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.
This is solidly YA (meaning, kids 12ish to 20ish will enjoy this more than adults, I think). It’s not a bad book, it’s just filled with tropes I dislike, like love triangles and predictable betrayals. And very flat characters. The whole plot felt called in and the characters didn’t feel genuine.
I like the concept that dragons walk about us, and the Order of St. George are timeless dragon hunters. But I didn’t like that Ember’s entire stance (“the dragon inside me”) is so obviously human, even though she’s supposed to be a dragon. I get that she was trained to blend in with humans, but when she refers to her real self as human, constantly….it just would’ve worked better if either Kagawa could’ve made her a bit more alien, or created a plot device where Ember was raised human and then discovered she was a dragon or something.
Also, the villains are very flat and Snidely Whiplash/Bond villain. And Dante was practically nonexistent as far as existing as other than a plot device.
On the plus side, the surfing stuff was a nifty detail I don’t often see.
I don’t actually recommend this one, unless you love dragons more than you love complex plot and developed characters. I won’t be continuing the series. Do Kagawa’s books get better? I hope so, because I’ve heard a lot about them. I also think I may need to step back from YA next month, because I’m getting seasick swinging between juvenile YA and phenomenal YA.
I’m a coffee-fueled, hobby-addicted bibliophage who makes cruelty-free mineral eye shadows (inspired by novels). I’m usually in front of a screen (writing, reading, or gaming), but I’ve been known to emerge for geekery, good food, and dark chocolate.