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.
I won't lie, I was on a Kagawa high when I finished this book. I have adored practically every novel Kagawa has put out on the market (except for The Lost Prince) and when I saw this on the bookshelf it seemed like the answer to my reading slump. A way of getting out of this ridiculous bitter hole I'm in.
However, once I put the book down (which I did finish in a number of days) and I really thought on it… I realised that I didn't really care all that much here. I think the biggest problem here is the world building. Or lack of to be honest. Talon (which is the organisation of dragons that trains and protects them) sets teenage dragons in modern California beach homes to… well, nothing. Supposedly they're there to learn to be human but that translated into surfing, hanging out with friends, getting a tan, partying, and meeting two dangerous boys.
Honestly, the largest chunk of this book has very little actual plot. Ember spends her mornings training with her trainer so they can figure out which dragon career she gets to go into and then she spends her afternoon having fun and begin a teen. Of course, the two dangerous boys are involved, one being a rogue dragon and the other being a dragon Hunter who is trying to figure out if she is a dragon or not. That's the basic plot.
Plot aside, there was nothing dragon like about this book. The thing I except about world building is to be surrounded by this world. The only dragon world building we encountered were rare. And that was disappointing.
My other issue is Ember. I never expected to say this about a character Kagawa has, but she is so boring. Maybe it's her boring and overdone California lifestyle (we could have put this in Miami or another beach town and it'd be the same boring thing), but I felt nothing for her. I didn't believe her romance or love for Garret and I even felt myself annoyed at how much of a cliche the our-dragons-our-soulmates plot point she had with Riley.
Not to mention the girl is a dragon. The reason they're here to assimilate and learn to be human and she has no trouble! She's a DRAGON. Her human image is projected, she's chosen to look more beautiful so that way she's accepted in society easier. That should all lead to the idea that her personality would match a dragon since she's a dragon first and human second. You never would have known that by reading Talon.
Overall, Kagawa can write a story. She can write compelling characters and edge of your seats plots and she's made me cry in the Iron Fey series. However, Talon just didn't do anything for me.