Talon by Julie Kagawa
Series: Talon #1
Publisher: Harlequin UK
Publication Date: January 15th 2015
Source: Harlequin UK [Netgalley]
Ember and Dante are the only brother and sister known to dragonkind. They are selected to become sleeper agents and are tasked to blend in with the human world. But the dragons are being hunted by the Order of St. George. Garrett is on a mission to destroy all dragons after what happen to his family. Garrett and his partner Tristan are tasked with finding the sleeper dragon and killing it. But when Ember and Dante meet, the connection between them is undeniable. But neither of them know what the other really is.
I actually really liked Ember. She came across as a down-to-earth character and a typical teenager who wanted to spend summer doing whatever she wanted. But Ember isn't a typical teenager because she's a dragon in disguise - which instantly makes her more awesome. Ember is initially hesitant about her task, but fits in with the humans quite easily and makes some friends. She's just such an extremely likeable character. She does have her flaws - she's impulsive and headstrong, but she's also extremely caring and sweet. I did completely love seeing Ember in her dragon form. She was totally awesome!
I liked Dante, but I just had this uneasy feeling about him. Dante follows the rules completely without question and after they started their training he started pulling away from her which kind of led me to think he was hiding something from her. I'm even more unsure of Dante after the ending because I don't know what he's going to do.
Garrett was a strong, powerful, collected character. He's been with the Order of St. George for a couple of years and is determined to wipe out all dragons after they killed his family. Garrett is pretty awkward in the human world - he likes order - and he hates that he's been sent undercover. He'd rather be out doing something. But Garrett was such a sweet character. He really changes throughout the book and learns to loosen up and have a bit of fun instead of being so strict and stiff all the time.
Riley is a strange, mysterious, alluring rogue dragon who has been trying to get Ember's attention. And when he does, he offer's Ember what she wants - freedom. I wasn't entirely sure of Riley to being with - I thought he was going to lead her astray - but then I got to know him more and found out he has Ember's best interests at heart. He has a very strange connection with Ember that slightly felt like the whole imprinting thing from Twilight (ew), but I'm going to ignore it. Also, he's a lot older than Ember (even though he doesn't look it in human form) which is creepy.
The only thing I wasn't particularly a fan of was the love triangle... I shipped Garrett and Ember SO HARD. So when Riley was introduced and he and Ember had their 'dragon instinct' bond I wasn't particularly happy. I don't care that Garrett is part of the Order or that he's human, Garrett and Ember had a much better connection than Ember and Riley because they had time to build it! They had time to develop feelings for each other whereas Riley's feeling for Ember appeared as soon as he met her.
Talon had a few different POV's. In part 1 we heard from Ember & Garrett; In part 2 we heard from Ember, Garrett & Riley and in the epilogue we heard from Dante. I actually really enjoyed all four of the POV's (even though Dante's was only like 2 pages) because every single one of them had something different to add to the story. Garrett gave us information on the Order; Riley gave us information on what Talon was truly like and from Ember we learnt what dragons go through to get their tasks from Talon. I can't tell you what we learnt from Dante because spoilers!
I adored the story line of Talon. There wasn't a single moment I found myself bored or skimming, I was completely sucked in from the first chapter. I was so intrigued to find out about Talon and whenever Riley dangled a teeny tiny bit of information about the real Talon, I was desperate to know more. It was also extremely intriguing to get to hear from Ember (who's a dragon) and Garrett (who's part of the Order). It was fantastic getting both sides of the story and seeing what both sides were like. Getting to see both sides pointed out that neither side were being wholly truthful, they were just on a mission to destroy each other. I loved Ember's training sessions - even if they were kind of brutal - because they were exciting and I actually enjoyed seeing what her trainer would throw at her next. But the main thing I loved was finding out why Riley went rouge and finally getting the real truth about Talon - and it isn't very nice.
The ending was fantastic! I was frantically reading because I had no idea what was going to happen! It was extremely tense and I was on edge the whole time. My heart was pounding. There were so many ways the ending couple have played out, and I'm so glad it played out the way it did. The epilogue was pretty ominous, but it's made me even more excited to see what's going to happen in Rogue!
Overall, Talon was a fantastic start to Kagawa's new series. It was full of nail-biting action; realistic romance (well, as realistic as you'll get between a dragon and a human); a captivating story line and DRAGONS. What more could you ask for?