m no longer sure if I still wanna bother with this book because it doesn’t seem to be as good as her previous novels and barely any dragons? UGH.

  • Oh, I know it was super disappointing because of all the tropes that they jammed in there, and barely any awesome mythology. I just didn’t like Ember at all. Great review!

  • I could not agree more! I expected dragons, and got teen drama. I mean, what the hell! I thought that with her love of dragons, she would have taken the opportunity to really get stuck into the mythology. Not teens shopping and making friends. If I wanted that, I’d hang around the local high school. Sheesh. Sorry this wasn’t your thing, mine either. I hope book two is more dragon and less drama. Wonderful review <3

    • i hear you. I was ready to throw this book out the window and never hear from it again, but that cliffhanger just makes me wonder… Thanks, Kelly!

  • Oh no 🙁 I was expecting full fledged dragon awesomeness like Seraphina. I didn’t even realise that this was set in contemporary times…the mall? Really? I haven’t read a Kagawa book before, and this was going to be my first one. I’ll probably push it back on the TBR now. I hope your next read is much better Marianne, it sucks that this was so disappointing. 🙁

    • I’ve been told Seraphina is really good! I definitely want to read that one; mabe it’ll cure my dragon fix 🙂

  • Oh man ,that’s a really big disappointment… I mean what the hell?! I thought this was a fantasy! I was so excited for this book mainly because I thought it was a fantasy with dragons! Color me bummed right now. I don’t think I’ll wnat to read this AT ALL. I loved her Vampire Series even if I had problems with it, but a whiny protag without much dragons is just not something I want to read.

    Faye at The Social Potato

    • I thought it would be awesome fantasy as well. It turned out to be a sort of contemporary paranormal. VERY DISAPPOINTING. I still want to give her vampire series a try, though.

  • Yeah it wasn’t that good 🙁

  • What you get instead is a cardboard cutout of every single bad YA book out there and the occasional mention of the word “dragon”. HA!

    I really didn’t care for this one either.