Young Adult, Dragons, Romance
Ebook/Hardcover/Audio (464 pages, HARLEQUIN TEEN)
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.
Author Site: website
Worth the wait! (4 stars)
Hatchling dragons, Ember and her brother Dante, have been assigned to Crescent Beach, California for the summer. For three months all they have to do is obey curfew and check in with their human caretakers as they try to assimilate with humans. But it's not long into their trial when their 'vacation' gets cramped by daily training sessions. As young members of Talon they are being prepared for their roles in both hunting down rogue dragons for retraining and for protecting their kind from the infamous Order of St. George.
When Garret and his partner take an assignment to try and root out a rumored dragon sleeper in Crescent Beach he's known among his peers within the Order of St. George as the perfect soldier. His whole life revolves around training to slay dragons not socializing with teenage girls in hopes of outing a dragon. Meeting Ember brings out new feelings that make him question if everything he's been trained to know about dragons is true, even as Ember begins to see her own organization might not be everything she thought it was either.
I'm usually a huge Kagawa fan but I have to admit from the start I'm not a big fan of alternating first-person narratives and that really bogged this book down for me. It gets worst in the latter chapters as the characters rehash the same events from their own perspective. I also found myself never quite warming up to Garret. He wasn't unlikable, I just found his characterization did a little too much telling and not enough organic story was happening to really peel back his layers so I could feel attached to him. Cobalt on the other hand had personality that came out well in his dialog but then his thoughts about Ember went randomly lovey and it felt awkward, almost uncomfortable.
While I had a little trouble with her love interests I liked Ember a lot. Not as much as other Kagawa heroines but still, she's one readers are going to be eager to follow. I very much enjoyed her evolution from the beginning of the book and fortunately the story is fairly smooth paced before it gets mega-dramatic toward the climax. It was overall pretty predictable as far as plots go but Kagawa manages to make the journey enjoyable enough it's okay to know what's going to happen to each character in the end.
Definitely not my favorite book from this author but a creative new world of dragons and dragon slayers I will be eager to revisit as soon as the next installment hits shelves.
Notes: ARC received via Amazon Vine.
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