By Julie Kagawa
Hardcover: 449 pages
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Rated: ✯ ✯
2 out of 5 Stars
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..
Dragons make me nervous. Not for the typical reasons; fire-breathing carnivores with cat-like reflexes. Dragons mean fantasy. Not my safe and comfortable urban fatasy, but straight up fantasy. Yikes. I am beyond intimidated by the vast realm of fantasy novels. Although my love of Julie Kagawa's writing begged me to read this one, it took me over a year to finally get there. I sadly admit, I am not that impressed. Sigh.
My biggest complaint is that the dialogue between characters is ridiculously cheesy. I remember rolling my eyes more than once, especially between Ember and Dante. They are twin dragons, but their relationship is just awkward at times. And the soldier from St. George. The story line was like some How to Train Your Dragon shit. He's a warrior, slaughtering dragons for his people one minute; he's falling in love with a dragon and buying her flowers the next. Really?! It just seemed silly to me given Kagawa's history of writing great relationships and story-lines. Sigh.
The ending was totally predictable as well. The entire training situation she practiced with her instructor everyday ended up being the closing fight scene between factions. I don't want to give away too many spoilers, but come on! This important scene could have handled some originality. Especially since 90% of the book consisted of the beach, the mall, and dates gone bad. And still I read...
Until the final straw. Miss Kagawa finds it amusing to insert a freaking love triangle the last thirty or so pages from the end?! Why? I just.. can't. Riley gives me the creeper vibe and I can't picture a human and a dragon together soooo... yea. I don't see myself reading the rest of this series, although I have already purchased Rogue. Maybe I will do a giveaway for both someday soon..:)
“I found myself hating him, wanting to hurt him, to drive him away from the red-haired girl who was supposed to be mine. Breathless, I slumped to the wall, numb with the realization. This anger, these illogical feelings of rage and possessiveness...I was jealous. I was jealous of a girl I was supposed to be stalking, seducing, for the sole purpose of revealing her true nature. This had become more than an objective, more than a mission. I was falling for her.”
“Shark!" I yelled as my feet hit the wet sand. "There's a shark out there! Everyone get out of the water!" Man, you want to see humans move fast? Scream that on a crowded beach and watch what happens. Its amazing the fear people have for a scaly, sharp toothed predator. I watched the water empty in seconds, parents scooping up their children and heading to shore, desperate to get out of the ocean, and found it a little ironic. They were so terrified of the big, nasty monster out in the water, when there was a bigger, nastier, deadlier one right here on the beach.”
"Your loyalty, first and always, is to Talon. Not the humans. They are unimportant. We walk among them, act like them, live with them, but we will never be one of them. She gestured sharply with the weapon. They're a cancer, hatchling. A virus t hat spreads and corrupts and obliterates everything in its path. The human race is weak and self-destructive, and the only thing they know how to do is destroy."
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